Whistleblower: Buffaloes Suffocate in Feces at Mozzarella Cheese Supplier to Loblaws, Longo’s

For Immediate Release:
October 16, 2023

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Stirling, Ontario

Bella Casara’s buffalo mozzarella—sold at supermarket chains Loblaws and Longo’s—is caught up in a damning PETA investigation revealing long-term neglect and mistreatment of buffaloes at its milk supplier, where the animals were found confined to fly-ridden pens packed with feces and, according to a whistleblower, some had prolapsed uteruses and open wounds and some calves suffocated in their own waste. Photos are available here, and video footage is available here.

PETA submitted evidence of these apparent violations of the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act at Ontario Water Buffalo Company to Provincial Animal Welfare Services in April, but the neglect continues, as this video footage from September shows. Based on these findings, the group filed a second complaint with Provincial Animal Welfare Services.

This photo of a calf covered in waste and mud was given to PETA by a whistleblower and reportedly taken at Ontario Water Buffalo Company.

A whistleblower reported that 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 became so weak that they couldn’t 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 twice visiting the facility, where the group also documented 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. Earlier this month, PETA documented that conditions were much the same, 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.

“The animals at Ontario Water Buffalo Company seem to suffer and die in misery, with mothers forced to give birth repeatedly until their bodies give out and their calves left to be smothered in mounds of manure,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA urges anyone disgusted by this abuse to call on Loblaws and Longo’s to consider whether the pain of these buffaloes is worth the cheese on their shelves and to help end all such suffering by choosing readily available vegan cheeses instead.”

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.

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