For Immediate Release:
1 June 2010
Nikunj Sharma (0) 9967766220; [email protected]
Chandigarh – Today, on World Milk Day, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India held a news conference in Chandigarh to reveal that cows and buffaloes in the dairy industry suffer abuse on a daily basis and that Punjab’s high rate of milk consumption has been linked to rising rates of heart disease. PETA chose Punjab because it’s the fourth-largest milk-producing state in India. At the news conference, PETA presented video footage and other documentation from its undercover investigation of the Indian dairy industry and distributed a 20-page report based on the investigation.
The following are just some of the horrors that PETA investigators observed:
• A newborn calf was found tied tightly – nearly immobilised – to a stump.
• A worker struck a cow’s face as the animal tried to eat.
• Workers kicked buffaloes in order to make them stand up.
• Cows who had difficulty walking were hit with sticks and had their tails pulled.
• Animals were covered in their own faeces.
• Children defecated near milking sheds.
• Buffaloes who were bleeding from their vaginas received no veterinary care.
• Milk containers were kept near open drains, and rubbish was strewn about near the tabelas, potentially posing health risks.
• Flies swarmed the tabelas and landed on milk containers and buckets.
PETA’s investigator observed “barefoot healers” who inserted artificial-insemination guns into one cow after another without sterilising the device. They shoved their soapy hands into the animals’ uteruses, causing the cows immense pain and potentially exposing them to infections.
Most cows raised for the dairy industry are confined to filthy, crowded sheds and denied everything that is natural and important to them. They are often chained by their necks in narrow stalls and given hormones that cause them to produce more milk. The use of one such drug, Oxytocin – which causes the animals to suffer severe stomach cramps and quickly wears out their bodies – is rampant even though it is illegal in the dairy industry.
Male calves, who are of no commercial value to the dairy industry, are often tethered with ropes so short that the animals can’t even lift their heads. Many calves get strangled while frantically trying to reach their mothers, and others are killed for their skin or abandoned on the streets. Female calves replace their mothers on dairy farms, and the vicious cycle of pain and suffering is repeated.
Under natural conditions, cows can live up to 18 years, but cows raised for their milk are only about 6 or 7 years old when they are sent to the slaughterhouse to be killed for their flesh and skin. Cows are transported to states where they can be killed legally. Forced to walk through the heat and dust for days without food or water, many animals collapse. Cows are pulled along by ropes that are inserted through their noses. To keep the animals moving, handlers twist the cows’ necks, horns and tails or rub chilli peppers into the animals’ eyes. Handlers also force cows into transport trucks without using ramps, often causing injuries such as broken pelvises, legs, ribs and horns. As many as half the animals are already dead by the time they arrive at the abattoir. Animals who survive transport are often slaughtered in full view of each other, and instead of the required “quick cut” across the throat with a sharp knife, workers generally kill the animals by hacking and sawing their necks with a dull blade.
The consumption of meat and dairy products has been conclusively linked to heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. According to a recent article in The Tribune, Dr Gurpreet Singh Wander, chief cardiologist at Hero-DMC Heart Institute in Ludhiana, blamed Punjab’s alarming rise in the number of heart patients on several lifestyle factors, including poor eating habits. Dr Wander cited meat, milk and butter as being among the chief culprits.
One of America’s leading health advocates, Dr Neal Bernard of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, states, “Low-fat vegan – plant-based – diets are the easiest way to trim excess weight, prevent diabetes, cut cholesterol, lower blood pressure, prevent and reverse heart disease, and reduce cancer risk”.
“The dairy industry hides the cries of hundreds of thousands of animals who are abused at dairy farms – day and night – for milk”, says PETA’s senior campaigns coordinator, Nikunj Sharma. “We urge everyone to do these animals and themselves a big favour by leaving cow’s milk for baby cows.”
For more information and to view the video, please visit PETAIndia.com.