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Dairy ‘farmers want more support with the emotional impact of watching TB cows shot dead’, according to a video made by the BBC.
The video, by BBC Wales News, features dairy farmer Abi Reader talking about having cows taken to the slaughterhouse or shot onsite as a result of contracting bovine TB.
Reader, who has a herd of 200 cows and supplies a major supermarket, claims it is ‘quite hard’ to see ‘animals leaving the farm before their time’.
She talks about having three cows shot onsite, as they were pregnant, and couldn’t be sent to the slaughterhouse.
“When you’re shooting an animal that’s got TB, you’re bringing a healthy animal in from a field, you’re restraining it because it doesn’t know what happens. Someone will get out of a vehicle with a gun. I can remember, he held the gun to her head, she didn’t know what was coming….to see it happening graphically…it’s quite hard to stomach.”
Reader said repeatedly seeing the animals being shot is ‘destroying’ and said the answer is ‘to get rid of TB’. She also criticized the government for not intervening enough.
The video was criticized by multiple vegans on social media, including Juliet Gellatley, Founder and Director of leading animal protection charity Viva!.
She shared the video saying: “Yes, it’s the hypocrisy of farmers again crying their crocodile tears. She loves ‘her’ cows, she doesn’t want to see them die due to TB but is happy they die in a slaughterhouse for meat. Happy that male calves are shot as unwanted trash.”
According to figures, every year around 95,000 male calves are killed within 24 hours of birth in the UK, as it is cheaper for farmers to kill the animals immediately than sell them for veal.