Goat Disbudding

Horn buds painfully burnt off newborn goats

Burning off the buds of newborn female goats (doe kids) with a hot iron is a painful but common procedure, particularly in large factory-farm goat dairies where the risk of goats injuring workers or each other is much higher due to the high concentration of animals.

More Information

The anonymously-supplied footage was captured in late 2019 at Lochaber Farm, a large intensive goat dairy in Meredith, Victoria, owned by the popular Meredith Dairy brand.

The practice, known as 'disbudding', aims to prevent the growth of the goats’ horns and is performed on days-old females (‘doe kids’) who are intended to join their mothers in the breeding and milking cycle. A hot iron is pressed into the kids' heads to kill the budding cells that would ordinarily grow into horns.

Though clearly cruel, disbudding is common on Australian goat farms and legally permissible due to an exemption for commercially-farmed animals in Victoria and other states’ animal welfare legislation.

Aussie Farms is calling on the Victorian government to remove this exemption, starting with a parliamentary petition (open to Victorian residents - please sign).

The footage comes less than a month after the animal agriculture industry colluded with the national charities regulator, the ACNC, to strip Aussie Farms of its charitable registration and related tax concessions.

This is just another well-kept industry secret that, as usual, has fallen on activists to expose. Self-regulation does not work, it’s time for our state governments – starting with Victoria – to take responsibility and close the legal loopholes that allow these and other horrible things to happen every day in Australian farms and slaughterhouses. Goats and other ‘livestock’ animals are no less capable of feeling pain and fear, no less capable of suffering, than our dogs and cats, and it’s time they were given the same protection under the law.

Businesses that use and exploit animals should no longer be able to do so in secrecy and legal immunity. Increasingly we’re seeing attempts by state and federal governments to stifle this kind of footage and information, to stop it reaching the consumers who unknowingly pay for this cruelty, yet there are no attempts to address the real issue of legalised and systemic abuse.

Learn more about Australian goat farming in our Knowledgebase.

Take Action

Currently, this and other brutal practices are entirely legal as commercial animals are not protected under Victoria's state animal welfare laws. We're working with Andy Meddick MP to change that, starting with a parliamentary petition calling on the state government to remove the exemption for farm animals from the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

Note: This petition is only open to residents of Victoria, Australia.

Sign the Petition

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Kinder Alternatives

We don’t need goats milk to enjoy amazing food! Over the past few years the range of vegan alternatives to old favourites has grown exponentially. For every animal product out there, a kinder alternative is there for us to choose instead! Making the choice to switch from eating animal based products to plant based ones easier than ever. This is a choice not only kinder for animals, it is kinder for our enviornment and our health too! Your dollar is your vote and you have the power to stop supporting this exploitative industry.

Goat feta
Goat feta

Vegan feta
Vegan feta

Feta is a favourite among so many, and now there is a huge range of plant-based alternatives for you to choose from. Even the major supermarkets carry brands of plant-based feta!

Goat yoghurt
Goat yoghurt

Vegan yoghurt
Vegan yoghurt

The range of plant-based yogurts on the market has grown to epic proportions over the past year. Most plant-based yogurt alternatives can even be found in major supermarkets across Australia.

Goat milk
Goat milk

Vegan milk
Vegan milk

The variety of plant-based milks on the market is huge! This includes soy milk, almond milk, macadamia milk, rice milk, oat milk and hemp milk, just to name a few.

Goat cheese
Goat cheese

Vegan cheese
Vegan cheese

It doesn’t just stop at feta. There are a huge variety of plant-based cheeses on the market to suit any occasion. Whether your making pizza, creating a cheese platter, adding cheese to a salad, putting parmesan on your pasta or making a good old toasted sandwich, there is a delicious plant-based cheese out there to suit!

This is only a glimpse into the vast list of brands creating these amazing alternatives to animal-based products. We’ve made a list of a few for you to keep an eye out for:

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