Dirty stables, injured buffaloes and dead calves: The pictures, which were taken in August 2018 on twelve buffalo farms in Campania, southern Italy, reveal the naked truth behind the popular luxury product buffalo mozzarella. The research by FOUR PAWS, journalists and the Wildlight team shows that male buffalo calves are particularly affected. Considered as a worthless byproduct, juveniles are often deliberately neglected. If they do not die as a result of the poor husbandry conditions, they are slaughtered on average 30 days after birth. FOUR PAWS urges supermarket chains, dealers and producers to take responsibility.
“The pictures show calves, who apparently have been lying dead on the ground for a long time – and in front of the other buffaloes. Other live calves were so emaciated they could barely stand. Without contact with other animals and reasonable care, the calves are kept in much too small, cage-like enclosures, “reports FOUR PAWS livestock expert Hanna Zedlacher. “Around 30 days after birth, the calves are old enough to be transported to the butcher. In 2017 alone, over 52,000 buffalo calves were legally killed in Italy. The meat is usually processed into dog food, “says Zedlacher.
The FOUR PAWS investigation material shows that adult female buffaloes also suffer from miserable housing conditions. Intensive livestock farming means little or no runoff for the animals. Ponds or pits that serve to cool down are rarely available. The stables and the animals are filthy. Many of the buffalo suffer from overgrown hooves, tumors and untreated injuries.
Buffalo farms have been in focus since 2014
Already in the summer of 2014, FOUR PAWS drew attention to the bad situation of Italian buffaloes. Four years later, however, the demands made at that time are still not fulfilled everywhere – FOUR PAWS sees the responsibility of the producers, but also of the supermarkets and traders. It is important to ensure the standards.
“Only buffalo mozzarella from pet-friendly farms should be offered. We demand regular checks, appropriate posture and medical care. We also expect humane solutions for male calves. The unnecessary killing of the animals must come to an end, ” Zedlacher demands and adds: ” We recommend consumers to inform themselves about the origin of the buffalo mozzarella and to refrain from buying in case of doubt. ”
Business with buffalo milk
74% of the approximately 400,000 buffalos living in Italy are bred in Campania. There are 2,212 buffalo farms nationwide. The vast majority – 77 percent – are pure milk producers, 14 percent are pure meat producers and only 9 percent use the animals for both milk and meat production. Buffalo mozarella from Campania carries the DOP seal (Denominazione di Origine Protetta, Protected Designation of Origin) and is the export hit of Central and Southern Italy.
47 million kilos, Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP ‘- buffalo mozzarella in short – were produced in 2017 in Italy. To meet the high demand for luxury cheese, many Italian farmers are focusing on efficiency rather than animal welfare.
The main customers of the luxury cheese are France, Germany, Great Britain, USA, Switzerland and Spain.
My comment: “It is important to ensure the standards” says FOUR PAWS”!
By whom should the standards be respected?
From the milk mafia?
From the farma owner for bufallos?
Or from a corrupt system that closes its eyes and defends the agrarian mafia when it comes to animal welfare?
That’s how the system works, and every system in the world.
Not with standards.
But with fascist rules, that will be followed by state lackeys and indifferent consumers.
My best regards, Venus