The American Veterinary Medical Association issued a call today for stricter adherence to humane animal handling standards.
The call is in response to a “deeply disturbing” new undercover video showing calves being abused at a Texas cattle farm. The footage, shot by the animal rights group Mercy for Animals, depicts calves being beaten with pickaxes and hammers.
The AVMA labeled the abuse as “barbaric, inhumane and unacceptable.”
“What is depicted in this video is totally inexcusable and way outside of existing standards for the humane care and handling of livestock,” said Ron DeHaven, DVM, CEO of the AVMA. “If this is an accurate portrayal of what took place at the farm, we would encourage regulatory authorities to impose the most severe penalties allowed by law.”
Gail Golab, DVM, director of the AVMA’s Animal Welfare Division, emphasized the association’s zero-tolerance approach toward animal cruelty.
“Those handling animals are obligated to do so properly,” Dr. Golab said. “The AVMA and its members have worked diligently to get good animal care practices implemented and will continue to do so.
“In particular, the AVMA has clear guidance for conducting euthanasia. Unfortunately, that guidance is only as good as the facility’s commitment to implement it—we’ve taken our responsibility seriously and we expect them to do the same.”