After the release of a video dairy farmers violently assaulting their cows with fists, feet, and even metal pipes, the Montreal-based dairy company Saputo has released a statement to confirm that it will not be buying products from farmers who resort to such cruelty and refuse to treat their animals in a humane manner. This action represents a victory for the world of animal rights and comes in the wake of similar statement from other major companies around the world.
The video was filmed by the animal rights organization Mercy For Animals Canada, a group dedicated to creating a world in which animals can live wholesome lives and humans can feed themselves via sustainable means, as opposed to some of the cruel methods that are used in farming today. The video itself was filmed at one of Saputo’s dairy suppliers, Chilliwack Cattle Sales, located in British Columbia. Thanks to Saputo’s announcement, this farm will no longer be working with the Canadian dairy giant.
The removal of Chilliwack Cattle Sales as a Saputo supplier is part of a much larger initiative put in place by the company in order to stand up for animal rights and raise the standards of living for the livestock involved. The plan also calls for a termination of the procedure in which the tails of livestock are cut, a process known as docking. This practice is traditionally performed for safety reasons but can cause a great deal of suffering to the animal and lead to various infections.
Another part of Saputo’s plan will be the mandatory use of pain relievers during the removal of horns, and on top of this, the company is making a million dollar donation to two universities that specialize in agricultural education, namely the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US and the University of Guelph in Canada. It is Saputo’s hope that this donation will lead to better-trained agricultural workers in the future to prevent any reoccurrence of events like those witnessed in the video.
The CEO of Saputo and son of the company’s founder, Lino Saputo Jr., revealed his shock after seeing the undercover video broadcast on national television last year. He says that he hopes he will never see another video like that and hopes that this set of new and rigorous policies put in place by his company will help to put an end to cruel agricultural practices across the US and Canada.
The rights of animals are becoming more and more relevant in today’s world where people pay much closer attention to what they eat and where it comes from. Companies like Saputo clearly have to pay attention to this shift in attitudes and make the necessary changes in their companies and suppliers in order to maintain their status as respectable food providers. Ultimately, these changes are put in place from a business perspective and will help to keep the company afloat, but they also represent an important moment for global animal rights.