'We don't like killing them' - Export firm giving bull calves away for free
Friesian bull calves are being advertised for free by an Irish live export company.
The Wicklow Calf Company advert appeared over the weekend and states that the 18 Friesian bull calves are "free to a good home and healthy but unwanted for our job".
Seamus Scallan of the Wicklow Calf Company told the Farming Independent that they offer 20 "small" bull calves a week for free that are not suitable for export shipping.
"We buy all our calves directly from the farmer. If there are small calves that aren't suitable for exporting we don't give them to the factories," he said.
"We don't like killing them from an animal welfare point of view so this is why we offer them for free. We gave away 70 one week."
The advert on DoneDeal.ie also says the calves are aged between three and eight weeks old and must be collected from the Kilahurler-based operation outside Arklow.
Mr Scallan added that he still has major concerns on lairage capacity for live exports and said that if the Minister for Agriculture doesn't address the matter soon and have meetings with exporters, 2020 could be a difficult year for exports.
"There isn't enough dialogue going on between the Minister and the live exporters," he said.
"A lot of work needs to be done and there are problems coming down the line if the Minister doesn't wake up and act."
Asked about the recent live export footage which showed Irish calves being mistreated in France, Mr Scallan said that welfare of the calves when they are in Ireland "couldn't be better".
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