How many pregnant mothers are slaughtered for meat and dairy? The sickening numbers

In Denmark, a study from 2019 has found that 23% of the female cows who were sent to one of the country’s biggest slaughterhouses were pregnant![3]

In the UK, a staggering 23.5% of the female cows who were sent to a slaughterhouse in South West England were found to be pregnant.[4]

In Belgium, a study from 2006 found that on average, 10.1% of female cows were carrying babies while slaughtered.[5]

A 2011 study of 53 different abattoirs in Germany found that on average, 9.6% of slaughtered female cows were pregnant. Moreover, around 90% of them were slaughtered during the last two trimesters of pregnancy![4] A newer study published in 2016 concluded that “the slaughter of pregnant cattle is a common and widespread practice in German abattoirs.”.[6]

In Australia, two different sources mention that the ratio of pregnant dairy cows is very high. According to Josh Agland, an ex-worker of an abattoir in NSW Australia, at least 50% of the dairy cows who arrived at the slaughterhouse were pregnant. In addition, an article that was published in 2008 in the Australian Brahman Breeders’ Association stated that “abattoir surveys in Queensland indicate that approximately 60% of cows are pregnant when slaughtered.”.

Looking back 25 years, it seems that researchers from the United States didn’t examine the percentage of pregnant animals who are slaughtered, perhaps due to lack of funding by the meat and dairy industry for this type of research. A study from 1993 which examined 23 different meat farms in southwest Kansas found that “the incidence of pregnancy varied from 0 to 25% with an overall mean of 4.74%”.[7]Source

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