Did you know that some cows were having holes drilled into their sides? Cows are a staple of the agriculture industry across the world and are one of the most profitable commodities.
Farmers have a wealth of technology and data at their fingertips to get the best from livestock…but how far is too far when developing ways to ensure the highest quality meat and dairy?
Researchers in Switzerland are using a process called fistulation which involves removing a chunk of these animals’ abdomens and fitting cannulas directly into the animal’s digestive tract. The practice is also performed in the U.S and across Europe.
The resulting holes allow farmers to directly see how food is being processed and are plugged using rubber stoppers when not is use.The practice is said to have become common place in the 1920s but reports of cows being used in this way for scientific research date back to 1833.
The cows are anaesthetised during the surgical procedure and are said to experience no pain when being examined.But animal rights campaigners claim the practice it is abuse, branding it as cruel.
The claim is that fistulation can improve the health of cows by allowing for the transfer of microbes from one cow to another. However, these are meat and dairy cows undergoing this procedure. The primary beneficiaries of this procedure are the meat and dairy industries, who rely on the slaughtering of the animals, not the prolongation of their lives.