One Million Australian Bobby Calves Need Your Help

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Status: Current
Originally Posted: 16 March 2009

One Million Australian Bobby Calves Need Your Help

From Animals Australia

Australian State Agriculture Ministers will vote on new standards for the transport of newborn calves (called bobby calves in Australia) in April. Please demand that they include the reforms proposed by animal welfare experts.

Sign the online petition here.


There's a good reason why soy milk has gained popularity in recent times. Awareness is growing about the dairy industry's tragic 'waste product'—one million discarded newborn calves, slaughtered every year.

The dairy industry would prefer we weren't aware that cows don't automatically produce milk. Like all females, cows produce milk for their babies. To maintain high milk production, dairy cows must give birth every year. Newborn calves (called bobby calves) are separated from their distressed mothers so that the milk nature intended for them can be sold to humans. At just five days old, those calves not considered 'useful' (mostly males) are sent to be slaughtered. Bewildered baby calves are not easily moved and are therefore prodded, pushed and even thrown by frustrated handlers. Many are denied food for up to 36 hours, and every year thousands of neglected calves die on trucks and in pens—before they reach the slaughterhouse.

Animals Australia advocated important basic reforms in a recent review of Australia's Land Transport of Livestock Standards and Guidelines. Incredibly Dairy Australia and other industry representatives refused to agree to limiting the distance that calves are transported, or even to feeding them if held overnight at the abattoir. As a result, the proposed new Standards drafted by Animal Health Australia do not include these reforms, and will sentence millions more bobby calves to a harrowing fate.

Thank you for everything you do for animals!

For images of abuse to cows and calves in the dairy industry, visit our image gallery.

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