Mon | Dec 11, 2023

Shameful starving of cattle

Published:Monday | February 6, 2023 | 12:54 AM


It was only weeks ago we learned of the pollution of the Rio Cobre, caused by effluent from the Windalco’s Ewarton site, resulting in a massive fish kill and depriving fishers of their livelihood, and farmers and others of the vital use of the river water. Now we hear of a large number of heifers and calves found starving to death on a Windalco dairy farm in Manchester.

I was horrified to hear this news, remembering the days when the agricultural division of Alcan operated numerous dairies in Manchester and St Ann. As the first recipient of the Alcan Agricultural Scholarship, I worked on their farms in the summers and got hands-on experience on how a dairy farm is run. Their standards were First-World. Under the guidance of Bryan Davidson, the management and staff maintained the livestock, pastures, dairy parlours and all aspects of each farm in pristine condition.

It is heartbreaking to think of these animals locked in a pen with dirt to eat when pasture is available nearby. What would be the reason behind doing this? If the animals were unwanted, why not put them up for sale? Small farmers are always searching for livestock to buy, especially heifers. Unfortunately, our animal cruelty laws and fines are so insignificant that these guys will simply get a slap on the wrist and be none the worse off for being caught. Maybe this incident will be a catalyst for the lawmakers to review the animal cruelty laws so that these incidents will cease.

Shame on you, Windalco. Please do not let this happen again!


St Catherine