Most calves exported from Britain to suffer in veal crates are born as un-wanted 'by-products' of the dairy industry. To give milk, a cow must first produce a calf, and she will do this on average once for evry 10,000 pints of milk. In her life, she will produce four calves or more, only one of whom is likely to be reared to fill her place in the traditional dairy herd. The remaining three will be sent to market when only a few days old and are likely to end up on one of the trucks bound for a veal crate in France.
Dairy cattle are slow-growing, and farmers claim that they must be prevented from moving - even to scratch an itch - and fed a diet which makes them anaemic, if their flesh is to be white when they reach slaughter weight.
They say this is why little veal is produced in the more humane group housing systems where calves are able to walk about, lie down, and eat food which is not artificially deficient in iron.
Following the lead of William Waldegrave, the Agriculture Minister, the British dairy industry has washed its hands of responsibility for the fate of the calves it breeds. We say this is not good enough. Producers have a responsibility to see that calves are not sent abroad to suffer conditions which are illegal in Britain.
Consumer pressure caused the ferry companies to stop carrying animals for slaughter abroad. Join the campaign! Give up milk products, and end this cruel trade.
Join the campaign!
For more information:
Animal Rights Cambridge: 01223 311828
Animal Aid Cambridge: 01223 891054