The New Zealand meat industry is welcoming a suggestion from the Ministry for Primary Industries at the end of February that rules around euthanasia of bobby calves should be tightened.
“There is a significant potential risk to the reputation of New Zealand’s primary industries if animals are not treated in a humane manner, according to best international practice.
“The meat industry also values bobby calves as a resource and provides a pathway for humane slaughter which is subject to veterinary oversight. Processing and marketing bobby calf veal, which is exported to a range of markets, creates more value for New Zealand.
“We recognise this involves transportation of calves. Research shows a calf that is healthy, well-fed and hydrated can handle being trucked. The industry works closely with farmers, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), transport companies, vets and the dairy industry to maintain good animal welfare practices. MPI monitors the transportation of bobby calves and their handling at processing plants,” says Ritchie.
MIA will take part in a consultation by the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee about a possible amendment to the Animal Welfare (Dairy Cattle) Code of Welfare 2010.