The story of resuced dairy calves Betty & Bill

In the lead up to Easter, we thought it was time to share the story of Betty & Bill, in hopes you will choose kindness this Easter by opting to purchase some of the many dairy free easter chocolates available in supermarkets and other retailers.

13 April 2022

On Sunday 4th of July 2021, rescued from a dairy farm at only a few days old, Betty & Bill arrived at liberation sanctuary wet and freezing cold. Bill had been found tied to a fence with bailing twine without shelter and suffering from diarrhea, and Betty huddled alone beside the transport truck ramp. The dairy had many bobby calves in similar conditions, and sadly some that had already passed away. It was hard for their rescuers to choose just 2, but fortunately for Betty & Bill, their lives were spared that day and they are now safe to live free and loved as part of the Liberation Sanctuary family forever.

Like humans, cows only produce milk for their offspring. For humans to consume dairy, the baby that the mother’s milk is intended for misses out. For this reason, within 24 hours after birth, mother cows and their calves are separated.

Calves born into the dairy industry are called bobby calves for their first month of life. All male calves, except for a small amount used for breeding, are slaughtered, as they will never produce milk. 1/4 of female calves are also slaughtered, as they are not required for replacement of the ‘milking herd’. Betty was fated to be discarded because she was born with an extra teat rendering her ‘useless’ as a dairy cow because she would not be able to be hooked up to the milking machines.

Male calves and surplus females are reared for veal or immediately slaughtered. If bobby calves are born weak due to being sick or injured, they are supposed to be ‘destroyed’ on farms. If a calf is under 24 hours old, they can be killed with blunt trauma, such as a hammer to the head. If calves are older, they can be shot with a rifle or captive bolt gun. These dead calves can be buried in mass ‘dead piles’ or burnt on site. At five days, if they have not been killed on the farm, these bobby calves are sent to the slaughterhouse and killed. Bobby calf bodies are used for ‘valuable’ hides for leather, calf rennet for cheese making, and their blood is sometimes used for the pharmaceutical industry. A small amount of calves are slaughtered later, but still as babies, for veal meat and calf skin products.

The dairy industry in Australia slaughters over 500,000 calves every year.

To find out more about the reality of the dairy industry, visit

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