Animal Aid

Supermarkets Slammed Over Goat Cruelty

Posted 19 November 2007

An undercover investigation by Animal Aid has revealed the shocking suffering of goats on farms whose milk and cheeses are sold by leading supermarkets. The campaign group visited three goat farms – in Dorset, Monmouthshire and Yorkshire – during October and November 2007 and were horrified at the scenes they witnessed.

At one farm, a mother lay dead in the dirt with a bullet in her head. Her newborn kid huddled beside her body. A second shot goat lay alongside the pair.

A second visit to this farm revealed scenes equally tragic. Pregnant goats were penned with nursing mothers. On the dirty straw at their feet, lay two dead kids, either stillborn or who perished shortly after birth. No farmer or vet was in attendance. One farm says it sends its unwanted kids to the local hunt kennels for hound-feed.

Some goats – at farms supplying Sainsbury, Tesco and Waitrose – had grotesquely distended udders which left them unable to walk or stand properly, while young kids at the Welsh farm had recently undergone ‘disbudding’, a painful procedure acknowledged by one industry authority to be dangerous and life-threatening.

Goats at all three farms are ‘zero grazed’ – an industry term meaning permanently confined. At the largest goat farm in the country, 3,500 goats are confined all year round.

Says Animal Aid Head of Campaigns, Kate Fowler-Reeves:

‘The public is being conned into believing that goats’ milk and cheese are sophisticated, humane alternatives to dairy products from cows. But behind the cheerful labels, lies a story of vile and inexcusable animal cruelty.'

‘Dead kids alongside pregnant and nursing mothers, a kid abandoned to die, mothers shot and dumped, the shocking filth, squalor and cramped conditions of factory farms, and the fact that these intelligent, inquisitive creatures are denied all freedom, gives the lie to supermarket claims that animal welfare matters to them.'

‘Don’t be fooled. Boycott goat products.’

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