In June 2006, Compassion in World Farming and the RSPCA convened the Beyond Calf Exports Stakeholders Forum with leading stakeholders. Its aim was to find realistic and economically viable solutions that would result in a greater number of male dairy calves being reared in the UK, where they experience higher welfare than if they were exported and reared elsewhere.
Members of the Forum agreed to:
- Increase the uptake of male dairy calves into the beef chain
- Reduce the number of calves killed on farm
- Reduce the number of calves exported live for further fattening
The final progress report, The Modern Solution to the Exports of Calves: Working in Black and White includes case studies from leading retailers, processors and producers showing how they have each played a vital role in developing markets for beef and veal from black and white male dairy calves.
- An increase in the uptake of male dairy calves into the beef chain, which has risen by 58% since 2006 and represents 86% of male calves born
- A reduction in the number of calves killed on farm from 84,817 to 54,670, which represents 12% of those born in Britain
- A reduction in the number of calves being exported live for further fattening, which has reduced by 90% since 2006 to less than 8,000 calves
Challenges still remain
Approximately £100 million pounds is still being lost to the dairy and beef market by not rearing on male calves. What the Forum has shown is that innovative programmes, such as using steers instead of bulls, can bring more dairy calves to the British market.
Compassion in World Farming is engaging with food businesses across Europe to create economically sustainable and higher welfare supply chains for male dairy calves through our Good Dairy Awards.
- Download the full report: The Modern Solution to the Exports of Calves: Working in Black and White
- Download the Executive Summary
- Download the case studies.