In recent years, Eyes on Animals has repeatedly alerted the VanDrie Group to the systematic violations in the importation of Irish calves. During their journey to Dutch calf-fattening farms, young calves are deprived of milk for more than 30 hours, which contravenes the European Transport Regulation. Additionally, we have observed that calves are consistently kicked and beaten at resting places in France. A significant portion of these calves is imported by the VanDrie Group.
This year, together with L214 and EFI, we documented the exact same violations once again: calves are deprived of milk for extended periods and subjected to mistreatment at resting places. In July of this year, the Irish television channel RTE extensively covered this issue, resulting in significant public outrage in Ireland, France, and the Netherlands. An extensive article was also dedicated to this matter by the Dutch TV program Zembla.
Despite immediately informing the VanDrie Group of our findings and providing them with RTE’s report, we have yet to receive any response from them. Despite being aware that the importation does not comply with European animal welfare standards, VanDrie has once again imported thousands of calves this year. Previous promises to improve animal welfare levels at markets, control posts and during transport have also been poorly or barely upheld. We are deeply disappointed in the passive stance of this market leader in veal production.