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1,000 Dairy Calves Left To Die In Midwest Heat Wave

1,000 Dairy Calves Left To Die In Midwest Heat Wave

More than 1,000 dairy calves throughout the Midwest have died during the past two-three weeks as a result of heat stress, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

According to Raechelle Cline, a spokeswoman with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, half of the more than two dozen herds of dairy cows struck by the heat stress deaths are in Wisconsin, though the exact number of deaths in the state has not been determined.

A news release from the agency, issued on July 20, stated:

“We suspect that these calves have succumbed to the heat because young calves fewer than 10 days old tend to drink very little water,” says Donald Sockett, DVM, an epidemiologist/microbiologist with the WDVL (Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory). Many of the dead calves were also housed in calf hutches that were not properly configured for summer ventilation, he added.

Officials at the WDVL indicate that calves are dying in one of two ways. They are either weakened by heat stress and die from a bacterial infection or they become dehydrated and die from heat stroke.”

As Free From Harm points out, the mothers are probably indoors having their mammary glands pumped for profit, while their newborn babies are taken away and penned outside in the hot summer sun, where they are dying in record levels.

Most of these calf deaths were completely preventable. The news release from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection gives several suggestions on how to proceed. These include hosing down baby calves with cool water in the late afternoon, providing water or electrolytes for the calves at all times, and monitoring the temperature inside the occupied hutches.

That all makes sense to me; in fact, these are all obvious suggestions for any creature trying to survive in record high temperatures. So why were they not implemented? While 100 degrees is hot for cattle, with a little water and shade, very few cows will ever perish from the heat. If that was the case, cattle wouldn’t be raised in droves in Texas, Oklahoma, and California.

If you believe that the treatment of these animals is cruel and unnecessary, please sign our petition demanding that Wisconsin farmers do not allow any more baby calves to die in this extreme heat.

And thank you.

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250 comments

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4:02PM PDT on Sep 21, 2012

Absolutely heartbreaking. Thanks for the article.

12:18PM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

Pétition signée

10:54PM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

Everything that these farmers do that are inhumane to new born or adult animals is bad. Should not be farming if can't be humane to animals. Don't use the excuse that's how it was done back in the day.

8:21AM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

Wow, has this thread hit the bricks HARD! Talk about destroying a conversation!

On the one hand we have Mark G., who cannot come up with a single new thought on his own, so he resorts to looking up philosophers online and going through lists of quotes to come up with "just the right one." Too bad it's a misogynistic philosopher most people have never heard of...or cared to.

On the other hand we have Mark D., who for some odd reason thinks that he is a mutated ape. Dude, I would seriously consider seeing a professional for that self esteem issue of yours. Hating one's own species is very serious problem, and you want to get in therapy before you do yourself in with self-loathing!

With subscribers like these two, filling the comment section with psychologically aberrant posts, what hope to we have to come up with, and discuss, a WORKING solution to the problems of drought and unnecessary animal (and human) deaths?

1:10AM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

Ye Gawd, are all the "Mark's" who comment completely clueless or so stuck on themselves that they can't fathom anyone else having a different opinion, and on a determined crusade to take over any discussion in Care.2 where they can twist it around to bashing anyone who consumes animal products with the constant nonsense about animal abuse?

Mark D., I almost and still am tempted to ignore your post as I said I was done with "Mark G" and you both sound like conjoined twins in these discussions. The topic HERE is that there has been a heatwave and a drought, resulting in livestock deaths. How the calves were conceived is irrelevant. A-I is a routine procedure done by all but the largest ranching operations. Your entire post is borderline obscene and completely off topic. I would "flag" it, but that would take too much effort. Most who read it will ignore it as the incinderary drivel it is, so why bother.

1:04PM PDT on Aug 12, 2012

what about the calves that are wrenched from their artificially bred mothers and slaughtered in terror for some mutated ape's meal? veal and lamb are the ultimate cruelty in terms of human sadism for their perverted self gratification

2:22PM PDT on Aug 10, 2012

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

10:05PM PDT on Aug 9, 2012

Ummm, Mark? Hellloooo? Is anybody "in there"? You're repeating yourself like a needle stuck in a scratched LP record. Calves aren't confined when not in factory farmed situations. Livestock out in large, open pastures DIE during heatwaves and drought. Watering holes dry up, rivers run dry. Wildlife dies as well. PEOPLE die, and if you think all those farmers live in luxury, have central air-conditioning and were living it up swirling margaritas while their livelihood lay out in the fields, dying, you're delusional. I am tired of reading your repetitive false statements and constant propaganda, garnered from the likes of PETA and HSUS. I won't "feed you" anymore. If you wish, you can continue to repeat yourself and hope you'll get an audience. BYE BYE.

12:14PM PDT on Aug 9, 2012

the calves would not have been there to suffer and die if they were not being exploited by farmers in order to make a profit. unlike the cows who are confined, farmers can do something if they cannot get water which they need. it is a tragedy when any sentient being suffers and dies, human animals included. the only difference is that in most cases the human animals have a choice to do something about it and the non-human animals do not.

the fact that one cannot make the connection between the abuse of animals labeled as pets for "entertainment" such as dog fighting and the abuse of animals who are farmed for food does not make the connection any less true or valid. it is precisely because people do not make the connection that is the true issue at hand.

5:58AM PDT on Aug 9, 2012

Mark, as you've done so many times in the past, you're doing exactly as Erica has stated....you're preaching and giving a sermon about veganism in the guise that you are against animal "abuse". As Erica said, this article/discussion isn't about veganism, it's about calves that died during an act of nature.....an extreme DROUGHT in the Midwest, where not just dairy calves died, but humans as well. You stated again, "again, how does slitting the throat of a young, helpless animal so we can consume his or her corpse in any way fit the description of "humane"?"......the topic is the unfortunate deaths of animals due to DROUGHT, not having their "throats slit". I know you'd not bat an eye if the farmers died themselves while giving every drop of water they could find to the calves that weren't necessarily even "confined" in the first place. During a drought and in the case here, EXTREME HEAT, living things DIE, even people when they don't have air conditioning and enough water.

Once again, you are off topic and digressing when you start rambling about dog fighting. Would it be possible for you to ever remain on topic, or rather, be on topic in the first place?

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