Stop long distance transport of calves! New campaign from Animal Protection Denmark
Animal Protection Denmark wants to create political pressure on the Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Rasmus Prehn, and the Danish Government to change the legislation still allowing for the transport of young calves over long-distance.
They are doing this, among other things, by reaching out to selected political parties to inform them about the suffering of calves during long-distance transports and mobilising as many people as possible with a public petition.
Each year, more than 33,000 calves cross the Danish border and are transported over long-distance to the Netherlands to feed into the production of light and rosé veal (formerly known as whole milk calves). This is considered a delicacy in several southern European countries, but the production is so stressful for the calves that it is banned in Denmark.
The calves are primarily young bull calves between 2-4 weeks, which are considered a byproduct of very low value in the Danish dairy production system.
During transport, the calves are at risk of severe suffering, and exposed to prolonged hunger and thirst, as they are not familiar with the drinking devices placed inside the trucks, and they do not know how to use them. In addition, calves at that age have an immunological gap which makes them susceptible to infections. The risk of infection naturally increases during transport, when about 200 calves from different herds are loaded into a truck.
Animal Protection Denmark is advocating to ensure that these animals become legally considered “unfit” for transport, given the amount of suffering they have to undergo.
So it is proposing to the Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries to add the following provision to the existing National legislation on the protection of animals during transport: "Calves under eight weeks of age shall not be considered fit for transportation lasting more than eight hours."
The main purpose of the current campaign is to have this point included and thus de facto to ban long haul transport of infant calves.