Irish veal calves’ hellish 56-hour cramped journey to Dutch abattoir
Slaughtered young, starved and pent up
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