The Beyond Calf Exports Stakeholders Forum has, by giving calves a value in the UK, led to a reduction in the number of male dairy calves shot at birth or exported live to veal farms on the continent.
Around 18 months after the launch of an all-industry voluntary agreement on calf welfare, real progress can be shown by the 60,000 calves that have been saved from export or being shot at birth over the year June 2008 to May 2009.
The Beyond Calf Exports Stakeholders Forum was first convened by Compassion in World Farming and the RSPCA in June 2006 following the resumption of live calf exports after the BSE-related restrictions were lifted. The forum, involving key representatives from the food and farming industry, government and academia produced its first report with recommendations for stakeholder action in January 2008.
Attitudes to male dairy calves are becoming more black and white, 2nd November 2009, is the Beyond Calf Exports Stakeholders Forum's annual progress report showing that working together is making a real difference to the welfare of calves in a way that benefits all stakeholders involved.
Compassion in World Farming's involvement in establishing the Forum was sparked by a vision where male dairy calves are acknowledged as sentient beings, born with a moral and economic value.
Philip Lymbery, Chief Executive of Compassion in World Farming, said: "The results of the forum's success to date are immensely encouraging. The Beyond Calf Exports forum is actively progressing the main welfare issues with respect to calves; reducing the shooting at birth or the export of pure-bred male dairy calves, once deemed worthless in the UK. These issues are being improved on as the economic and sentient value of the animal has increased."
The progress report has shown the forum's widespread commitment from leading retailers, farming groups and other food industry stakeholders to see an increasing number of male dairy calves reared in the UK beef industry and stakeholders are having a direct impact and increasing the uptake of calves, despite the end of calf exports in July 2008 due to TB controls.
The progress report includes case studies of schemes designed to increase the uptake of male black and white dairy calves when reared on UK farms, rather than exported or shot at birth. Leading retailers, including Tesco and Asda have submitted examples of best practice schemes in the report.*
Download the full report
ATTITUDES TO MALE DAIRY CALVES ARE BECOMING MORE BLACK & WHITE:
For more information go to www.calfforum.org.uk
Calf life - wanted not wasted
This campaign was launched to Compassion's supporters on 3 June 2009.
For a campaigning toolkit and how to lobby local restaurants, delis or butchers to only serve British veal or other higher welfare alternatives go to ciwf.org/calflife
* Case studies were provided by:
Asda, Blade Farming, Linden Foods, Marks & Spencer, McDonald's, Arla & NMR, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Tesco, Waitrose and Compassion in World Farming