Dutch give green light to resume long-distance calf transports

Ready to be shipped on? Photo: Depositphotos.com

The Netherlands is to resume transporting calves under the age of two months to countries such as Spain, Italy and Poland, broadcaster NOS said on Thursday.

The transport of live calves over long distances was halted in 2015 by government officials who said lorries were not properly equipped with drinking water for such young animals.

A new system to provide water using an artificial suckling system has now been developed, so officials have given the green light for transports to resume.

Calf farmers in the Netherlands had said they were at a disadvantage because the Netherlands was the only country to reject the EU-approved artificial nipple-based system.

‘This resulted in an uneven playing field, because German, Belgian and French traders could continue transporting young calves,’ a spokesman for the industry told NOS.

Animal welfare lobby group Dierenbescherming is unhappy that transports are being resumed. It says the calves should be slaughtered in the Netherlands and that the meat should then be exported.

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