Danone North America Targeted by PETA for Cruel Dehorning of Calves

Horns Burned Off Calves’ Heads Means Terrifed Animals, Post Procedure Pain, Long Term Damage

For Immediate Release:
January 17, 2019

Audrey Shircliff 202-483-7382

White Plains, N.Y.

Today, PETA released an explosive video exposé of a worker on a farm in Wisconsin using a hot iron to burn the horn buds out of the heads of approximately 12-week-old. The Wisconsin farm worker failed to use any painkillers before the procedure, and while Danone says its farms do use them, PETA is now targeting the major dairy product retailer, calling dehorning and debudding inexcusable when Danone could require the use of polled cows (those bred without horns), and because burning or gouging horns and horn buds from a calf’s head is terrifying to the animal, causes post procedure pain, and results in damage to the calf’s sinuses. PETA is calling on Danone North America—the Broomfield–based maker of Dannon Yogurt, Horizon Organic Milk, Wallaby Organic Yogurt, and International Delight—to end the cruel practice.

PETA points out that dehorning is a common industry procedure that involves removing the sensitive horn tissue or horns from a calf’s skull using a hot iron, caustic chemicals that burn through bone, sharp metal scoops to gouge out the horn buds, blades, and handsaws. Each method causes pain long after time the horns or horn buds are removed from the skull, and all are known to damage the animal’s sinuses.

“Gentle calves subjected to this hideously cruel procedure are left traumatized and suffering after their horn tissue is burned or dug out of their skulls,” says PETA Senior Director of Corporate Affairs Anne Brainard. “PETA is calling on Danone to reduce the myriad cruelties in the dairy industry by using only naturally hornless cattle.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way”—notes that there’s no way of eliminating the pain caused by dehorning. Burning calves’ heads with hot irons—as shown in this footage—causes third-degree burns that can remain painful for weeks.

Broadcast-quality video footage from the investigation is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.


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