Sunday, 23 February 2014

Modern farming – making animals akin to diesel engines and filing the canine teeth of piglets to prevent cannibalism

Digital Dairy: Robotic Milk Production Takes Over – By Jonathan Stock and Takis Würger in Der Spiegel
Thank goodness I don’t drink milk. This story in Der Spiegel is turning me off dairy products and reinforcing my commitment to buying free range poultry and pork.
Free-roaming dairy herds are becoming a thing of the past; meadows full of black-and-white Holsteins a rarity. Instead, there is cheap milk.
Becoming outraged at the situation is hardly helpful. The foodstuffs sector has become so perfected that animals in the industry have become comparable to machines or raw materials in other sectors. Some 50 million male chicks are destroyed each year in Germany because they are unable to lay eggs. The canine teeth of piglets are filed down so as to prevent cannibalism in giant farms. Animals have become akin to diesel engines. …
The cow of the future in Europe will live in a digital world, milked by robots and fed by machines. In the Canadian province of Québec, some 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles) away from Nielsen and Westrup, this future is already reality.
There, David Landry stands in his stall and watches as robots do his work for him. A round one, roughly as broad as a hula-hoop, moves between the paddocks shoving the hay closer to the cows. Another machine, the so-called Creeper, crawls through the stalls pushing manure out. In the middle of the stall is the milking robot.
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