PETA Shareholder Resolution to Call On Dean Foods to End Cow Mutilations

Group Will Grill Company Execs at Annual Meeting About Dairy Suppliers’ Painful Dehorning of Calves

For Immediate Release:
May 14, 2013

David Perle 202-483-7382

Dallas — Dairy giant Dean Foods’ 2013 annual meeting will include a statement from a representative of PETA, which owns stock in the company, in support of a shareholder resolution filed by the group. PETA will call on Dean Foods to require that its dairy suppliers begin phasing out dehorning, a painful process in which calves have their horns gouged out or their horn tissue burned out of their heads. PETA will point out how breeding for naturally hornless, or polled, cows—which is an established industry practice—eliminates one of the most painful things done to cows on dairy farms.

When:   Wednesday, May 15, 10 a.m.

Where:  Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St., Dallas

“Calves endure excruciating pain when their horns are gouged out or their sensitive horn tissue is burned off by dairy suppliers,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Instead of standing idly by, Dean Foods should be taking action to help phase out this painful mutilation of baby cows.”

As shown in PETA’s dehorning video exposé, narrated by Academy Award nominee Casey Affleck, workers on dairy farms burn searing-hot irons into calves’ heads to destroy horn tissue or use sharp instruments or other tools to saw, gouge, or cut out a horn and sometimes the surrounding tissue. Cows struggle desperately and cry out in pain during these procedures, which are routinely performed without giving them any painkillers. By breeding for polled cattle—which causes at least half the calves to be born hornless—dairy farmers can eliminate this cruel procedure.

Dean Foods is the nation’s largest milk bottler. Its dairy products are sold under more than 50 brands, including Borden, Pet, Country Fresh, and Meadow Gold.

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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