Supplier for Coca-Cola, Kroger, and Pinkberry Moves to End Cruel Dehorning of Calves
August 28, 2014
Shakira Croce 202-483-7382
Fair Oaks, Ind. – A major player in the dairy industry has taken a big step toward improving the welfare of cows. Following discussions with PETA, Fair Oaks Farms joined the dairy industry’s rapidly growing trend away from the shockingly cruel and painful practice of dehorning, in which calves have their horns gouged out with sharp metal scoops or their horn tissue burned out of their heads.
With more than 36,000 cows (and 80 to 100 more calves born every day), the facility in Fair Oaks is one of the largest dairy farms in the country, supplying several major brands, including Coca-Cola, Kroger, and Pinkberry. It has just confirmed that 20 percent of its herd consists of polled, or naturally hornless, cattle and that it will continue to evaluate its operation with a mind to eliminating dehorning over time. PETA, whose motto says, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way,” has been calling on companies to require their dairy suppliers to breed for naturally hornless cattle. After hearing from PETA, Dunkin’ Brands, Chipotle, Amy’s Kitchen, and Peet’s Coffee & Tea all urged their suppliers to breed for hornless cows, and Aurora Organic Dairy—which serves half of the top 10 grocery chains in the country—has already begun breeding exclusively with polled bulls on its farms.
“While PETA advocates consuming soy and almond milks and vegan cheeses, Fair Oaks Farms’ decision is sparing calves the pain of dehorning,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman.
Cows struggle desperately and cry out in pain during dehorning, which is routinely performed without giving them any painkillers. Celebrities who have joined in PETA’s campaign against this practice include Casey Affleck, who narrates PETA’s video exposé of dehorning, and Ryan Gosling, who has called on the National Milk Producers Federation to phase out the cruel practice.