“Calls for Calf Killing Practice to be Banned” in New Zealand, 2010

Dead calves

Manuka’s dead calves in Chile

Following our earlier article about New Zealand’s inhumane dairying practices in Chile we’d like to draw your attention to this news item from TVNZ, dated 1 August 2010.

Calls for calf killing practice to be banned (2010)

A practice that’s been undertaken for generations by New Zealand’s dairy farmers threatens to tarnish our international reputation and could threaten our exports.

Dairy farmers deliberately birth thousands of calves prematurely each year in a practice known as “inducing”. The vet gives the cows two injections, so their calves will be born 8-12 weeks premature. It’s done to get all cows in a herd to calve at the same time, and produce milk earlier. It means many calves are born dead, but some are born still alive and have to be euthanised…

Hans Kriek from SAFE is among the critics calling for the practice to be banned.

“No one actually realises what we do in this industry and how cruel it actually is,” he told ONE News. “New Zealand could seriously pay a price over this, so it’s really in the dairy industry’s own interests to stop this practice.” source

From our Twitter stream 24/1/2014

It looks today as if that price has began to be paid with the publication of graphic photographs of the NZ company Manuka’s slaughtered and aborted calves in Chile.

The Manuka firm is questioned about the alleged murders of more than six thousand animals after induced abortions in search of quick milk production…

According to workers, the cows are milked four times a day and female calves feed on artificial substitutes. What about the males? They have other destination…” source

more dead cows

Not only are the animals being treated inhumanely but the workers are also suffering:

“Not only are dead animals the victims, but also victims here are workers who suffer serious psychological injury because they have to follow orders imparted to them from management to perform these killings through different mechanisms, “said a deputy, stating further that it was unfortunate that the government, having the portfolios of Agriculture, Labor and SAG with all background, knowingly acted without doing anything about it… source

Here’s how it was reported in NZ, note how there is no mention of induced abortions near full term, which are still legal in New Zealand?

A New Zealand dairy company is reportedly being investigated by Chilean authorities over allegations it inhumanely slaughtered thousands of calves it couldn’t use for milk production.

Manuka, which owns 22,500ha of land and employs 340 people in the South American country, has been splashed across Chilean newspapers alongside photographs of dead calves lying in pits…

Calves were allegedly slaughtered within days of birth to ensure they did not consume any milk destined for sale, with workers forced to let them starve, cut their throats or beat them with heavy objects, according to media reports.

They were then buried in “clandestine cemeteries”, one newspaper reported…” source

Manuka is a dairy investment syndicate investing in Chile. It is that country’s biggest milk producer and has 130 mostly Kiwi shareholders, notably former Fonterra chairman Henry van der Heyden (who practiced calf abortions on his own Putaruru farm) and director Mark Townshend (one of the founding directors of Fonterra). source

One of its other directors, Arthur Bryan, said in 2011.

Today Manuka’s Chilean operation includes 17,500 milking cows, 35 operating cowsheds, assets around US$300m, about 25pc of milk produced by share-milkers and 215 employees.

Mr Bryan said the company was land-rich with 7000ha effectively milked today and on track to expand to 16,000 ha by 2019.

“There’s no reason for the company to stop at those boundaries,” he said.

Mr Bryan puts success down to a strong management team and structure and positive human resource environment…

One property Manuka bought had been run as an inefficient dairy enterprise.

“They had autumn and spring calving but autumn calving went from first of January to the first of June and spring calving went from the first of June to the first of January,” Mr Bryan joked…

Chile also welcomed foreign investment and had a stable efficient tax system.

“As it turned out, Chile was signing a reciprocal tax agreement with NZ so tax paid in Chile was credited against tax here in NZ,” Mr Bryan said.

“Obviously we needed good soils for the type of farming and a climate with reasonably well distributed rainfall and suitable temperatures to replicate the NZ grassland model because that’s what we knew and understood.” source

This is a rough Google Translation about Chile adopting NZ farming practices – it seems that the retention and sale of valuable Colostrum may be the cause. Chile also traditionally sells off its unwanted calves to buyers who will raise them to maturity rather than euthanize them:

” In addition to the harm to animals, there is tremendous damage to the image of the national dairy producer.

These are not common practices in domestic production, they are part of the practice of production systems that are brought in from other countries.

An expert explained the DNA test, stressing that the local system was to “normally raise calves on the colostrum the mother gives them , so as to ensure the survival of the calf and offer a product.

The calf is called a product because it seems to Manuka is trying to generate a product that can be sold later. The person who picks up the calf or buys it, has the ability to breed , fatten and generate business fattening or livestock .


John urdebienes | 3 hours ago
When I read this, I almost fell off the chair. Many people who have land can adopt these animals and get food from them. I think something is very wrong in Chile , freedom in the economy has become debauchery. Celluloses killing the environment, poisoning everything, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides ruining water tables forever, without sea fauna. They do not realize what they are doing. That there is a president , a congress and a court that allows this is incredibly stupid. They are potentially killing future generations. It is absolute evil

From Safe.org.nz

About 40 per cent of New Zealand dairy farmers induce healthy cows, with veterinarians contracted to induce abortions by injection.

Approximately 100,000 calves are induced annually solely for economic gain, with serious welfare implications for the cow and calf.

The theory is that the calves will be born dead. However, premature calves can be born alive, (and with the right care could survive), requiring the farmer to kill them.

It was revealed in 2010 that even dairy giant Fonterra’s then-CEO induces calves, although the company states that it is opposed to the controversial practice. Despite this and a statement from National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) in 2010 that induction “has the potential to affect the welfare of both cow and calf adversely”, calf induction is still legal and practised in New Zealand.

Currently the industry finds it acceptable for farmers to induce 4% of their herds…