A number of images taken on a farm in Fgura and uploaded onto social media have led to outrage over the perceived conditions of the animals living there.
“This is absolutely horrendous and blatant animal abuse,” an animal activist said online. “This farm has been taken to court on countless occasions and has always won. We must expose the horror these innocent beings are suffering – even meat eaters cannot be OK with this.”
Many people commented on the fact that there was an image of a cow with what appears to be a crude wire tying two of its legs together.
“The back legs are tied together due to damaged pelvis,” Animal Liberation Malta said in a Facebook post. “The reason for this is because she has given birth far too many times. If her back legs weren’t tied, she wouldn’t be able to walk.”
Many people called out the wire, and the conditions in the images, as animal abuse, though local farmers tried to clear the air
Local farmers stepped in to explain what might have led to the wires being used.
“First of all, it’s not like in the description,” they said. “When such a procedure is undertaken, it is not due to the ‘huge’ number of births given that this incident happened, if that would be the case than my grandmother should have remained paralysed after giving birth to 16 children.”
“This procedure is done in order to support the mobilisation after some sort of slipping, that ‘belt’ is there only for support after some kind of accident occurred but definitely not from giving birth,” they continued.
Lovin Malta spoke to a local farmer who opened up about what the ‘belt’ could be.
“There’s no chaining, it’s just like when you go with a torn muscle or something and the doctor orders for you kalzetti tal-lakstu to provide some temporary support,” they told Lovin Malta. “To be more technical, the farmer should have used an appropriate support belt, he might have had no belt available at the moment and used what he found first, but a proper support belt would have been better.”
Animal Liberation Malta have been raising awareness over animal rights in Malta
“As humans, we have zero biological need for cows’ milk; in fact, it is detrimental to our health,” the group concluded.
“Dairy farms like this are causing havoc to the environment and are highly unsustainable. Please, drink plant-based milks. Soya, oat, rice, almond, cashew, hazelnut, coconut and the list goes on. It is also very easy to find non-dairy cheese, yogurt, cream, chocolate and ice-cream in Malta too. Ditch dairy, it’s a win-win.”