Farmers Use Spiked Nose Rings to Separate Calves and Their Mothers

Posted on by PETA Australia

There’s nothing natural about the way cows are treated in modern animal agriculture – even in the way they’re allowed to interact with their own young.

In order to wean calves, farmers sometimes clamp spiked rings to their septum to prevent them from nursing and seeking comfort from their mothers.

The spikes are painful to the cow’s udder when the calf attempts to suckle and can cause the cow to move away from or even kick her baby.

Calf with a nose ring.Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

Calves naturally wean themselves at around 12 months old, but those raised for beef may be forcibly weaned earlier. Early weaning means that cows can be put into breeding programmes again, to produce more babies who will eventually be killed for their flesh.

Instead of using nose rings, some farmers physically separate cows from their calves, and this causes huge amounts of stress for both mother and baby, who have a strong bond, just like a human mother and baby.

In Australia, most anti-suckling devices are used to wean animals raised for their flesh, since most calves on dairy farms are torn away from their distraught mothers during their first 24 hours of life.

Calf with a nose ring.Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

Cows are sensitive and intelligent animals who develop friendships and strong family bonds. There are countless reports of mother cows who continue to call and search frantically for their babies after they’ve been taken away.

When they’re still quite young, many cows are also branded and dehorned, and males’ testicles are ripped out of their scrotums as they’re castrated – all without pain relief.

Many Australian cattle spend the last six to 12 months of their lives on cramped, faeces-filled feedlots, where they’re given only grain to eat and limited space for exercise so they can be fattened up before being sent to the abattoir, where they’re shot in the head with a captive-bolt gun and hung upside down by one leg so that their throats can be slit.

All beings bleed the same.

The point at which farmers decide to stop a calf from nursing is usually determined according to their own best interests, not those of the cows. It’s speciesist and unacceptable to interfere with other animals in this way for financial gain.

There’s simply no need to contribute to this suffering, as so many vegan foods mimic the taste and texture of meat without causing any trauma to animals.