Selfridges is removing veal from its shelves after Compassion in World Farming discovered calves kept in narrow pens little wider than veal crates at farms in the Netherlands.
The investigation uncovered hundreds of calves being kept in small narrow stalls without bedding.
The Independent newspaper showed Compassion in World Farming's footage to the department store who immediately removed the veal from sale and promised to move to a higher welfare veal.
Although veal crates are banned across Europe, individual pens are allowed for calves up to eight weeks of age. Reviewing the footage Peter Stevenson, Chief Policy Advisor for Compassion in World Farming said it was questionable if some of the pens met legal standards.
"Stalls must be wide enough to allow the calves to turn round but some look as if they may be too narrow to enable the calves to do this. We also saw that the walls did not appear to allow proper tactile contact with other calves as is required by law," says Peter.
"Apart from the legal aspects, I feel the systems shown are desperately impoverished. They represent a cynical 'what's the least we can get away with' attitude rather than a genuine attempt to provide good welfare and to respond to the spirit of the legislation.
"If this is what the legislation permits (although, I think some stalls are so narrow that they may not comply with the Directive) then we have to attack the legislation as being totally inadequate - as a review of the EU Calves Directive is coming up, it would be timely to highlight its deficiencies."
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