Animal Aid


Posted 15 October 2003

Animal Aid, the UK's largest animal rights organisation, is backing plans by Farmers for Action (FFA) to blockade the country's main milk processing sites.

In protest at what dairy farmers regard as unfair payment from the five main dairy processors, FFA, the group behind the petrol station protests of 2000 which caused chaos up and down the UK, is currently organising pickets outside the processing plants. The group is now threatening to step up its tactics by completely cutting off the nation's milk supply.

Animal Aid welcomes the FFA action, seeing a dairy drought as an opportunity for the nation to sample healthy, cruelty-free alternatives to cow's milk such as soya, rice and oat milks instead.

In order to yield the vast quantities of milk demanded by the modern industry, dairy cows are subjected to a constant cycle of pregnancies. Male calves, the unwanted 'by-products' of dairy farming, are taken from their mothers at just a few days old and destroyed, so that the milk meant for them can be bottled for human consumption. 'Prime' female calves are sent off to join the production line where they will be milked to the point of exhaustion and killed at around three years of age. Lameness is endemic on dairy farms and mastitis, a painful infection of the udders, runs rife. Mixed into that bottle of 'white stuff' is likely to be a cocktail of pus and blood cells from infected udders and antibiotics used to keep the cows 'healthy'.

It is not only animals who suffer: dairy products are now known to be a major allergen and can cause a range of symptoms such as stomach cramps, migraine and excessive mucous production, as well as contributing to much more serious diseases including kidney stones, childhood diabetes and breast cancer. Millions of people around the world recognise they are 'lactose intolerant' and avoid all dairy products for health reasons.

Said Animal Aid Director, Andrew Tyler:

"This time we're rooting for the farmers. We would be delighted if the blockade goes ahead. Cutting off the supply of a product that causes pain to both humans and animals can only be a good thing."

Notes to Editors

  • For more information contact Andrew Tyler or Claudia Tarry on 01732 364546.

  • We have an ISDN line for broadcast-quality interviews.

  • For background information on the dairy industry see the suffering of farmed cattle.

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