Hollywood heartthrob and longtime PETA supporter Ryan Gosling was appalled to learn that dairy farmers routinely mutilate calves in a cruel process called dehorning. When he heard that workers burn away calves’ horn tissue with hot irons or caustic chemicals, gouge their horns out with sharp metal scoops, or chop off developed horns with guillotines and handsaws, he took his concerns straight to the top.
Ryan penned a letter to Jerry Kozak, the president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation, urging him to require farmers to phase out dehorning by breeding for polled, or naturally hornless, cattle.
Workers use a number of painful of methods to remove calves’ sensitive horn tissue—each one more horrifying than the last. Intense pain is evident from video footage that captured young calves as they bellow, struggle frantically, and collapse from fear and agony. And what’s more, dehorning is completely unnecessary, as Ryan outlined in his letter:
“As you know, there is a simple and humane alternative: breeding for polled cows. The American Veterinary Medical Association, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and third-party animal welfare auditing groups recognize the benefits of polled genetics for the dairy industry, so there is absolutely no reason—and no excuse—for the cruel, unnecessary practice of dehorning to continue. Please do the right thing and take action today.”
Dehorning is one of the most painful things done to cows used by the dairy industry, and the time has come to phase out this cruel mutilation.
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