For Immediate Release:
October 23, 2023
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Stirling-Rawdon, Ontario – Quality Cheese Inc.—which produces Bella Casara cheese sold at Loblaws and Longo’s—will no longer source milk from Stirling-Rawdon–based Ontario Water Buffalo Company after a damning PETA investigation into the farm revealed long-term neglect and mistreatment of buffaloes who were found confined to fly-ridden pens packed with feces. Loblaws contacted Quality Cheese after hearing from PETA and confirmed the cheesemaker’s decision to the group Friday.
“Soon after learning that neglect and filth run rampant at Ontario Water Buffalo Company, Quality Cheese made the business-savvy decision to cut ties with this filthy farm,” says PETA Vice President of Evidence Analysis Daniel Paden. “PETA urges anyone disgusted by these animals’ abuse to help end the suffering by choosing readily available vegan cheeses instead.”
This photo of a calf covered in waste and mud was given to PETA by a whistleblower and reportedly captured at Ontario Water Buffalo Company.
According to a whistleblower, a blind and immobile calf died after two weeks of neglect, female buffaloes were bred and milked even after suffering from prolapsed uteruses, calves were riddled with parasites, diarrhea was rampant, and many buffaloes were too weak to stand. The whistleblower also stated that one animal who had apparently fallen in the accumulated waste was dragged out of a pen with ropes to be milked and that another’s horn became so overgrown that it cut into her face, prompting a manager to cut it off, causing profuse bleeding. Other animals allegedly were routinely denied adequate veterinary care.
PETA corroborated the whistleblower’s account of filthy conditions by documenting on video farm owners admitting that the prolapsed uterus of a pregnant cow had been stitched back into her body and that a buffalo had lost part of an ear to frostbite in the winter. In September, another eyewitness documented that conditions were much the same as they had been earlier this year, with the summer heat bringing new horrors, including buffaloes—who love immersing themselves in water—having to resort to lying in a pit of fecal soup swarming with flies. This can lead to flystrike, in which flies—which are drawn to the waste—bite the animals and lay eggs in open wounds, leading to hatched maggots feeding on their skin and causing infections.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.