“I produce pure Jersey, grass-fed, Animal Welfare Approved milk.” The AWA label, started in 2006 and now recognized by the USDA, is intended to assure consumers that meat and dairy products are produced on farms that are kind to animals. In contrast to the fairly intensive nature of dairy production overseas – where cows may be housed in sheds for their entire lives – most Australian dairy cows spend at least part of the day on green pasture. Steps 4, 5 and 5+ are raised outside on pasture. ", A worker drags a newborn calf by its legs away from its mother, A worker drags a newborn calf by its legs. Do you source milk from farmers who have a lameness and mastitis reduction strategy in place? Soil Association rules also say livestock must have access to water at all times and pipes checked regularly to make sure they are working. The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. Download our free Food Guide for more information about buying dairy products! “This can be a dangerous procedure as the tube can damage the throat and is potentially life-threatening if the tube goes into the lungs,” said Animal Equality. ​Coombe Farm organic dairy, which is certified by the Soil Association, supplied Waitrose with dairy products and was in the RSPCA Assured scheme, which guarantees higher welfare standards. “We always point out that even if their lives are better, they usually died in the same slaughterhouses as all other farmed animals. . “Thankfully welfare concerns on RSPCA Assured certified farms are extremely rare.”, Farmer Ash Whitney stands atop a tree as he cuts off branches to feed his cattle, A cow walks away from a water tank near the town of Tamworth in New South Wales, Farmer Scott Cooper drops hay for his cattle next to a dried-up creek on South Park farm, Tyre tracks from farmer Jimmie McKeown's truck can be seen on his drought ravaged land near the town of Walgett in New South Wales, Dead trees on Scott Cooper's South Park farm, Farmer Ash Whitney stands on the back of his truck as he feeds his cattle on his land near the town of Gunnedah in New South Wales, An irrigated paddock can be seen next to a ploughed paddock on a farm located on the outskirts of the town of Mudgee in New South Wales, A windmill and solar panels on Scott Cooper's South Park farm, An old bus used for storing farming equipment stands on farmer Ash Whitney's land near the town of Gunnedah in New South Wales, A kangaroo casts a shadow as it drinks from a water tank on Ash Whitney's farm, An old Sydney tram sits on Jimmie and May McKeown's land near the town of Walgett in New South Wales, Patterns created by a plough can be seen on Ash Whitney's farm, Farmer Ash Whitney stands in the middle of a dried-up dam, Sheeps eat grain on a farm near Tamworth in New South Wales, A road can be seen next to tracks leading to a water tank on Ash Whitney's farm, A lone tree stands near a water trough on Jimmie and May McKeown's farm. Step 3 requires some outdoor access. These hormones are banned in the EU because of human health concerns. The various practices recorded also breached the Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007 as well as guidelines from the environment department (Defra) and the RSPCA. 2. Overproduction of milk leads to severe welfare problems for dairy cow, including lameness and mastitis. Both Waitrose and the RSPCA suspended the farm after the footage was revealed, and the RSPCA apologised. To find out more see our cookies policy. Does the RSPCA have animal welfare standards for dairy production? It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. The nature of dairy farming in Australia means that animals generally aren’t affected by the same welfare concerns related to behavioural restriction faced by animals in intense confinement (such as can be experienced by layer hens, pigs, meat chickens, turkeys and ducks). As a result of selective breeding for higher milk yields, today’s dairy cows produce up to 12 times more milk than their bodies were designed to produce. Labels that say rBGH-free or rBST-free mean that the cows were not dosed with genetically-engineered hormones that increase milk production. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/does-the-rspca-have-animal-welfare-standards-for-dairy-production/. The Soil Association said in a statement after seeing the video that its recommendations were being implemented by the farm. In the US, the average dairy cow produces more than seven gallons of milk per day. Shackles are used in the dairy industry on cows that have suffered muscle or nerve damage during calving and would not otherwise be able to stand. Do you source milk from farmers who use pain management when disbudding calves? Compare what the UK retailers do. We'll keep you updated about our international campaigns, We promise not to spam you and you can unsubscribe anytime. Check out our “Know Your Labels” page for more details. Why are calves separated from their mother in the dairy industry? “That these harrowing scenes are from the much-romanticised organic farm will seem almost beyond belief.”. The calves will then build a natural vigour and resistance to infection.”. PP B1 Welfare of bobby calves destined for slaughter. Find out more about assurance schemes and what they do for animal welfare by downloading our Compassionate Food Guide. Find winning companies using higher welfare systems for dairy cows and dairy calves on our Good Dairy Awards website. Animal Equality’s UK director Dr Toni Shephard said: “This shows that organic certification is not about animal welfare – and consumers who believe that it is are being duped. “I would have expected Soil Association to suspend the farm until these problems have been resolved and confirmed by a further unannounced inspection. This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. You are using an outdated browser which we do not support. Cows belong in fields. Create a commenting name to join the debate, There are no Independent Premium comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, There are no comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts. But it did not suspend certification, meaning the farm may continue to provide dairy products with the SA logo and accreditation on. Organic standards permit the use of a stomach tube only on sick animals or those having difficulty feeding to ensure calves get the optimum amount of colostrum as soon as possible. That is shocking and unacceptable,” said Dr Shephard. Do you source milk from farms that don’t export breeding cows? You can also explore widely-available dairy alternatives, such as soy, coconut, or nut-based milk; cheese; yogurt; or desserts. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security. Footage shows how dairy cows are separated from their calves for milk production, (A worker drags a newborn calf by its legs), Australia's drought – the cancer eating away at farms, Consumers ‘duped over organic milk' as cruelty filmed at approved farm. Find out about the lives of cows and their calves. The workers seen doing the force-feeding clearly have no empathy with the calves and should not continue to be employed on the farm. Do you source milk from farmers who don’t induce calving? Cows have almost total 360-degree panoramic vision. The footage raised questions over the standards required by and enforced by the UK’s largest organic certification body, according to charity Animal Equality.