Dean Foods Must Stop Its Suppliers From Mutilating Calves on Dairy Farms, PETA Says

Shareholder Question Asks Company to Stop Painfully Gouging Horns out of Calves' Heads When There's a Better Alternative

For Immediate Release:
May 13, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Dallas – Dean Foods’ dairy suppliers destroy or remove calves’ horns or horn tissue by using searing-hot irons or caustic chemicals or by cutting or gouging the horns out of the animals’ heads as the calves thrash in pain, as seen in this video narrated by actor Casey Affleck. All these excruciatingly painful procedures are typically performed without the use of any painkillers. That’s why PETA, which has purchased stock in Dean Foods, will ask the company at its annual meeting in Dallas on Wednesday to breed for polled (hornless) cows and phase out dehorning.

When:   Wednesday, May 14, 10 a.m.

Where:  Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St. (near the intersection with Flora Street), Dallas

“Calves experience excruciating pain when their horns are gouged out of their skulls or their horn tissue is burned out without painkillers,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Dean Foods can insist that its suppliers end these hideous mutilations, and PETA wants other shareholders to help us compel the company to do so.”

The struggling of calves during dehorning increases the risk of additional trauma and blood loss. The resulting wounds are also prone to infection and fly larvae infestations. By breeding for polled cattle—which causes at least half the calves to be born hornless—dairy farmers can eliminate this cruel practice. The gene for polled cattle is dominant, so it can stay in the herd.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind