Welfare group calls for ban on cattle hormone

19 August 1998

Welfare group calls for ban on cattle hormone

By FWi staff

ANIMAL welfare group Compassion in World Farming has called for a pan-European ban on a synthetically produced cattle growth hormone that can boost milk production.

An estimated 15% of dairy cows in the USA are regularly injected with genetically engineered supplies of the hormone in question, bovine somatotropin (BST).

But a report released today by CIWF calls for BST to be banned in Europe when the current European Union moratorium on the hormone expires next year.

The reports author and CIWF director Joyce DSilva said: “Cows can suffer a range of painful conditions when injected regularly with BST.”

CIWF believes that the authorised use of BST would contravene the Amsterdam Protocol on Animal Welfare, which requires EU member states to “pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals.

Current information suggests cattle treated with BST are more likely to have mastitis or lameness and other metabolic disorders.

But the hormone poses no danger to human health, animal welfare or babies, according to a recent study by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Health Organisation.

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