Dairy Farmers Refuse To Let Their Farms Be Filmed - Turning Down £6,000

Activists claim farmers don't want animal suffering documented as the footage would show calves being removed from their mothers - which is distressing for both
A calf is removed from their mother on a dairy farm (Photo: We Animals)

Danish dairy farmers are refusing to let animal rights campaigners film on their farms - despite being offered £6,000 to let the cameras in.

Campaigners from vegan organization Anima claim the footage would reveal distressing 'standard practices' on dairy farms - including the separation of young calves from their mothers, and the shooting of bobby calves.

Danish farms supply a number of British brands including Arla. The proposed filming is part of a campaign by the group to stop farms which supply Arla from removing calves from their mothers. The group says the majority of people do not understand how the dairy process works.

Dairy farming

"We asked Arla to show us what the process of separation calf from mother was like and let us film, including when many of the calves are shot at birth. They refused, saying they couldn’t show us because they're not the farmers," Kirsty Henderson, of Anima, told The Independent.

According to the group's campaign: "Now we are asking farmers directly. [We have printed] new ads in the newspapers, where we promise a [£,6000] fee to the farmer who will show all the things that Arla has not done.

"We have also sent messages directly to the six dairy farmers who are in Arla's board of directors. Anima is looking forward to being invited inside the stable."

Henderson told The Independent that about 10 farmers had expressed interest in filming, but none had agreed - she believes Arla has told farmers to refuse.

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'Educating the public'

"Arla is a farmer-owned co-operative, and our farmers make and share their own videos explaining on-farm practice to Arla customers," said a statement by Arla.

"Educating the public on how dairy farming works is a high priority for our farmer owners.

"Many open their farms to the public on Open Farm Sunday, and we arrange school visits to both farms and our production sites across the year to enable the public to see for themselves how milk is made."

Lack of transparency

Anima's concerns around public awareness and lack of transparency from farmers follows similar worries in the UK.

At the beginning of the year, vegan activist Earthling Ed was featured on the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire program, where he challenged a farmer about keeping the dark sides of his industry hidden.

"Do you show people who come to your farm the artificial insemination, do you show them what happens to the calves - the pens they are kept in for up to eight weeks at a time where they are not allowed to see their mums...do you take them to slaughterhouse as well and show them the knives being pulled across their throat?" Ed asked.

Farmer Paul Tomkins replied: "I like to think we show everyone the full spectrum of farming."

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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PBN Contributor:

Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

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