Infertility: fertility drugs in dairy farming damage us all | Viva!

Infertility: fertility drugs in dairy farming damage us all

The arduous life that dairy cows endure causes such a rapid physical collapse that an alarmingly high number of young animals are killed due to infertility. A killing rate of 25 per cent is normal for most dairy herds and poor fertility is the single biggest cause (Powell, 2014; Dobson, 2008). Although infertility in itself is not a welfare problem, it is an indicator of poor welfare resulting from physical exhaustion. The constant drive towards increased milk yields inevitably results in exhausted animals and decreased fertility. To help combat the problem of infertility, fertility drugs are now in widespread use on British dairy farms.

Nothing's cuter than a mum and her baby. A strong mother-baby bond forms within the first few hours of birth, making separation traumatic (Marchant-Ford et al, 2002). And it makes no difference whether the farm is organic or intensive. The cow will be made pregnant again two or three months after her calf has been taken. This process is repeated as long as the cow is able to reproduce. If she becomes infertile, she's no longer financially viable and will be slaughtered. Fertility drugs in dairy farming are rampant. This definitely harms the cows - and it ultimately harms you, too !​