Cow's milk is produced by specifically bred dairy cows with each one averaging 8,004 liters of milk per year. For a dairy cow to produce milk they must have been impregnated and given birth.

Living Conditions

Dairy cows are kept in a broad variety of conditions from outdoor pasture to intensive indoor farms

Age at Death

Dairy cows are killed when their milk production declines

Females
Culled males
Veal males

Females

6 years

Culled males

1 day

Veal males

6-8 months

Birth

Natural life expectancy

Method of Death

A majority of cows and bulls are killed with bolt guns

Farming Practices

Artificial Insemination

Artificial Insemination

Cows are forcibly impregnated by a farmer or vet putting their hand into the anus and injecting sperm into the vagina

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In British farming

Repeated Pregnancy Cycles

Repeated Pregnancy Cycles

Cows are repeatedly impregnated until their milk production declines or they are too exhausted to continue

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In British farming

Legal
Mother and Calf Separation

Mother and Calf Separation

Calves are removed from their mothers a few hours after birth so that milk collection can start

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In British farming

Legal
Male Calf Culling

Male Calf Culling

Male calves that are deemed not useful to the dairy industry are killed and discarded

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In British farming

Legal
Male Veal Calves

Male Veal Calves

Male dairy calves raised for veal are prevented from exhibiting their natural behaviours

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In British farming

Legal
Milk Replacer Fluid

Milk Replacer Fluid

Calves are fed milk replacer fluid instead of their mothers milk

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In British farming

Legal
Isolation Pens

Isolation Pens

Naturally social calves are put into small individual pens for up to 8 weeks after birth

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In British farming

Ear Mutilations

Ear Mutilations

Cows ears are pierced or chunks are removed as a method of identification

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In British farming

Skin Mutilations

Skin Mutilations

Calves hair follicles are permanently damaged using irons cooled to well below zero as a method of identification

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In British farming

Horn Mutilations

Horn Mutilations

Calves heads are permanently damaged using a hot iron while under local anesthetic to prevent horns from forming

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In British farming

Unnatural Milk Output

Unnatural Milk Output

Cows selectively bred to produce seven times their natural milk output leading to a variety of health problems

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In British farming

Legal
Mastitis

Mastitis

Cows udders become infected and painful due to the large quantities of milk they are producing

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In British farming

Legal
Lameness

Lameness

Cows become susceptible to leg and foot diseases because of inadequate housing and management practices

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In British farming

Legal
Early Death

Early Death

Cows die before making it to slaughter due to the toll on their bodies from increased milk production

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In British farming

Legal

Other Industries

Thank you for taking the time to read this page. We believe the exploitation of animals is an important issue and wish to get this message out to as many people as possible.