Dairy farms asked to consider breeding no-horn cows

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Farmburger – Fowler Farm

Farmburger is a restaurant in Decatur that partners with small farmers that raise its meat. Fowler Farm outside Athens Georgia is one of the farms in its cooperative. Jason Mann is a farmer and partner in the restaurant who supervises all of the animal production. The cows are all grass fed and free of antibiotics […]

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Food manufacturers and restaurants are taking the dairy industry by the horns on an animal welfare issue that bothers activists but is little known to consumers.

Horned calves are common in dairy herds and farms routinely remove the horn buds by burning or gouging them out before horns develop. Horns are hazardous because unruly cows can gore farm workers or other animals.

General Mills, Nestle, Denny’s are among companies pushing increased breeding of cows born without horns — called polled cattle.

PETA says it’s made progress over three years with several major dairies incorporating polled genetics to eliminate dehorning.

The National Milk Producers Federation says breeding hornless dairy cows is worth exploring but that the industry believes removing the horn buds is a safe and “minimally disruptive, uncomfortable process.”

 

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