03/22/23 Cows Don't Go on Vacation, They Go to Slaughterhouses!
In accordance with “strict national and European regulations”, however, there is nothing royal about it
Animal Friends Croatia responds to the Croatian Dairy Association’s statement
In February this year, Animal Friends Croatia turned to Belje company and publicly accused it for deceiving the public by calling cows queens and by using their brand The Cow Queen. Although so far no response has been received from Belje itself, the Croatian Dairy Association issued a response to the protest held in front of Belje’s farm in Baranja. According to their statement, the Association understands the concern expressed by Animal Friends Croatia, pointing out, however, that milk production in Croatia is in line “with strict national and European regulations.”
Nevertheless, Animal Friends Croatia explains that even though routine practices in cow and calf treatment may be in accordance with national and European regulations, this does not diminish the animals’ tragic fate in the dairy industry. On the contrary, it affirms that such treatment cannot be considered as royal. Namely, social network posts by the Cow Queen brand go as far as claiming that their “queens” are traveling to the seaside for their hard-earned vacation “for a while”. “The only place those cows will ever see, apart from the farm where they are being exploited for milk, is – the slaughterhouse! Thus, telling the public that cows that are headed for slaughter are going on holiday constitutes mockery and deceit,” state Animal Friends Croatia poignantly.
In addition, they emphasize that no legal regulation obliges farmers to separate calves from cows immediately upon birth, but that this is rather farmers’ own choice. They maintain that rules, even if proscribed by law, are not necessarily ethical. All arguments point out to their claims that there is nothing royal about the dairy industry, and that calling cows queens represents cruel exaggeration.
Separating calves from their mothers immediately upon birth, a common practice at Belje and most other farms in Croatia means extreme stress for these sentient animals, often resulting in sad and frightened calling cries between mothers and their babies. The reason behind this practice is to prevent the calf from developing a breastfeeding habit, which, were these creatures humans, would be considered cruel. Lonely and separated from their mothers, calves desperately try to suck on parts of barn partitions, even farm employees’ fingers. Most often they do not even get to suck their first milk, the colostrum, directly from their mother but via a feeding machine.
In many cases, cows manifest explicit anxiety and sadness after being separated from their babies, which is reflected in their depression, apathy and food refusal. The majority of cows at dairy farms are continually exhausted, while their ‘production age’ is over by the time they are five years old. After this age, they are sent for slaughtering, while parts of their bodies are turned into meat products. Without constant fertilization, births and separation from their young, cows could live up to 15 or 20 years.
According to a public opinion survey, 85.1% of the Croatian public consider it deceitful to advertise dairy products with images of happy cows or cows living as queens, if this is not how they live in reality. In other words, the vast majority of our citizens agree with the stance taken by Animal Friends Croatia. The same opinion prevailed in a street survey the group conducted.
Animal Friends Croatia is calling on everyone to visit www.trazisekraljica.net to see a video on true practices in the dairy industry and a street survey video to find out more about cows and their calves in the dairy industry and how to help them.