Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Play

Massachusetts steps up for Puerto Rico, the White House convenes its first hunger conference in more than 50 years, and hydroponics could be the future of tomatoes in California.

Play

Arizona's Sen. Kyrsten Simema defends the filibuster, the CBO says student loan forgiveness could cost $400 billion, and whistleblower Edward Snowden is granted Russian citizenship.

Play

The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts two winters across the U.S., the Inflation Reduction Act could level the playing field for rural electric co-ops, and pharmacies are dwindling in rural America.

Dairy Cow Tail-Docking Called “Inhumane Mutilation”

Play

Wednesday, January 8, 2014   

MADISON, Wis. - The Humane Society of the United States is calling for an end to the practice of cutting the tails off dairy cows, calling it painful and unnecessary.

Paul Shapiro, a vice president of the organization, sent a letter to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, calling for an end to tail-docking.

"There's no reason to cut cows' tails off," he said. "The science is overwhelming that there's no benefit to the cow or to the farmer of performing this mutilation - and yet still, the dairy industry continues it."

The Farm Bureau responded to the letter, saying tail-docking should remain a decision between farmers and their veterinarians.

Shapiro said tail-docking is a serious animal-welfare problem, adding that the practice is banned in several states.

"A number of other states - including California, Ohio, New Jersey and Rhode Island - have passed laws banning this inhumane and unnecessary practice of tail-docking of dairy cows," he said.

Some dairy producers say tail-docking helps with cleanliness and makes it easier to milk the cow, but a University of Wisconsin Agricultural Extension study concluded that the practice has no effect on cleanliness or milk quality.

Shapiro said the jury is "in" on this issue.

"The scientific literature is overwhelmingly clear that there is no benefit to tail-docking," he said. "There's no benefit to the cow. There's no benefit to the producer. It's a cruel and unnecessary practice that's opposed by the dairy industry's own trade group, the National Milk Producers Federation."

The American Veterinary Medical Association also opposes tail-docking.

Shapiro said the practice continues only because of superstition and tradition.

"If the dairy industry actually looked toward science-based guidelines for how they ought to treat cows," he said, "it would do away with tail-docking."

According to the state Department of Agriculture, there are nearly 1.3 million dairy cows in Wisconsin, and each generates about $21,000 worth of economic activity.

The University of Wisconsin study is online at milkquality.wisc.edu.


get more stories like this via email

Groups that track disinformation say purveyors sometimes back up their claims by referencing fake "think tanks," or by linking to other pages on their own website. (Feng Yu)

Social Issues

A Nevada democracy watchdog group said social media, blogs, websites and hyperpartisan news organizations are all working overtime to spread …


Social Issues

Education officials in Ohio want state leaders to invest in free school meals for all students. Pandemic-era federal waivers enabling schools to …

Environment

Agriculture researchers say if the U.S. wants more farmers to adopt climate-friendly practices, they will need to be offered some proven incentives…


Researchers say if states required more lighting and reflection on farm vehicles, traffic crashes involving this heavy equipment could decrease by more than half. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

As the fall harvest season takes shape in South Dakota, an agricultural specialist said there are many ways motorists and farmers can avoid crashes …

Social Issues

Massachusetts residents are being asked to step up, just as they did five years ago, to help their fellow Americans in Puerto Rico. The …

Nearly 640,000 people were considered food insecure in Washington state in 2020, according to the nonprofit Feeding America. (timonko/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

It's been more than 50 years since the White House held a gathering about the effects of hunger across the nation. In 1969, the White House held its …

Social Issues

By Caleigh Wells for KCRW.Broadcast version by Suzanne Potter for California News Service reporting for the KCRW-Public News Service Collaboration Wh…

Social Issues

As the midterm elections approach, there are concerns about whether Latino voters will turn out as much as they have in past elections. In New York…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021