Today Eyes on Animals met with Van Drie and Pali regarding the calves they import from Ireland. During the transportation of unweaned calves, from Ireland to the Netherlands, legislation concerning feeding is repeatedly violated. Unweaned calves, 2-3 weeks old are being given milk only once during a 50 hour journey. Legally, these calves are supposed to be given milk after a maximum of 19 hours and actually even after 9 hours ( in the resting hour during transport). In addition, the conditions at the control stops in France are very stressful and in 2019 we uncovered calves being abused at these places. Read our latest inspection article here >>
Van Drie and Pali told us they will write a statement in which they disapprove of these violations and to appeal to the Irish government to improve enforcement. We are happy about this but have asked Van Drie and Pali to take concrete measures themselves that the calves (imported by them) are given milk in line with legislation.
In addition we expressed our concerns regarding the quality of milk at the control stops and the high speed that the calves are fed . Van Drie and Pali have both pledged they will approach the control stops in France (through the branch organization SBK) about their working practices. We hope this will not be limited to an e-mail but that actual checks will take place.
Van Drie and Pali were not averse to a minimum transport age of four weeks. At this age calves are slightly stronger. Eyes on Animals believes it would be much better if the calves stay at the dairy farm with their mother for the first three months before being exported to Van Drie and Pali. At this age calves are no longer dependent on milk and are more resilient to the stresses of long distance transport. Finally, we have requested playing materials be provided in the stalls where the calves are housed. -These stalls are often bare and the playful and inquisitive calves have nothing to do all day.