Young farmers named worst liars of the year for "we love cows" campaign
The young farmers’ campaign “Farmers love cows” was voted the biggest liar of the year in Wakker Dier’s annual Liegbeest Awards. The campaign received 63 percent of the 21,675 votes, the animal welfare organization announced. “It’s good to see that consumers are no longer accepting the dairy sector’s sweet talk,” said Wakker Dier director Anne Hilhorst.
The commercial by the Nederlands Agrarisch Jonge Kontakt, an association of young farmers, claims that “we farmers take good care of our cows.” They can “chill out if they want to” and are “milked with care,” the ad claims.
“Sounds wonderful, of course. But unfortunately, many farmers mainly take care of their own skin,” Hilhorst said. According to Wakker Dier, in reality, cows are often kept on hard floors in dirty stables. More than half of cows in the Netherlands have hoof infections. And they produce an average of 9,200 liters of milk per year - so much that cows’ milk supplies are exhausted after an average of six years. “It’s time for the dairy sector to tell the honest story.”
Second place also went to the livestock sector -the goat sector received 20 percent of the votes for their “Discover the goat” campaign. The sector claims that goats in the Netherlands enjoy “optimal well-being.” But in reality, many baby goats die within two weeks, partly due to poor care, Wakker Dier said. Their mothers are never allowed outside and have no space to climb - a basic need for a goat.
“The Liegbeest election proved effective this year: three of the five candidates promised improvement soon after their nominations,” Wakker Dier said. Van Dobben will stop using factory farm chicken, Plus will stop lying about “free-roaming” calves, and Jumbo will remove claims about the “natural behavior” of tilapia from its website, the organization said.
The annual Liegbeest or Liar, Liar awards aim to draw consumers’ attention to false claims about animal welfare.