Ok, having grown up on a farm in New Zealand and still having active involvement on it, I can honestly say that what is going on there is truly
disgusting and definitely not the sort of practise that is employed on every farm every where.
There are several practises I see on that video that if we tried in NZ, our farm would be shut down immediately by the SPCA. Firstly the hitting over
the head with a hammer - barbaric and banned. If an animal is sick and too ill to recover and a vet is present it is euthanised via injection. If the
animal is in too bad a state to wait for a vet (ie broken bones and in pain or very very ill) It must be shot with a gun in the head. Not nice I know,
but sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind as there is no point in letting an animal suffer needlessly.
Secondly the 'dehorning' you see going on with the clippers and hot iron is also banned. They are now frozen off with dry ice - kind of the same as
burning off a wart. I feel inclined to point out to anyone who takes issue with the horns being removed that it is done for the animals' own
collective welfare. Horns are a weapon and cows / bulls are not exactly gentle with one another - head butting and pushing etc is part of daily life.
If horns are left on an animal they can cause significant injury to other animals. Some farmers will raise the odd show animal with the horns allowed
to grow and these animals have to be closely watched unless they are a particularly docile breed.
I am unsure whether these animals in the video are kept like that in those pens because they are intended to produce veal or if that is standard
practise on that farm for raising calves. Hint from a farmer
- do not buy or eat veal because it is the most cruel meat from beef. Calves are
usually raised in stalls as you see in the video because the pale tender meat that people so love is from young animals that have not developed rumen
in their stomachs ie only young calves living on milk only have this meat unless they are fed a cocktail of chemicals and kept in pens like the ones
All that negative stuff being said, let me tell how cattle are raised on our farm in New Zealand. Our farm is reasonably typical of how things are
done ,except some operations may raise a lot of calves in sheds to get them started. Not in the style of those pens in the video however. Think a big
barn that has outdoor access where every calf can move freely and interact with other calves,
Animals on our farm are either born from a cow that has been naturally bred from a bull off the farm or bought in at any stage from a calf to an adult
animal to be grown on.Calves whether born on the farm or bought in are fed on their own mothers or a 'nurse cow' if they have come from outside. The
calves are only kept in a shed as described above over the worst winter months, but as soon as they are large enough to fend for themselves or the
weather is kind enough they are outdoors and remain that way for the rest of their life on the farm.
The animals are never fed growth hormones or antibiotics unless an illness means the latter has been prescribed by a vet, who will usually administer
them to the animal themselves in the form of an injection. Animal health treatments are kept to a bare minimum usually because the animals thrive when
allowed to grow as nature intended. The most common regular health treatments are: drenching to ensure worms and other parasites do not make the cows
ill and some minerals are fed to them occasionally at certain times of the year. i.e Calcium and Magnesium is given to the mother cows at calving time
in order to ensure they do not get 'milk fever' or 'grass staggers' (Think taking vitamin supplements in human terms)
So I say to all of those of you who are put off and upset by the OP, demand from your meat retailers and / or government disclosure on how the animals
are reared. Here in Australia and in New Zealand too eggs are labelled as to whether they are cage laid or free range. Maybe it's time meat products
are treated the same so that people are made aware of the difference between fair and sustainable farming that cares for the animal throughout it's
life and cruel inhumane practises that should really be ended.
The good farmers should not be punished for the acts of a few cruel ones and the cruel ones should be driven out of business.
edit on 3-5-2011 by markosity1973 because: to correct grammar
edit on 3-5-2011 by markosity1973 because: (no reason