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Kids on dairy farms are castrated with no pain relief


At Enson Farm goats suffer disbudding without pain relief or a vet – this is illegal


“pain and distress” and urges it be used as little as possible. At the very least, it pleads for pain relief to be given. It wasn’t. We also filmed female kids being


‘disbudded’ by having their horn buds burnt out. A worker holds a baby animal over her lap, pushing the kid’s neck into her leg as she forces the heated device down into the skull. The little creature struggles and cries. Kid after kid bleats and screams throughout the process. Disbudding is “painful and


dairy goat farms are ‘zero-grazing’ (Upper Enson is unusual) for reasons of convenience and money. Nanny goats have to be wormed when grazed outside, which means withdrawing their milk from sale for a week. Most farmers are not prepared to sacrifice this money.


stressful” (FAWC) and The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 requires that it be undertaken by a veterinary surgeon, recommending it be done under general anaesthesia. This wasn’t the case at the suppliers of Delamere Farm – a dairy which has many of its products approved by the Vegetarian Society. “With goats (disbudding) is a veterinary


procedure. It is virtually impossible to anaesthetise the horn buds using a local anaesthetic and general anaesthesia is therefore necessary.” Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, 2011. Female kids at Bromes Farm are kept


for milking – to join the hundreds of adult nanny goats who have almost no environmental enrichment, nothing to play with, nothing to climb and are never allowed out to graze. Most large-scale UK


enrichment, nothing to play with, nothing to climb and are never allowed out to graze


(they) have almost no environmental


Author and goat farmer Alan Mowlem


candidly explains another reason why grazing is not favoured: “Young lambs seem intent on feeding and growing. Goat kids, however, seem more intent on having a good time and spend a lot of time playing and investigating their environment. When doing this they are not only using up more energy but are also eating less.” Goats are active and inquisitive. It has


been said that sheep are conformists whereas goats are capricious, unpredictable, flighty, impulsive and


whimsical. The word capricious comes from the Latin for goat (capra). Put into a new field, goats will examine the perimeter and finding a gap they will escape! It is shameful that these highly intelligent, playful, endlessly curious animals are increasingly being factory farmed across the industrialised world. UK sales of goat dairy products are increasing and currently, 70,000 are kept for dairy products, 10,000 for meat and 10,000 for fibre. Delamere Dairy sells goat milk


products to almost every supermarket in the UK, including Sainsburys, Tesco, Waitrose, Co- op, Budgens, Asda, M&S and Whole Foods. Not only do they claim to have exceptionally high animal welfare standards but also


make some pretty grand health assertions!


Good for health? Stop kidding "For those people who experience cows' milk intolerance, goats' milk is an ideal substitute…” Delamere boast on their web site. Others claim that it is also perfect for people with cows’ milk allergies. But what does the science say? Goats’ milk has virtually the same


lactose (sugar) content as cows’ milk! continued on page 28 www.viva.org.uk 17


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