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"Nightline" Exposed Dairy Cruelty

Undercover video showed cows abused at N.Y. dairy

The Humane Society of the United States

cow calf


Last night, Nightline examined some of the controversy surrounding the dairy industry's treatment of cows.

Contrary to the industry's advertising campaign filled with green pastures and happy cows, many of the nation's nine million dairy cows never step on a blade of grass in their lives.

There are many serious concerns about the welfare of these animals. The HSUS led the successful fight last year in California to ban one significant assault on these animals: the tail-docking of cows.

And a new exposé from Mercy for Animals highlights serious welfare concerns at one of New York's largest dairy factories, including routine tail-docking, despite the fact that the American Veterinary Medical Association opposes this practice.

Working to end abuse

Working to ban tail-docking is just one of the ways that The HSUS is improving the lives of dairy cows.

  • Our landmark 2008 investigation of "downed" dairy cow abuse at a California slaughter plant led to the nation's largest-ever meat recall and the closing of a federal loophole allowing the use of sick and injured cows for human consumption.

  • Another 2008 investigation revealed appalling cruelty at auctions.

  • In 2009, our exposé of a Vermont slaughterhouse's abuse of days-old dairy calves resulted in an ongoing U.S. Department of Agriculture investigation and closure of the plant.
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