UK calves need our help
Every year, nearly half a million unwanted calves are born in the UK, only to be transported long distances* to continental veal farms or shot at birth. A small, but increasing, number are reared in the UK for beef or veal.
* Calf exports from the UK are currently suspended due to an industry-led import ban of British calves. This is due to fears over bovine TB.
Born to be wasted
Dairy cows give birth once a year in order to produce milk. Female calves join the dairy herd, but male dairy calves cannot produce milk. Only a few join the beef herd; being a pure-bred dairy breed, these calves are not considered to be well suited for beef production.
Compassion believes all animals are born with a moral and economic value, and wants UK calves to be reared in high welfare systems.
Compassion in World Farming’s investigations unit has gone behind the scenes to document one of the biggest trades in live animals in mainland Europe: the long distance transport of hundreds of thousands of calves from Poland to Italy and The Netherlands.
Working with stakeholders
Together with the RSPCA, we are working with the dairy and beef industry, UK supermarkets and government, through the Beyond Calf Exports Stakeholders Forum, to implement alternatives to the waste of the dairy industry’s unwanted calves.
Transport Regulation and Calves Directive
We lobby the European Commission, European Parliament and EU Agriculture Ministers to obtain a stronger Calves Directive to protect the welfare of calves on farm.
We also make complaints to Member State governments and the European Commission regarding breaches of the Transport Regulation and the Calves Directive.
Visit our transport pages for more information on transport of calves across Europe.
What food to eat
We're here to show you how simple it is to make the lives of farm animals better through the food you eat. In our Your Food section we give you information about what type of dairy and veal to choose when you shop.
Find out how you can help us campaign to improve calf welfare.