For its Veterinary Technician Program, Seneca College in Toronto, Canada purchases calves from a local farmer at the beginning of every year. The animals are then used by the vets-to-be, giving the students the chance to learn about the animals and interact with them. The time spent with the cows – who are, basically, like huge dogs – can very easily result in a real bond developing between the animals and the people. Because of this, its no wonder many students are upset to find that at the end of the year, the calves are auctioned off so they can return to the “food production cycle.”
This year’s class had a very different idea about what should – and very easily could – happen to the four calves they named Bambi, Huey, Pongo, and Chester.
The class launched a fundraising campaign online and managed to raise about $3,000 to buy the calves at an auction and send them to a sanctuary. The animals’ new home was to be the Love of Brian Farm Sanctuary near Meaford, Ontario. Unfortunately, this happy ending did not come to be true. The students were misinformed about the date of the auction and could not save the animals. The calves were purchased by someone else, so there was no more hope for a life in the sanctuary … or any life at all.
“We were devastated,” said Erika Landry, a first-year-student at Seneca College. “They act like large dogs, essentially. They’re very snugly, very docile. They’re beautiful creatures.”
In response to the incident, Seneca College held a town hall meeting to speak with its students about how the animals will be treated and used in the future. According to the program coordinator, there is a possibility that the college will change its policy on the matter. Meanwhile, the money raised by the students wishing to save Bambi, Huey, Pongo, and Chester will go to an animal sanctuary to rescue other calves.
The four animals who were eventually sold to be slaughtered could have been saved so easily. The college uses young cows every year to offer valuable knowledge to its students – is sending those very animals to sanctuaries instead of to slaughter too much to ask for in return? Click here to sign a petition asking Seneca College to commit to sending their classroom farm animals to a sanctuary!
Image source: Kadres/Pixabay