Recently Ryan Gosling spoke against the cruel practice of dehorning cattle for the dairy industry. And he got my attention!
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Ryan said: “Dehorning is one of the most painful things done to cows on dairy farms, whether it is by burning a calf with a searing hot iron or applying caustic paste to create a chemical burn that eats away at the animal's flesh."
I did some research and found out that dehorning methods include hot irons, wires, knives, tubes, cups, spoons, “Gougers,” guillotines or hand saws. Dehorning of adult cattle can cause increased risks of sinusitis, bleeding, prolonged wound healing and infection.
In calves younger than 8 months, the operation called “disbudding” involves places a searing hot iron or apply caustic paste to create chemical burns that destroy the baby horns of calves. Calves who are dehorned struggle, cry in pain, thrash, buck and sometimes collapse to the ground. Workers restrain them or put their heads in a metal apparatus to prevent the animal’s natural desire to escape pain. If this isn’t painful enough, animals may need to be dehorned a second time if some of the horn cells remain.
In the US, disbudding and dehorning of cattle and calves is not regulated.
Dehorning is painful because the corneal nerve, runs from behind the eye to the base of the horn. Studies show that dehorning causes acute pain response and delayed inflammatory reaction.
The American Veterinary Association states that all forms of dehorning cause pain in calves. The AVMA recently updated their position to advocate for the breeding of naturally hornless cattle and for the use of pain-relievers in infant cattle.
Because naturally hornless cattle breeds already exist, it is cruel and unnecessary for farmers to continue breeding calves that will need to be dehorned. The National Milk Producers Association should listen to the AVMA, many concered consumers, and Ryan Gosling to stop this gruesome practice of dehorning cattle.
Please sign the petition to join Ryan Gosling and ask the National Milk Producers Federation to stop dehorning cattle when alternatives do exist! Do they think consumers knowingly want to buy products that cause this kind of suffering?
Stephanie Marie Heckman started this petition with a single signature, and now has 1,285 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.