Cows Need Tails

Got tails? Cows do — and they need them!

Cows need their tails to ward off flies and other biting insects. Yet many dairy producers cruelly cut or crush the tails off their cows—usually without any pain relief. Known as tail cutting or “docking,” this abuse is inflicted because of old superstitions, yields no benefits for milk quality, the cows or dairy workers, and it causes enormous suffering for the animals.

Even the dairy industry’s leadership opposes tail cutting.

And yet the practice persists. It’s time to cut the nonsense. It’s time to stop cutting tails.

Kraft Foods and Ben & Jerry’s are requiring their milk suppliers to phase out tail docking. Ben & Jerry’s states, “After talking with industry experts, researchers and veterinarians to fully understand the practice, we’ve decided that we would all be better off without [tail cutting]. In fact, much of the dairy industry is moving away from tail docking, and we’re happy to be part of the change.”

Other food industry giants, including Dunkin Brands, Nestle, Sodexo and Starbucks, have condemned the practice and aim to phase it out, too.

Nestlé Company Sodexo Ben & Jerry's

Several European countries, including Britain, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland, outlaw tail cutting. In the U.S., California (the nation’s largest dairy-producing state), Rhode Island and Ohio have all enacted regulations to prohibit the practice.