Partly because of our efforts the sector has drawn up a plan to put a stop to the transportation and slaughter of extremely young goat-kids. From 2025 dairy goat farmers will have to fatten all (100%) of their goat-kids up until a minimum of 2 weeks of age. In 2023 this needs to be at least 25% and in 2024 a minimum of 50%. Two weeks is indeed still too young and does not seem positive at all. The industry however states that raising the minimum age to two weeks (instead of the legal minimum of 1 week), will motivate farmers to fatten their kids to the age of 5 weeks as this is financially more attractive. Although 5 weeks is still too young, at this age the goat-kids are better able to withstand stress and longer periods without milk. Of course it remains important that these goat-kids are well taken care of at the dairy goat farm. This will be monitored by way of mortality rates.
In 2020 Eyes on Animals drew attention to the welfare of goat-kids via Radar TV show, with an extensive research report and via politics. Many goat-kids ( especially males, but also females) are transported to the slaughterhouse when they are just 7-14 days old. Eyes on Animals inspected these transports. We documented how vulnerable these goat-kids are; they are still unstable on their feet and often collapse on the loading ramp. The transports times are long because goat-kids (and culled dairy goats) are picked up at multiple farms. At the slaughterhouse the goat-kids are often weakened due to the long journey and waiting times without milk. We also found problems with the stunning and bleeding out.
Evidence drawn from our investigations in 2017 had already resulted in an action plan to lower the mortality rate among male kids on dairy farms. Also, the registration requirements regarding the birth of goat-kids have been tightened up (to better monitor mortality rates) and the waiting time for medication has been relaxed so that male kids can be treated easier in case of disease. We want to thank the sector for their efforts and will keep monitoring the progress closely.