Published 20 November 2019
Hidden camera footage taken at a Victorian farm shows newborn goats being bludgeoned with a metal pole and dying slow deaths while their mothers look on.
Animal Liberation Victoria released the horrific vision today, saying the inhumane practice is not only an industry standard but also protected by law.
The group has launched a campaign calling on major brands to remove goat milk from their products, and the first target is Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr’s skincare brand Kora Organics.
“In this footage, babies that are 24 hours old or younger are slaughtered by blunt force trauma, which in this case is a metal pole slammed into their heads,” ALV campaign spokeswoman Emma Hakansson told news.com.au.
“You can hear the babies crying. Their mothers are watching. You can see the mothers checking on them.
“The babies are convulsing on the ground for some time after they’re hit.”
In a statement, Kora Organics said it no longer uses goat milk in any products.
“Kora Organics would never condone this appalling treatment of animals. We have no knowledge of our suppliers ever engaging in this behavior.
“Nevertheless, our only product that contained goat milk is a soap and it has been discontinued.”
The vision was captured over a four-week period from mid-September and illustrates how animal “wastage” is dealt with.
“No male animal is ever going to produce milk, only mothers do for their babies, and so almost all male animals are slaughtered just after their birth,” Ms Hakansson said.
“Most of the females are used to breed, but when mothers no longer produce milk at an efficient rate, they’re slaughtered as well.
“That’s why in the dead pile at the end of the footage, you can see both adults and babies.”
The farm in question could not be reached for comment.
A spokesperson for the RSPCA said its policy regarding humane killing of animals defined it as “instant” or “rendered insensible until death ensues without pain, suffering or distress”.
That includes ensuring methods don’t cause distress to other animals, the spokesperson said.
“RSPCA Australia is opposed to all inhumane methods of killing.
“The Victorian Code of accepted farming practice for the welfare of goats recommends humane destruction of kids using a captive bolt pistol, firearm or overdose of anaesthetic under veterinary supervision.
“The code also states that other methods of killing are unacceptable except under extreme conditions.”
Rates of wastage in the goat dairy industry aren’t known because reliable data isn’t recorded, but the vision shows that in a three-day period at the farm, 17 animals were slaughtered.
“That gives an indication,” Ms Hakansson said.
In Australia, 1.65 million goats were recorded as slaughtered in 2018, but ALV said many more are killed at farms but not counted in this total.
Farmed animals are exempt from strict regulations contained in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
Codes of practice maintained by the industry aren’t mandatory, and many even detail blunt force slaughter as “humane destruction” despite how long it takes goats to die.
Each week, the campaign will target a different brand, urging them to remove dairy from products to put pressure on the goat farming industry.
“People’s individual actions can make a huge difference,” Ms Hakansson said.
“We want to encourage people to make kinder choices. There are plant-based soaps, vegan cheeses, vegan milk — plenty of things that you can purchase that don’t support this kind of cruelty.”
original article > news.com.au by Shannon Molloy
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