Top dairy farmer demands 'zero tolerance approach' to the mistreatment of Irish calves
A zero tolerance approach to the mistreatment of animals has been demanded by the one of the country’s leading dairy farmers.
Galway-based milk supplier, Kevin Moran, said the “aggressive and cruel” treatment of Irish calves at a Cherbourg lairage recently could not be tolerated.
The Macra Young Farmer of the Year said there “absolutely no place” for such behaviour in Irish agriculture and he warned of the reputational damage that such incidents can cause for the industry.
Footage emerged recently allegedly showing the mistreatment of Irish calves at the Cherbourg lairage in northern France while the animals were being transported to farms on the continent.
The incident, which involved a French worker at the facility, resulted in calls from the ISPCA and the Green Party for the live export of calves from Ireland to be banned.
Commenting on the footage, Mr Moran said: “There is absolutely no place for that behaviour in agriculture and it is important that we come down hard on people like that to ensure our animals and reputations are protected.”
Mr Moran stressed that given the country’s dependence on export markets; Irish agriculture must be “ethically sustainable”.
“Our consumers’ demands are constantly evolving and we must continuously improve and adapt to exceed these expectations. Here in Ireland we have the highest animal welfare standards and we must voice that message to everyone,” Mr Moran said.
Mr Moran was speaking at the launch by Mayo Co Council of ‘A Sustainable Agricultural Strategy for Mayo’, a comprehensive analysis of Mayo’s farming sector that aims to provide a road-map for the future development of the industry in the county.
Close to 160,000 calves were exported from Ireland last year, with the vast majority going to Spain and the Netherlands.
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