PepsiCo Calls On Dairy Suppliers to End Cow Mutilations

After Talks With PETA, America's Largest Food and Beverage Company Supports Eliminating Dehorning by Breeding for Naturally Hornless Cattle

For Immediate Release:
August 10, 2016

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Purchase, N.Y. – After learning from PETA about the common industry practice of dehorning—in which the horn tissue of calves and cows is burned off or gouged out of their heads—Purchase-based PepsiCo has amended its animal-welfare policy to encourage the use of polled, or naturally hornless, cattle.

In its updated animal-welfare policy, PepsiCo writes:

PepsiCo supports the advancement of polled genetics and breeding programs for dairy cattle. These efforts can eliminate the need for dehorning and disbudding, providing a safer environment for both animals and caretakers. PepsiCo encourages its fluid milk suppliers to begin to incorporate these genetics into their herds.

“The single best way to make the world a kinder place for cows is to go vegan, but PepsiCo’s move will go far to spare cows immense pain when their horn tissue is burned off,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is working with food companies around the world to push them to adopt the simple but important practice of breeding for naturally hornless cattle.”

PepsiCo is America’s largest food and beverage company by net revenue and the second-largest food and beverage company in the world. Other companies that have recently addressed dehorning after hearing from PETA include General Mills, Denny’s, Dannon, Aramark, Starbucks, Nestlé, and Dunkin’ Brands, which owns Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins.

A 2015 survey by the University of Wisconsin–Extension Dairy Team showed that polled genetics are now used by 18 percent of dairy farmers and another 27 percent say that they are interested in learning more about polled genetics. When 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 four years ago, only 1 percent of cows on dairy farms were polled.

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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