Dairy Farmers of Ontario has reiterated its commitment to animal welfare after being targeted by a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) protest against the practice of dehorning.
Last week, PETA members gathered outside Dairy Farmers of Ontario’s AGM in Toronto to protest to the practice of dehorning by dairy farmers.
The animal rights group urged consumers to cut dairy from their diet in protest to the practice, which can involve the use of caustic paste, hot irons, saws and other cutting instruments to remove or stop the growth of horns on livestock.
Hollywood actors Casey Affleck and Ryan Gosling have given their backing to PETA’s anti-dehorning campaign, with the latter urging the US National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) to phase out of the practice by requiring farmers to breed naturally-hornless cattle.
“For years, the dairy industry has been selling us a bill of good about milk’s health benefits, when consuming dairy products not only supports animal abuse but also increases the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis,” said PETA campaigner, Emily Lavender, in a statement published prior to the protest.
Responding to the claims made by PETA, a spokesperson for Dairy Farmers of Ontario told DairyReporter.com that animal welfare is “at the heart of every dairy farm in Ontario.”
“Healthy comfortable dairy cows are important to all dairy farmers,” said the spokesperson.
“Canadian dairy farmers are leaders in animal welfare and the care of animals. We’re committed to continuously improving our animals’ welfare by investing in research and attending meetings like this to hear from experts to challenge us to do even better."