New Canadian dairy program will prohibit tail docking

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While the National Milk Producers Federation has a similar plan in the U.S. to Canada's program, there are some producers who are bucking--and successfully thwarting--efforts to enact a voluntary ban on tail docking. Even though Vermont, Land of Bernie, purports a progressive state, our local politicians have repeatedly refused to listen to industry experts, veterinarians, and concerned citizens, but they'll harken to the farmer who gets his face thwacked (an occupational hazard, and an avoidable one).This year, Vermont's iconic ice cream company, Ben & Jerry's, issued a public statement opposing the practice. Until there's an official, mandatory, comprehensive ban, tail docking remains a blot on our reputation of being a green, humane state. (American veterinarians recommend against the practice, but they haven't yet prohibited it.) Canada's pastures are looking a heck of a lot greener than ours these days.

While it is good that taildocking is going to be banned, what about other mutilations that are still carried out often without anesthetics such as castration, extra teat removal, burning off udder hair? What about ending a cycle of painful artificial insemination, pregnancy, calf removal, milking a cow and taking more than 10 times the milk that a calf would drink? What about not working a cow so hard that she is spent by the age of 4?

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