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Australian Dairy Calf Cruelty Investigation

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Young calves pushed, shocked with electric prods, hit and dragged up a metal ramp to be slaughtered... Some, too weak to stand, are thrown into the slaughter chute. This shocking footage, provided to Animals Australia, was taken at an abattoir in Northern Victoria.

Upon receiving the footage, Animals Australia lodged a formal complaint with the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) for breaches of Victorian animal cruelty laws and the illegal use of an electric prod on a calf. A formal complaint was also lodged with PrimeSafe for breaches of the Australian Standards governing welfare at abattoirs; PrimeSafe ordered the practices cease immediately. Investigations have now concluded -- incredibly, no charges have been laid. Instead, the abattoir owners and several workers were issued with formal warnings by DPI.

This exposure of abattoir cruelty, the latest in a string over the past 15 months, further demonstrates the urgent need for constant monitoring by Government veterinary officers and CCTV in all abattoirs.

These young, vulnerable animals suffered not only because of illegal cruelty -- but, crucially, because they were not wanted by the commercial dairy industry. Hundreds of thousands of Australian bobby calves are slaughtered each year as 'waste products' of the dairy industry. The terrible treatment at this abattoir is not the first, nor will it be the last time that calves will be thrown, dragged and abused. Their inability as babies to comprehend what is required of them, whether during loading for transport or up the races of slaughterhouses, requires them to be treated with compassion and patience -- two human traits rarely witnessed when it comes to dealing with unwanted and 'worthless' animals.

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