Some of the suggestions included inserting a hose into the cow’s “fanny” and blowing into it (called “tubing” in the industry), which is a breach of the Dairy Cattle Code of Welfare.
Other comments included using “the old electric dildo” up the cow’s behind, putting a fist up the cow’s behind, bending the cow’s tail or to “fire sum [sic] lead poison at it”.
This follows the recent release of a Farmwatch video showing more mistreatment of bobby calves, and another showing a cow suspended from a tractor by hip clamps.
According to emails by one of the complainants, verbal warnings were the only action taken by MPI in relation to the tubing comments, due to a lack of evidence about the act being performed.
Complaints were also made to Fonterra, which has identified some of the commenters as working on farms owned by Fonterra farmers.
A Fonterra spokeswoman said the farm owners were upset at the comments made and have dealt with the issue “accordingly”.
“Our farmers are absolutely committed to responsible dairying and the vast majority of them meet or exceed animal welfare best practice,” she said.
“The manner of the comments, whether in jest or not, are unacceptable to Fonterra.