Dairy farmer posts emotional response to calf abuse online
A Waikato dairy farmer shocked by footage showing abuse to newborn calves says his heartfelt response has struck a chord with many others.
Aaron Robertson, a 50:50 sharemilker in Walton, shot a video off the cuff, posted it to Facebook and within a few hours messages of support were pouring in.
‘‘We’re not murderers, we’re not animal abusers ... we’re honest family people making an honest living,’’ he said.
‘‘All I’m asking is for you guys to have a bit of sense,’’ he said.
‘‘That’s not everybody,’’ he said of the hiddencamera footage captured by Farmwatch and animal welfare organisation Safe. That’s only one per cent – 99 per cent of the farmers out there work their arses off.’’
Robertson regularly keeps a blog where he posts light-hearted videos about his life as a dairy farmer, but seeing the video and hearing the responses from different organisations prompted him to make a video with a more serious tone.
‘‘I was a bit shocked about it, I had to let people know that this doesn’t happen on my dairy farm and it doesn’t happen in the farms of people I know.’’
‘‘It was raw emotion that got to me and I had to get it out.’’
Robertson’s video has now been viewed more than 230,000 times, with almost 5000 people it.
He said the response had been mainly positive and had hit a nerve with other farmers, many of whom told him he had verbalised how they felt.