Kroger Joins Trend Toward Ending Cow Mutilations

After Talks With PETA, Grocery Chain Moves to Stop Painful Dehorning of Calves

For Immediate Release:
August 4, 2015

Shakira Croce 202-483-7382

Cincinnati – After learning from PETA that calves and cows on dairy farms have their horn tissue burned out of their heads or their horns gouged out with sharp metal scoops, Kroger has come out in support of polled, or naturally hornless, cattle—paving the way for the elimination of the cruel dehorning process in the Cincinnati-based company’s supply chain. Kroger is the second-largest grocery chain in the country.

In its newly updated corporate social responsibility report, Kroger writes, “[S]everal leading dairy farms that Kroger sources from are integrating a significant portion of polled bulls into their herds. Kroger is encouraging this transition as increased acceptance of this practice evolves.”

“While PETA encourages everyone to choose vegan milks and cheeses, we also push to reduce animal suffering wherever it occurs,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “We’re pleased that after 3 years of working with Kroger behind the scenes, it has taken action to help spare many calves the immense pain of having their horn tissue burned out of their heads.”

Other food companies that have recently addressed dehorning include General Mills, Denny’s, Dannon, Aramark, Starbucks, Nestlé, and Dunkin’ Brands (which owns Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins). Since PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—began working behind the scenes with companies on this issue three years ago, the number of polled Holstein bulls in the U.S. has increased eightfold. The Holstein Association USA’s CEO recently acknowledged, “There is more interest in milk coming from polled Holstein cows than ever before! The catalyst for the growing interest and demand isn’t necessarily coming from dairymen but from the consumer.”

As revealed in Casey Affleck’s video exposé, cows struggle desperately and cry out in pain during dehorning, which is routinely performed without giving them any painkillers.

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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