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An 18-month long undercover investigation of dairy farms across the UK has revealed widespread abuse of calves.

Activist collective Surge worked with independent investigators, who placed hidden cameras in several farms, spending several weeks on each location.

Animal abuse

According to Surge, the footage revealed ‘widespread incidences of punching, kicking, excessive tail twisting, swearing/shouting, beating with sticks, separation of calves from their mothers, force-feeding of calves and removal of calves’.

In addition, footage shows dead cows and calves left to rot ‘outside for days’, according to investigators.

Campaign

As a result of the findings, Surge is launching a campaign called ‘Dismantle Dairy’, which will feature videos, posters, and QR code stickers.

Surge says ‘rather than draw attention to individual farms and create the impression that these are isolated cases or ‘bad eggs’, the campaign video will feature Surge co-founder Ed Winters AKA Earthling Ed talking in broader terms about the dairy industry and how even standard practices such as separation at birth and removal of calves is abuse’.

The main campaign and investigation videos will be published on the campaign website called Dismantle Dairy, where people can order posters and QR code stickers which direct people to the campaign website. Surge encourages activists to place posters and stickers responsibly.

‘Violence is ubiquitous’

“Dismantle Dairy is a culmination of 18 months of work. We started this campaign to show that the violence on dairy farms is ubiquitous and occurs in all farms, including those associated with high ranking officials within the industry, as our on-going campaign will later reveal,” Ed Winters, co-director of Surge and presenter of the campaign video, said in a statement.

“The suffering on dairy farms is horrendous and exists both psychologically as well as physically.

“As the footage shows, dairy comes from violence, even if those acts of violence are legally condoned. The only way to end the violence is to live vegan.”

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As 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.