The Timely Topic of Unweaned Calf Transportation

13 Dec 2021
This Thursday the Intergroup will meet to discuss the structural breaches of Regulation 1/2005 on the Transportation of Unweaned calves and to also appoint its new President. We will hear from speakers from Compassion in World Farming, Ethical Farming Ireland, and the Spokesperson for Eyes on Animals for the UK and Ireland.

This Intergroup session will focus on the experience of unweaned calves, particularly looking at the unweaned calf trade in the EU as well as video footage of calf export from Ireland. The term “unweaned calves'' includes calves who are still dependent on their mothers milk and are under the age of 8 months.  A calf's immune system is weakest between the second and sixth week of its life (immunological gap). Nevertheless, Regulation (EC) No 1/2005, states that calves may be transported for up to eight hours from the age of 10 days and for more than eight hours from 14 days. Experts warn against the stress this causes on these young animals. 

Article 3 of the Regulation stipulates the general conditions for the transport of animals, which includes the requirement that no person shall cause animals to be transported in a way likely to cause them injury or undue suffering. Thus what changes can be made to existing legislation to alleviate the suffering of unweaned calves? To what extent will the Commission ensure this is included in their upcoming revision of the animal welfare acquis? 

Join us on Thursday to learn more about the ongoing unweaned calf trade and what improvements for their welfare can be expected in the coming years.