請願信:促請城大保護農場牛隻、承諾不殺不棄 CityU: Ensure the Welfare of Dairy Cows; Do not Slaughter or Abandon

請願信:促請城大保護農場牛隻、承諾不殺不棄 CityU: Ensure the Welfare of Dairy Cows; Do not Slaughter or Abandon

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致香港城市大學校長郭位教授、賽馬會動物醫學及生命科學院署理院長Vanessa Barrs教授:

貴校最近從澳洲引入母牛產奶,並會把牛乳製成商品出售,此舉與近年牛奶產業走向式微、植物奶大行其道的全球趨勢脫節 (調查估計,全球植物奶市場將以15%的年均複合增長率急劇增長),明顯欠缺前瞻性。牛奶產業一直為人詬病,牛隻終身被困狹小的農場,動保組織不時揭露牛隻在農場遭殘酷虐待,身心飽受極大痛苦。再者,畜牧業不止是全球最大虐待動物的元兇,更是加劇全球暖化、破壞雨林、耗用珍貴水資源的罪魁禍首。

牛隻本應在草原自由生活,絕非為人類圖利的產奶機器,根本不應被困在農場。雖然   貴校與動物保護團體溝通時重申牛隻福利和健康最為重要、會保障牠們的「五大自由」*;但母牛被強迫懷孕、搾奶,誕下小牛後隨即被迫母子分離,這都對牛隻身心帶來極大創傷,與   貴校保護牛隻福利的承諾背道而馳。我們懇請   貴校能釐清以下疑問,釋除公眾疑慮,確保農場內的動物福利:

強迫懷孕、搾奶:母牛在懷孕時才會分泌母乳,小母牛約15個月大便會被強迫進行人工受孕,即以人手拿著輸精槍伸入牛隻的直腸和子宮,導入精液。一般牛隻夀命可達20年,但長年的強迫懷孕和擠奶使母牛身心俱疲,工業化農場的母牛約5歲便會因奶質變差或奶量下降、「失去價值」而被送往屠宰。

  • 請問   貴校農場如何減低人工受孕過程對母牛的痛楚和困擾?
  • 如母牛身體出現問題、未能產奶,或農場不斷繁殖牛隻至可應付的能力上限,農場有何指引應對?會否殺掉牛隻 (例如不能產奶的母牛)?

被迫骨肉分離:小牛需要母牛哺乳長達一年,並與母親保持多年的親密聯繫。但幾乎所有在工業化養殖的小牛,在出生後數小時內就會被帶離母親,這對母牛和小牛都造成極大痛苦,對小牛的身體和社交發展帶來長期影響。

  • 請問   貴校農場的小牛是否從一出生就與母親生活,並讓母牛持續哺乳至小牛自然斷奶?

作為香港唯一的獸醫學院,其目的不應止於傳授獸醫知識,更要肩負道德重任,讓下一代謹記尊重、保護動物的使命。懇請  貴校以此機會向香港市民,以至全球畜牧業示範何謂「『大自然』、『人類』及『動物』和諧共存」的農場模式,為農場牛隻作出以下承諾:

  1. 除非牛隻遭受難以忍受的痛楚,否則農場必須照顧所有牛隻直至自然死亡,不殺不棄;
  2. 讓母牛和其子女共同生活,不會強行分離;
  3. 提供充足的清潔食水、高纖維食糧,以及醫護保健 (如定期修蹄、驅蟲、疫苗注射等);
  4. 提供足夠、衛生又舒適的活動空間 (包括室內和室外),讓牛隻能夠表現其自然行為;
  5. 不以任何理由傷害牛隻身體,禁用工業化農場常見做法 (如除角、斷尾、釘耳牌等);
  6. 不再繁殖和引入更多母牛及其他動物作圖利之用;
  7. 把學校農場轉型為動物收容所,用作救助受傷、被遺棄動物,而非支持畜牧業發展的基地;
  8. 公開牛隻照料和教研的指引細則、牛隻健康紀錄,以提高農場運作的透明度,供公眾監察;
  9. 成立校內動物福利委員會,確保獸醫學院所飼養和照料的動物擁有良好福利。

* 動物福利的「五大自由」:免於飢渴的自由、免於因環境而承受痛苦的自由、免於痛苦或傷病的自由、表達天性的自由、免於恐懼不安的自由。

參與團體:
動物生命糾察隊
豚聚一家 
不吃動物的人 
香港零皮草行動 
香港牛物種保育協會
牛牛義工聯盟
救救港豬 
香港救援鳩鴿及雀鳥
香港野豬關注組 
牛歡喜 
毛守救援
PETA亞洲善待動物組織
地球共惜 
十四鄉牛牛 - 西貢

_______________________________

Dear Professor Way Kuo (President of City University of Hong Kong) and Professor Vanessa Barrs (Acting Dean of the Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences),

As concerned citizens of Hong Kong, we are writing in response to your school’s recent introduction of a dairy herd from Australia in a plan to produce dairy products for sale. The project clearly lacks vision, when worldwide the plant-based movement is gaining traction and the dairy industry is in decline (studies show the plant-based milk market is expanding rapidly at a compound annual growth rate of 15%). The industry has been chastised for the exploitation of dairy cows. Animal rights groups often expose that cows endure enormous suffering, being incarcerated in small spaces and abused brutally. Meanwhile, animal agriculture is a leading cause of climate change, deforestation, water scarcity, and more.

Cows are born to roam free on pastures; not to be imprisoned as milking machines for human interests. While conferring with animal rights groups, your school reiterated the commitment to promote their welfare and safeguard their “Five Freedoms”*. However, the farm’s practices contrasted sharply with these promises, as forcible impregnation, milking, and mother-calf separation apparently cause the cows immense physical and mental suffering. We appeal to you, to address our concerns for the following, so as to ensure the welfare of the farmed animals.

Forcible impregnation and milking

Cows only produce milk once they are impregnated. In the farming industry, female calves as young as 15 months of age are artificially inseminated, most commonly by farmers forcibly inserting their arm inside her anus and injecting a bull’s semen into her. Cows can live up to 20 years. However, due to the strain placed on their bodies by repeated impregnation and milking, cows become “spent”, or “infertile”, after around five years and are sent to slaughter when they are no longer deemed “profitable” to the farmer.

  • How does your farm minimize the pain and distress brought by the insemination process?
  • When the cows are unable to produce milk because of health issues, or when the farm is filled to capacity by excessive breeding, how will your farm treat them? Will any of them be slaughtered?

Mother-calf separation

Mother cows suckle their calves for up to one year. Their maternal bond lasts for years. However, in commercial dairy farming, calves are taken away from their mother normally within hours of their birth. This separation causes them both deep psychological distress. It also has long-term effects on the calves’ physical and social development.

  • Does your farm allow the calves to live with their mother, drink from their mother until weaning?

As the only veterinary college in Hong Kong, its mission should not be limited to passing on the subject expertise, but to also fulfill a moral obligation – to cultivate a proper regard for animals and their protection in our next generation. It is our hope that your farm can provide a model of how nature, humankind and animals can coexist harmoniously, to the people of Hong Kong, and to the global livestock sector. We urge your school to pledge the following:

  1. Unless the cows suffer unbearable pain, take good care of them until they die of natural causes. Do not slaughter or abandon.
  2. Let the calves stay with their mothers. Do not separate them.
  3. Provide the cows with adequate clean water, fibrous feed, and medical care (including hoof trimming, anthelmintic treatments and inoculation). 
  4. Provide the cows with adequate indoor and outdoor space that is clean and comfortable, so that they can express their natural behaviors.
  5. Do not mutilate the cows for any reason. Prohibit cruel industrial practices (e.g. debudding, tail docking and ear tagging).
  6. Do not breed or introduce any more cows or other animals for gain.
  7. Transition the farm to a sanctuary to rescue injured and abandoned animals. Stop serving as a base of development for animal agriculture.
  8. Publicize the guidelines on cattle care and veterinary research, and the health records of the herd, to ensure greater transparency of the farm’s operations to provide for public supervision.
  9. Set up an animal welfare committee, to ensure adequate welfare provision to all the animals raised by the veterinary college.

*The ‘Five Freedoms’ in animal welfare refer to the “Freedom from Hunger”, “Freedom from Discomfort”, “Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease”, “Freedom to Express Natural Behaviors”, “Freedom from Fear and Distress”.

Participating Groups:
Animal Life Guard Action Group
Dolphin Family
Friend of Animal
Fur Free Hong Kong
Hong Kong Bovid Conservation Association
Hong Kong Cattle Ranger
Hong Kong Pig Save
Hong Kong Pigeon and Dove Rescue
Hong Kong Wild Boar Concern Group
Joy Cow
Paws Guardian Rescue Shelter
PETA Asia
Planet For All
Shap Sze Heung Moo Moo - Sai Kung

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