WUR and Louis Bolk, two leading scientific research centers in the Netherlands, have worked on a report about the success factors, advantages and challenges to overcome of keeping calves together with their mothers on dairy farms instead of separating them after birth. This report was made due to a broadcast on Radar, a popular Dutch TV show, where Eyes on Animals was invited to talk about the welfare problems on dairy farms based on our investigative report called “Giving Milk a Good Shake – Looking at better ways to produce dairy”. The television show caused a lot of commotion, especially because footage was shown of a calf that was separated from its mother a few hours after birth – which is still common practice on dairy farms. In 2016 the Dutch House of Representatives even accepted a motion to make a plan for keeping calves with their mothers. Former minister Van Dam informed the MP’s that this was primarily the farmers’ own responsibility and choice. Now, in 2018, the plan (in the form of a report) was finally published. The welfare advantages of keeping calves with their mothers on dairy farms is clearly present and is getting more and more support by concerned consumers and also now by scientists and even more and more farmers. Eyes on Animals is very happy that our report and our presence on the TV show has stimulated this lively discussion which will in practice lead to important welfare reforms in the dairy and veal sector .
You can watch the show on RADAR HERE.
The report by WUR and Louis Bolk can be read HERE.