Asda announced on 15 September the launch of a new supply scheme, the 360º Sustainable Dairy Calf Scheme, which will help to save unwanted calves from being shot or being exported live, through the use of sexed-semen and the introduction of their meat into the mainstream British beef market.
Compassion in World Farming welcomes this excellent initiative in support of dairy calves, as it is line with most of the Beyond Calf Exports Stakeholder Forum's recommendations for a better welfare of these animals.
Firstly, Asda is promoting the use of sexed semen among its farmers, cutting the price for this technology which allows farmers to select the sex of the animal prior to insemination. As a recent report commissioned by Compassion in World Farming shows, this technique is one of the keys in avoiding male calves being born and therefore is crucial in putting an end to shooting after birth and export.
Secondly, the supermarket chain is now working with its partner Anglo Beef Processors to accommodate young dairy bulls into their standard range, potentially saving all the 20,000 calves born on ASDA 's DairyLink farms and encouraging farmers who are part of the 360º scheme to rear those calves. This part of the project means that dairy bulls will be reared up to the age of 12 months, almost twice the age of veal.
Compassion in World Farming, as part of the Beyond Calf Exports Stakeholder Forum, is committed to improving the welfare of calves, working for solutions that combine high animal welfare standards with environmental principles and business sense. We are really pleased that this new initiative from ASDA is also following in that direction.
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