Article Text

Welfare in veal calf units
  1. G Van Putten

Abstract

Compared to France, Italy, the Netherlands and Germany the production of white veal in the United Kingdom is relatively limited. Nevertheless, public interest in veal calf welfare appears to be lively. Although calves are sucklings of social-living ruminants, veal calves are not allowed to suck, to have a social life or to ruminate. This, added to anaemia in order to obtain white meat, and the high rate of morbidity caused by high density of the animals, sums up the welfare problems which arise. In principle, there are two types of housing: single housing in crates or group housing. Group housing is almost impossible for calves younger than six weeks, because of disease control and urine sucking. Even after this age it requires much skill and labour. Enforceable regulations within the European Economic Community concerning the amount of light in the fattening houses and the measurements of crates for individual housing are suggested. It is recommended that anaemia in young calves should be treated.

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