It is well-known that “surplus” male dairy calves are a by-product of the dairy industry because they do not produce milk. However it is less well-known that, despite industry and supermarket bans on the shooting of day-old calves [1-5], around 65,000 bull calves were sent to slaughter last year . This is the first ever UK exposé into the slaughter of bull calves.
As seen in the Daily Mail , BBC  as well as local media [eg 9], pressure group, Animal Justice Project, filmed for five months (November 2020 to March 2021) at dairy farms, livestock markets, a calf dealer – Oaklands Livestock Centre in Shropshire, and a Chester slaughterhouse killing calves as part of their new ‘Expired’ campaign  focusing on the integrated dairy and beef industry. Since breaking the investigation, the UK’s second largest milk processor, Müller, instructed all of its farmers to cease working with Oaklands , Sainsburys commenced an ‘immediate investigation’ , and Oaklands itself ceased trading .
Protestors are staging an event next Wednesday 5 May 2021 at 08:30 outside Barbers Livestock Market - which holds one of the UK’s largest animal sales each week - on the day of a calf sale. A market that was featured in the investigation where dealers such as Oaklands bid on calves. At 11am, protestors will head down the road to the headquarters of UK’s second largest milk processor, Müller, to demand they tighten their bull calf policy by prohibiting the onward trade of bull calves from dairy farms to markets, dealers and slaughterhouses. A petition signed by over 4,000 people will be handed in to Müller demanding change .
On the visually stunning protest, activists will hold 10 foot banners with ‘DAIRY STILL KILLS’ and ’65,000 male dairy calves slaughtered in 2020’ on to show the passers-by exactly why they are there and why other members of the public should be outraged too. Large cut-outs of calves being hung up by their legs will be hung from poles to symbolise the calves who were mercilessly killed during the undercover investigation. Other props will include large stunning placards with bloody milk and a calf inside, reflecting the blood that the dairy industry has on their hands, plus red and white smoke flares.
During the investigation, dairy farms which supplied milk to Müller were caught on camera supplying calves to renowned dealer, Derek Whittall, of Oaklands Livestock Centre. Calves at this yard were filmed being violently thrown off the back of trailers, kicked, hit with sticks and left many hours without food and water. Despite Müller’s bull calf policy ending the shooting of male dairy calves on farms, loopholes within it still allows the ‘onward trade’ of calves to markets and dealers. With many dealers around the country buying calves specifically to send them directly to the slaughterhouse, it is clear to see how calves end up being killed inside an abattoir. Animal Justice Project filmed Whittall leaving tiny calves as young as nine days old in the cold, damp and barren slaughterhouse lairage overnight.
Ayrton Cooper, Senior Campaigner for Animal Justice Project states: “We are protesting on the back of our eye-opening investigation into the fate of male calves to demand Müller tightens its bull calf policy and prevent any calves being slaughtered. As with all animal slaughter, the killing of tiny calves was brutal and horrid on camera. Tighter policies by companies such as Muller also means the number of calves available for dealers to buy and sell will reduce, and the number of frightened calves traded at marts such as Barbers will also. We want the public to see the protest, reach out and learn about this horrific industry. Our message is that dairy still kills thousands of babies every year so we urge consumers to choose plant-based alternatives”.
Animal Justice Project
T: + 44 (0) 7851 497 827
 Morrisons (2019) www.fwi.co.uk/business/markets-and-trends/dairy-markets/no-bull-calf-left-behind-for-morrisons-dairy-farmers
 Sainsburys (2017) www.about.sainsburys.co.uk/~/media/Files/S/Sainsburys/pdf-downloads/animal-health-and-welfare.pdf
 Freedom of Information request from Rural Payments Agency [Available upon request]