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Cruelty To Cows Exposed: The True Cost Of Milk

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Extreme violence and neglect uncovered on a UK dairy farm

Covert filming by an Animal Equality investigator has revealed disturbing undercover footage of deliberate violence and neglect on Madox Farm, a large dairy farm in Carmarthenshire, South Wales. The troubling scenes include workers kicking and punching cows in the face and stomach, and hitting them with metal shovels. The footage was broadcast to millions of people on BBC One’s Panorama. Milk from the farm is supplied to Freshways, the UK’s largest independent dairy processor and wholesaler. Freshways distributes dairy products to established retailers and businesses including Costa Coffee, British Airways, Londis, Budgens and P&O Cruises.

Workers kicking cow

Violence towards lame and injured cows by farm workers was frequent during our investigation. Cows were routinely kicked and hit in the face and stomach in attempts to get them to move.

Workers twisting cow's tail

Their sensitive tails were pulled and twisted, inflicting significant pain.

Worker hits cow with shovel

Workers were also caught hitting cows with metal shovels, and one repeatedly jabbed a cow with a sharp knife.

Cow dragged out and shot

Cows who were too weak or injured to stand were lifted by their hips and dragged across the cold concrete floor.

Cow hoisted and dragged across concrete floor

As a sick cow was dragged along the shed floor to be shot, farm workers laughed, one saying that they would all be having “cow for dinner”.

Cow with stomach tube inserted, bleeding

Another cow was goaded and hit in the face with a stomach tube by a laughing worker, before they forced the tube down her throat. She bled from an internal injury which was not checked or treated.

Dying cow in mud

On several occasions the farm knowingly left sick cows to suffer severely, delaying action despite a veterinarian on site recommending prompt euthanasia.

Cow suffering with dead calf inside her

One cow was left in excruciating pain after her unborn calf died inside her. She died in agony overnight.

We’re fed a fairy-tale about dairy farming, but the reality is far darker. Consumers are being conned.

Abigail Penny
Executive Director, Animal Equality UK

This is some of the most alarming animal abuse and neglect that I have encountered during my time as a veterinary surgeon. There is no doubt in my mind that these cows would have suffered significantly and that their prolonged pain was entirely avoidable.

Marc Abraham OBE

Take action to help animals

Animal Equality has investigated over 40 farms and slaughterhouses in the UK since 2011 and we have found a shocking lack of regard for their welfare in every single facility. The UK is failing animals and it’s time for the Government to act. The public puts its faith in accreditation schemes, awards and authorities, but consumers are being conned. The truth is animal suffering takes place across all farms by this industry that consistently prioritises profits, and whether it’s a small-scale organic farm or an intensive one, animal suffering can never truly be avoided.

Our body of evidence is piling up and we are demanding that the Government puts in place specific, critical changes to the law to license farms, increase inspections and increase protections for farmed animals. We must ensure that existing animal welfare regulations are strongly enforced and that animal abusers are held accountable. Join our call by signing the petition today!