PETA Exposé Reveals ‘100% Grass-Fed’ Water Buffaloes Suffering on Filthy Canadian Farm
Update (October 20, 2023): After hearing from you and PETA, grocery chain Loblaws, which had sold cheese made from these animals’ milk, reported that Quality Cheese, the company that makes Bella Casara buffalo mozzarella, had cut ties with the farm.
Following a whistleblower complaint alleging that animals languished from painful ailments in filthy conditions on a farm owned by the Ontario Water Buffalo Company, PETA investigators took a scheduled tour of the place and found systemic animal suffering amid piles of manure.
Despite claiming to raise buffaloes “how nature intended,” the farm confines these animals—who are native to a tropical environment in Asia—in filthy, profoundly unnatural conditions, including in subfreezing winters, to exploit them for meat and dairy products, including buffalo mozzarella and other cheeses.
See for yourself:
Animals Trying to Survive in a ‘Wet Slop’ of Feces
PETA’s investigators found buffaloes confined in a filthy “wet slop” of feces, and the whistleblower reported that animals were kept in crowded pens for months on end.
One animal allegedly fell, couldn’t regain her footing due to the excessive amount of feces, and was dragged out with ropes to be milked.
Whistleblower: Animals Denied Adequate Veterinary Care and Feed
According to the whistleblower, animals were left to suffer from various ailments and denied adequate care or an end to their suffering. The whistleblower said that a blind calf who couldn’t stand lingered for two weeks before he died.
Others allegedly suffered from open wounds, abscesses, and sores and received inadequate treatment or no treatment at all.
The whistleblower reported that weaned calves were denied adequate hay or were given moldy or wet hay and became thin and “hobble[d] around.” Calves reportedly suffered from parasites, and diarrhea was evidently rampant. Many animals allegedly became so weak that they couldn’t stand.
Animals Reportedly Forced to Give Birth in Horrific Conditions
Rather than being provided with a spacious, bedded area in which to give birth, buffaloes had to deliver their calves in a small, filthy pen and even in a gutter, where calves suffocated in feces, according to the whistleblower. The whistleblower stated that other expecting mothers weren’t even moved to this pen and instead had their calves in mud, piles of feces, or ponds.
A PETA investigator saw that calves were taken from their mothers soon after birth and penned within their view and heard a mother repeatedly calling out to her calf.
Painfully Overgrown Hooves and Horns
The whistleblower, who never saw a farrier visit the farm to trim the animals’ hooves, reported that they became overgrown, which PETA’s investigation confirmed, and that the animals struggled to walk.
Some buffaloes’ horns grew downward toward their faces. The whistleblower reported that one animal’s face was abraded by a horn growing into it and that a manager cut it off, causing it to bleed profusely.
Mothers Exploited for Their Milk
PETA’s investigation found that buffaloes suffered from uterine prolapses—a painful condition in which the animals’ internal reproductive tissue protrudes from their bodies. The whistleblower told PETA that many of these animals were bred and milked after their uteruses were stitched back into their bodies.
A Desperately Unnatural Environment for Tropical Animals
Water buffaloes are native to the tropical and subtropical climates of South and Southeast Asia and haven’t adapted to tolerate harsh Canadian winters, despite the company’s boast that its animals are “raised how nature intended.”
During PETA’s visit, one of the owners admitted that some animals had suffered from frostbite, causing them to lose patches of fur. The whistleblower alleged that some of them also lose teats and parts of their ears in the severe cold.
Dr. Mary Richardson, former chair of the Ontario solicitor general’s Animal Care Review Board, viewed the footage and stated, in part, “Not only do the buffalo show signs of physical distress, but the conditions they are kept in are deplorable.” PETA has submitted evidence of apparent violations of the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act to Ontario’s Animal Welfare Services. Yet five months after the complaint, filth and neglect persisted on the farm, as seen in this footage:
You Can Help Water Buffaloes
You can help stop the suffering in the meat and dairy industries—by not paying for it. Please avoid all animal-derived foods, even “natural” meat and dairy products, which are misleadingly labeled for marketing purposes. As long as profit is involved, animal welfare always takes a back seat.
PETA is asking Canadian grocer Longo’s to reconsider selling buffalo cheeses made from the milk of animals like these. Please join us by taking action using the form below today!
If you are Canadian, please also visit this page to take action on a dangerous bill that would prevent people from providing aid to animals and documenting abuse on Canadian farms.