Ir­ish veal calves’ hellish 56-hour cramped jour­ney to Dutch abat­toir

Slaugh­tered young, starved and pent up

Irish Daily Mail - - News - By Jane Fal­lon Grif­fin

WHITE veal is meat from young milk-fed calves, usu­ally aged be­tween six and eight months.

To pro­duce the de­sired white colour, calves are fed a re­stricted low-iron diet and a milk sup­ple­ment.

The lack of iron in the blood keeps the meat white.

The calf is also dis­cour­aged from ex­er­cis­ing to pre­vent the meat be­com­ing tough.

The largest buyer of Ir­ish veal calves is the Nether­lands, where 70% of pro­duc­tion is white veal, ac­cord­ing to the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion.

In 2007, the EU in­tro­duced a ban on veal crates that lim­ited calf move­ment.

Now they must be kept in in­di­vid­ual pens in which they can turn around up to the age of eight weeks; af­ter­wards they

must be kept in groups.

Al­though white veal is not widely con­sumed in Ire­land, in Europe it is a very prof­itable op­tion for farm­ers as there is high de­mand for the meat in res­tau­rants and homes.

White veal is con­sumed widely in the Nether­lands, France, Italy and Ger­many and Ir­ish calves are sent to th­ese lo­ca­tions to meet the grow­ing de­mand.

Rose veal is veal with higher stan­dards of an­i­mal wel­fare wherein the calves are not fed a re­stricted diet.

The calves are also older when slaugh­tered and have more space to move around and in­ter­act with other calves.

Groups of calves are kept in­doors with nat­u­ral light, plenty of straw and room to move around freely.

As a re­sult, the colour of the meat is pinker than that of the white veal.

An­i­mal wel­fare or­gan­i­sa­tion Com­pas­sion in World Farm­ing – Ire­land has backed the pro­duc­tion of rose veal in Ire­land as an al­ter­na­tive to the tra­di­tional prac­tices that are as­so­ci­ated with white veal.

Dis­cour­aged from ex­er­cis­ing

Cruel end: One of the calves filmed in Eyes On An­i­mals’ re­port. Be­low: A calf be­ing trans­ported by road

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