Chief vet moves to reassure UK public on shipping of young calves
Sheila Voas, Scotland’s chief veterinary officer, stressed the ‘high welfare standards’ that were in place when animals are transported.
Scotland’s chief vet has insisted “high welfare standards” are in place when animals are transported overseas, branding a recent TV programme about the practice “alarmist”.
Sheila Voas, who is Scotland’s chief veterinary officer, said she wanted to “reassure” the public on the issue.
Ms Voas spoke out after ferry company P&O announced it was halting the transportation of live calves from Scotland after the screening of a BBC documentary.
Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon however said she was concerned by that decision.
Ms Gougeon said while she was “shocked” by some of the scenes of young animals being transported in the programme, she stressed there was nothing in it “that suggested any harm had been done or there was any breach of any welfare standards by anyone transporting the calves from Scotland to Northern Ireland, Ireland or continental Europe”.
Heading home after informative couple days northern Spain talking to researchers about results of long distance calf transport project + seeing for myself. Evidence based policy making at work. pic.twitter.com/gzGGl5IRWd— Sheila Voas (@CVOScotland) August 9, 2018
Writing in The Times, Ms Voas said much of the commentary around the practice “could be politely referred to as alarmist”.
The Scottish Government is currently undertaking a year’s worth of research to determine the effects on the calves of these journeys.
Ms Voas stated: “As Scotland’s chief veterinary officer I want to reassure the public that Scotland has a responsible dairy industry that cares about the welfare of these animals and is subject to the highest standards of welfare as regulated by European law.”