Ireland continues to break EU feeding laws for unweaned calves during transport when they export them to mainland Europe via roll-on roll-off ferry. From the moment the calves are loaded on the trucks in Ireland to the moment they are finally given feed/milk after arrival in France at least 24 – 30 hours have gone by. Milk is the only type of “ feed” these young animals can consume at their age, and it is not possible to give them milk while on board a truck. According to EU law, unweaned calves are supposed to be given liquid and, if necessary, feed after 9 hrs on board a truck and after 19 hrs they must be unloaded from the truck to be properly rested and fed. But, Stena Line and Irish Ferries continue to facilitate this trade, the Irish authorities continue to permit it, and even the European Union is tolerating it. The EU state that we, the NGOs, have not been able to prove that the unweaned calves are not being fed milk on the trucks during the 19-hour ferry crossing! It is time this cruel trade, whereby calves suffer from dehydration, exhaustion, hunger, shipping fever, and horrific physical abuse at the control posts in Cherbourg France, is put to an end. Calves should remain on the Irish farms until at least 2 months of age when their immune systems are fully developed and they are no longer dependent on milk for their nutrition.
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