Today, the federal government announced that it is giving an additional $1.75 million to the dairy industry, on top of $12 million already provided under the government’s Growing Forward 2 program. The announcement was made by the new Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay–himself a former dairy farmer.
The money will be used for two purposes. One, to research how dairy fat products like cheese impact cardio-vascular health, with the goal of “help[ing] maintain consumer confidence in the nutritional value of dairy products,” according to Minister MacAuley. In other words, the government wants to fund “research” with a predetermined outcome: proving that dairy fat is healthy, a proposition that is hotly contested by existing research.
Two, the funding will be used to research ways to “further increase milk production.” Thanks to genetic manipulation and other unnatural, welfare-compromising interventions, dairy cows today already produce six to seven times the amount of milk they did a century ago. This ravages their bodies, and they are considered spent at only about a quarter of their natural lifespan. Now, the federal agriculture department wants to further increase the demands on these mothers’ bodies?
The agriculture department has close ties to the agriculture industry and has historically failed to act to protect animal welfare. This collaboration between the federal agriculture department–which is responsible for many aspects of farmed animal welfare–and the Canadian dairy industry should be of concern to anyone who cares about animals.
Please write to your MP to say that you support animal protection over industry protection, and ask your contacts to do the same.