Ireland Plans to Fly Unweaned Dairy Calves to EU Destinations
From May onwards Irish authorities will transport dairy calves (14 days+) by air in a bid to allay welfare scrutiny of live exports.
Irish authorities have announced plans to fly unweaned dairy calves from Ireland to other EU destinations from May, in an effort to address growing unease about the length of the journeys made by thousands of animals shipped each year to mainland Europe.
The Irish government has been subject to sustained scrutiny over live calf exports and the decision to experiment with flights, which will significantly cut travel time, comes as a European parliament committee of inquiry examines alleged failures across Europe in enforcing rules on protecting transported animals.
Ireland’s 1.6 million dairy herd is ever-expanding and the country is grappling with increasing numbers of calves born each spring. About 750,000 male dairy calves are born each year. Most are sold into the domestic beef sector, but approximately 30,000 are slaughtered, while 200,000 are earmarked for live export by road and sea for veal production on the continent. – The Guardian –