April 23, 2014
Major Grocery Chains to Phase Out Inhumane Calf Crates
In response to decisions from three of Canada’s largest grocery retailers to require their suppliers end the use of individual crates for veal calves by 2018, Sayara Thurston, campaign manager with Humane Society International/Canada issued the following statement:
“Humane Society International/Canada welcomes the announcements from Sobeys, Metro and Loblaw that they will the phase the use of cruel veal crates out of their supply chains by 2018. Confining newborn calves in tiny crates where they can barely move is an inhumane practice that causes immeasurable suffering to these infant animals, and we urge the entire veal industry to take steps to transition away from these archaic intensive confinement systems as soon as possible, in favour of open housing systems that give calves more opportunity to move and interact with other animals. The way factory farms currently abuse calves in this country is appalling, as recently released undercover footage shot by a Mercy for Animals Canada investigator shows. Canada’s veal industry is lagging behind jurisdictions around the world in ending this horrendous practice, and should act immediately to do so.”
- The veal industry is a direct by product of the dairy industry and depends on it for survival, as veal calves are usually the male offspring of dairy cows.
- Milk-fed veal calves are denied solid food and kept anemic throughout their short 16-week lives, in order to produce a paler cut of meat. This insufficient diet causes well-documented and significant negative physical and psychological impacts on calves.
- Calves raised in intensive confinement are denied the chance to express even their most instinctive behaviours. Restricted to crates barely larger than their own bodies, they are unable to take more than a step forward or back, turn around or lie down comfortably. They have no chance to interact with other animals, exercise, groom themselves, suckle or explore.
- In 2012, 335,000 male calves were slaughtered for human consumption in Canada.
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