Vegetarians International Voice for Animals

Pregnant Cow Massacre

Burger barbarity that no one wants to talk about

Please help Viva! expose the shocking abuse of animals in Britain's slaughterhouses

Viva! has discovered that the garbage created by burger bars is something much more distasteful than discarded Styrofoam trays. Tossed aside as so much trash are almost 150,000 unborn calves, killed when their pregnant mothers are slaughtered. Some 40,000 of these innocent creatures are in the last trimester of gestation - approaching full term - and many are capable of independent life. Their fate and that of their mothers must surely be abhorrent to anyone with a trace of compassion in their soul.

Barbarity beyond belief

There are no regulations of any kind to protect the calves and precious few to protect their mothers. It is perfectly legal to send a heavily pregnant cow into the appalling stench and clatter of a slaughterhouse. The terrified animal is beaten and goaded up to the killing point like any other animal, shot with a captive bolt - which may or may not work - hauled up by a shackle around her rear leg and her throat cut. A minute or two later she is disembowelled. Horrifically, many animals are still conscious at this stage. There is no official acknowledgement that a full-term foetus is capable of feeling pain, no regulations about what should happen to it. Some are simply left to die amongst the mother's intestines, other are cut from the womb and knifed. This butchery is carried out under the supervision of Ministry vets.

This is what the British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA) thinks about this bloody carnage:

    "Pregnant cows do not significantly increase the work involved on the slaughter line so their presence does not cause a problem or extra cost."

In fact, until the outbreak of BSE, these pathetic little creatures were seen as an additional source of income for abattoirs by providing foetal calf blood for use by laboratories as a growth medium for vaccine cultures. About 90 per cent of the pregnant slaughtered cows are dairy cattle. Some are exhausted after a short and painful life of pregnancies and milking, many are suffering from the painful disease mastitis while others are killed for purely mercenary reasons - cash flow, overstocking, milk quotas or low calf prices.

The most common cause, however, is 'lack of fertility'. Farmers are so uncon-cerned by the fate of their cattle that they cannot be bothered to carry out simple pregnancy tests. They condemn their animals to death because they believe they have failed to conceive even though they are heavily pregnant. So much for the 'I love my animals' cry that we keep hearing from farmers.

Let the BCVA have the last word because it clearly exposes the role of vets in modern livestock farming:

    "The disposal of these calves represents a major economic loss to the industry."

This slaughter is part and parcel of the meat industry and pleas for better regulation will simply be ignored. If farmers won't do anything, the government approves it and the vets are obsessed only with profit and loss then Viva! must act and it must act now. We urgently need your help to expose this brutal trade and shame those responsible. You can help us to reveal the terrible truth behind burgers to as many people as possible.