Monday, May 08, 2006

In The UK, Marchers Protest Against Live Calf (Veal) Exports: What is Veal and Why is it Cruel?

I wrote about this horrible practice of actually exporting live baby cows from the UK. You can see it here:

Well, it may happen. So, they’ll not only rip calves away from their mothers, but then will put them through the shock of travel and then put them through the hellish life of a veal calf. See here for more on the hellish existence of veal calves -


Animal rights marchers protest against live calf exports


Publisher: Jon Land
Published: 06/05/2006 - 17:42:31 PM

Several hundred people protested today against live calf exports, three days after a decade-long ban on exporting British beef was lifted.

Waving placards, blowing whistles and beating drums, the demonstrators, who fear the return of sales to Europe will expose animals to unnecessary suffering, marched through Dover, Kent, to the Eastern Docks where the first consignment of cattle is understood to have been shipped out from yesterday.

Among the group, which included representatives from Compassion In World Farming (CIWF), the RSPCA and vegetarian campaign group Viva!, was former MEP Stanley Johnson, and screenwriter Carla Lane.

The beef ban was brought in to stop the spread of mad cow disease in 1996 but EU vets agreed to lift it earlier this year due to the plummeting number of cases of BSE in the UK.

The industry says renewed live cattle exports will help it claw back trade previously worth some £650million a year.

Viva!, which organised today's event, said it was concerned that the animals suffer during long journeys and are then kept in pens or in veal crates where they don't even have room to turn around.

Campaign manager Toni Vernelli told protesters: "It's a miserable fate and it's obviously why we have come out today to show the government and the public that we are disgusted that this trade has started again."

Mr Johnson, who has been involved in CIWF for a decade, also addressed the crowd.

He said before the event: "What we would like to see is the British government say, 'We are jolly well going to take a unilateral stance on this one. It's unacceptable for calves to go overseas to be reared in conditions not acceptable in this country. If the EU Commission wants to challenge us, let them do so.'"

Ms Lane, who runs an animal sanctuary in Horsted Keynes, West Sussex, said: ``This is my passion, live exports. This is the thing that keeps me awake at night.

"It's just awful. To think that new calves are going out, it's so obscene to take a baby from its mother, to cram them in a truck and take it on a ship and then to drive it for miles to be put in a little crate.

"It's a cruel, terrible trade. I don't know how the government can ignore our voice. There are millions of people against this trade."

As the protestors snaked their way through the east Kent town in the pouring rain - one dressed as a cow and several wearing animal masks - passers-by stopped and stared.

One member of the crowd was nine-year-old Emma Bennett Noble, from Steyning, West Sussex, who had designed her own poster for the event depicting a crying animal.

"I want to stop animals being shipped over," she said. "They are going to get killed."

Her mother, 45-year-old Annie Noble, met Emma's father at a similar protest in Shoreham, West Sussex, in 1995.

The teacher said: "She's a product of live exports. She's a Shoreham baby and now she's come to protest.

"I think it's really important that children get a balanced education and they know what's going on in the world so they can make their own judgments."

The lifting of the beef ban means live cattle born on or after August 1, 1996 may be exported, along with beef from cattle slaughtered on or after June 15, 2005.

Restrictions remain in place for beef containing vertebral material and for beef sold on the bone.

The British beef industry expects exports to pick up gradually once contracts with buyers in Europe have been regained.

This could push up prime British beef prices in UK supermarkets as overseas demand for the product increases, the National Beef Association has warned.

The use of veal crates is already banned in the UK and is set to be stopped across the EU from January 1, 2007.

The National Farmers' Union earlier called on British exporters not to send animals to buyers in Europe where veal crates are still in use.

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