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In order to produce milk, a dairy cow needs to be pregnant or lactating. The majority of male calves and some females are surplus to the farmer’s needs. These ‘bobby calves’ are separated from their mother shortly after birth, hand fed then transported to slaughter at a mere 5 days old – an age at which they are not equipped to withstand the rigors of transport.

Because they will very soon go to slaughter, bobby calves often don’t get the same standard of housing, cleanliness, care or attention as other calves destined for further rearing. And now, a proposed new standard for the time off feed for bobby calves would deny them feed for up to 30 hours on their way to slaughter.

The RSPCA believes 30 hours is far too long for newborn calves to be off feed.

The dairy industry argues that 30 hours off feed is an acceptable way to treat unwanted dairy calves. However, the dairy industry’s own research found that the welfare of bobby calves begins to deteriorate from 24 hours off feed, and that is if conditions are ‘ideal’.

Recently,  Primary Industries Ministers had an opportunity to put in place legal protections for these animals but instead put making a decision back in the ‘too hard basket’.  This inexcusable indecision has left these babies totally exposed. 

Take action and write to your Primary Industries Minister.

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Take action and write to your state Primary Industry Minister and also the Federal Minister for Agriculture, Joe Ludwig about bobby calves.
Video from Animals Australia
Many consumers don’t realize that veal is a direct by-product of the dairy industry. Newborn bull calves are taken away from their mothers and shipped off to veal producers for a short life of torture. Some bull calves are killed within a few days of their birth, but many are harvested for veal. These veal calves are typically kept immobilized in tiny crates so that their flesh stays tender, until they are slaughtered at 16 to 20 weeks of age. Their confinement is so extreme that they cannot even turn around or lie down comfortably. This abuse begins as young as one day old.

In order to make their flesh white, the veal calves are fed a low iron, nutritionally deficient liquid diet that makes them ill; they frequently develop anemia, diarrhea, and pneumonia.iii According to John Robbins, author of The Food Revolution and several other booksiv :

Believe me when I say this video is tame in comparison to some, yet I still cry tears for these babies. You have an option, like me, drink Soya milk!”
The treatment of bobby calves has been a long-held secret of the dairy industry. For the sake of milk products, the Australian dairy industry discards some 700,000 unwanted week-old calves as ‘waste products’ every year. You can help these vulnerable animals at http://www.animalsaustralia.org
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