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EU proposes welfare ban on common cattle practices

NEW animal welfare guidelines being proposed by the EU will have a major impact on cattle breeding and production.

A draft of the new EU animal welfare proposals, seen by the Farming Independent, recommends that a wide range of current cattle production practices be banned.

The guidelines advise that the electro-ejaculation of bulls to collect semen be banned. It also promotes the breeding of hornless cattle following the banning of stunning animals before dehorning/debudding. While Aberdeen Angus cattle and a small selection of Charolais cattle are naturally polled, most cattle have to be dehorned as calves.

The draft proposals also recommend that bulls be anaesthetised when having rings placed in their noses. This would mean that only veterinarians would be allowed to put bull rings in place.

It is also proposed that every farmer keep animal welfare statements that would be checked by the Department of Agriculture under the new Single Farm Payment inspection system.

The main ethos of the proposal is to encourage a more holistic approach to animal welfare on farms.

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