Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:15 pm Post subject: Dairy Calves Outrageous Cruelty
Many Australians still don't know that as part of the normal operations of the dairy industry, some 1 million unwanted calves are discarded and slaughtered before they are a week old. This is outrageous enough.
Add to this the dairy industry's refusal to agree to reforms that would reduce the suffering of these baby animals during those few days allowed to them and you can understand why we are very upset.
Animals Australia advocated important reforms in a national review of Land Transport of Livestock Standards and Guidelines, including that bobby calves be at least 10 days of age before transport and sale; that a maximum limit on the duration (6 hours) and distance they may be held and transported; and that calves not be deprived of milk if held overnight at abattoirs.
Dairy Australia and other livestock industry representatives would not agree to any changes that would reduce the suffering of these baby calves and so none of the reforms have been included in the new standards drafted by Animal Health Australia.
During this week Animals Australia's entire email list will be asked to email politicians and dairy industry representatives, but it is also crucial that politicians receive snail mail letters as well. We know we can only ask for this type of assistance from our most dedicated supporters, which is why I am writing to you.
The Primary Industries Ministerial Council will be voting on these new standards next month. Please help us to bring the bobby calf issue to the attention of your state Agriculture Minister and Federal Minister Burke (the letter can be the same) and to ask them not to pass the new standards without including the proposed reforms to reduce the suffering of bobby calves. Please write to:
The Hon Tony Burke MP
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Canberra ACT 2600
Your State Agriculture Minister
To find the postal address of your state agriculture minister go to:
Below are some key points you can make. Please put them in your own words if you choose to use them:
* It is completely unacceptable that current standards allow for calves to be transported for long distances and that they may go without food for up to 36 hours.
* Under current standards thousands of calves die from the rigours or transportation and handling even before they reach abattoirs.
* Government animal officers, animal welfare scientists, Animals Australia, RSPCA Australia, land transport and abattoir representatives all advocated for changed standards based on scientific and documented evidence of suffering -- yet their views were ignored.
* Instead, Animal Health Australia in writing these standards has bowed to the dairy industry and ignored its duty to improve standards in line with community expectations and scientific opinions.
* The dairy industry relies on public support. Such an abject failure to address the welfare of dairy calves is likely to lead to a backlash against their industry.
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