My family has been in the California dairy for over 50 years, and never have we ever sought to hurt or harm the cows on our dairy. As dairymen, it’s in our best interest to treat our animals well.
Viewing the YouTube video about animal abuse that was taken by Mercy For Animals, was extremely hard for me as a dairyman. The fact that people would believe that this is an accurate representation of the dairy industry just sends chills down my spine. As a California dairyman, this video really shocked me as I have never witnessed such brutality in the dairy industry. The individual in the video is clearly a psychopath, and deserves consequences for his actions. Perhaps what surprised me the most was the fact that the individual from Mercy For Animals that was taping the whole event did nothing to stop what was going on. The individual taping the event is equally involved!
On our dairy farm, we have zero tolerance for animal abuse. It is in our best interest to have comfortable, happy cows. Happy cows give the most milk. The following shows 2 solid reasons why hurting and stressing cows and calves is bad for business.
Cows are not stabbed or hit in the milk barn. Stressed cows ultimately equal decreased milk let-down. Milk let-down is the natural process that the cow uses to remove milk from the udder. Milk let-down is caused by two things, stimulus and oxytocin. It generally takes 15 seconds of stimulation by hand or machine to initiate milk let-down. Oxytocin is the natural hormone in all mammals (including human mothers) that causes the muscle cells to contract in the mammary system and squeeze the milk into the milk ducts towards the teats in the udder. Fear and stress interfere with the natural release of oxytocin, and with adrenaline actually blocks the natural action of the hormone oxytocin on the mammary system for 20-30 minutes. In other words, fearful cows cannot initiate milk let-down. For this reason on our dairy, we create a calm relaxing environment for the cows in the milk barn. Go to this link for more information www.cowtime.com.au/technical/QuickNotes/Quick_Note_1_1.pdf
Newborn calves are not beaten when born, but handled with care. Just like you would not beat a newborn baby, we do not beat baby calves. The calf is the dairies future! Calves are handled with care to minimize stress in order to reduce the calf’s susceptibility to diseases. Baby calves have weak immune systems when they are born, but build stronger over time. Therefore intense care is given to the newborn calves to help them grow big and strong.
As a dairyman, I feel it’s my duty to be a caretaker of the animals. I hope people realize that animal abuse is not a common practice of modern dairy farms, but instead that dairies care greatly about the well-being of dairy cows. I am responsible for the health and well-being of the cows on my dairy. The cows take care of us when we take care of them. Happy cows equal happy dairymen.