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RSPCA Asks: Are We Milking the Dairy Cow to Death?

12 May 2009

UK - The Royal Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) is urging retailers, farmers and consumers to all take responsibility in tackling the welfare concerns facing the dairy cow.

Of the two million dairy cows in the UK, the vast majority are of the Holstein breed, many of whom live with a number of serious health problems. Similarly, these cattle are possibly more inbred than many of the pedigree dog breeds.

Two of the indicators of increasing levels of inbreeding, within the national herd, are the inability to reproduce and an increasing susceptibility to disease.

They are also dogged with problems associated with lameness, mastitis (a painful inflammation of the udder), and other conditions such as bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) and leptospirosis (a bacterial disease), which are becoming widespread.

The increasing demand for ever higher milk yields, at ever lower prices, has lead to an intensified system. A system that the RSPCA believe many would seem completely inconsistent with the media image of happy dairy cows.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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