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Premium animal cruelty hidden in premium buffalo mozzarella

2014-08-20

Investigations of FOUR PAWS exposes animal cruelty hidden in buffalo mozzarella: FOUR PAWS has today revealed the brutal and illegal ways in which male buffalo calves are killed and the filthy conditions of adult buffalos in Italian farms. Sign our protest and help us to fight those animal cruelty!


Many buffalos suffer from open untreated wounds
© FOUR PAWS International

Brutal killings of buffalo calves

The investigations took over two years, in the area of Campania where most of the buffalo farms are located. The torture for male buffalo calves starts shortly after their birth. As buffalo meat is not generally consumed, the male calves are considered to be an “unwanted by-product”. They are therefore brutally killed by illegal methods: with hammers, by drowning them in a pool of the farm’s excrements or by starvation in an enclosure right in front of their own mothers. Gabriel Paun, FOUR PAWS calls for a stop of the barbaric and illegal killings of male calves.


Watch our terrifying video!


Appalling keeping conditions of buffalos in Italy

Adult buffalos raised for milk and reproduction have special needs according to their species:  Buffalos have thicker skins and fewer sweat glands than cows. Therefore thermoregulation in a hot humid area such as Campania is a survival challenge. They need access to mud baths or water spray systems but most buffalo farms do not provide this. Moreover, most farms investigated were extremely crowded and did not offer access to green pastures. In many cases the buffalos were found to be living in a very thick layer of their own excrements. Some animals had open untreated wounds and many of them suffered from severe walking difficulties due to overgrown and untended hooves. Drinking water was not permanently available and almost always dirty. When some animals die the living ones were often forced to bare their sight and smell for up to one week before the body was collected. Paun claimed that: “Altogether, the buffalo farms in Italy require substantial management and structural improvements for species appropriate animal welfare and hygiene!”


Mothers in enclosures nearby have to watch their buffalo calves dying of starvation.
© FOUR PAWS International

Buffalo mozzarella is a premium product

Buffalo mozzarella can be found in most of the European supermarket chains in the premium category at a price that is usually at least double that of cow mozzarella. “The premium image of the product and its premium price certainly would give you the idea of high animal welfare standards. But it’s the exact opposite,” concluded Paun.


FOUR PAWS claims for species appropriate keeping conditions

FOUR PAWS has prepared a set of demands in line with regulation for farming buffalo and calls for supermarket chains across Europe to use them when sourcing their mozzarella. The demands include criteria such as ending the brutal killing of the male calves, regular audits, appropriate care and medical treatment, access to outdoor mud baths or indoor spray systems and permanent clean drinking water.


Sign our protest now!

In order to support the cause, we have set up a protest to raise awareness and ask consumers to call on supermarkets for higher animal welfare standards. Sign it now to help the buffalos of Italy! 


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