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CIWF Praise Switch Towards Veal

28 August 2008

UK - Animal welfare group, Compassion In World Farming, asks consumers who eat veal to ditch the continental products in favour of British produced high-welfare veal and thereby ensure that these male dairy calves are given a life worth living.

The organisation says news that Marks & Spencer is launching its range of high welfare veal products is another welcome addition to the debate over the fate of male dairy calves.

The calves reared for Marks & Spencer’s high-welfare British veal products, are fed whole milk, eat a natural diet and are group housed with straw bedding in well-lit barns throughout the rearing period. Compassion in World Farming believes this is a better alternative to the current fate of male dairy calves in the UK, where they are often killed at birth or exported to conditions which can fall short of UK law on welfare requirements.

Although Compassion was successful in achieving an EU-wide ban on the notorious veal crate in 2007, the minimal welfare conditions which calves are kept in across the continent, together with the long journeys for those exported, are still a serious cause of concern.

We want to find a long-term solution to the problem of the “unwanted” male dairy calf and are working closely with food and farming industry and the RSPCA through the Beyond Calf Exports stakeholder forum to find viable solutions. We fully support this move by M&S, named the Compassionate Supermarket in our recent supermarket survey.

The History of Veal Crates

In 1987, the UK government voted to phase out cruel veal crates for calves following a court case and campaign from Compassion in World Farming. The ban came into place in the UK in 1990.

Six years later, continued pressure from Compassion in World Farming also resulted in legislation to ban veal crates across Europe from 2007. Because of this campaign, veal crates are now outlawed in all countries in the EU.

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