Meat Producers in Canada Have Banned Veal Crates. So Why Won’t the Country’s Animal Care Council?

Any reasonable person can see that veal crates are cruel. To become veal, a baby calf is violently ripped from his wailing mother and locked up alone with nothing to sleep on but a barren wooden floor. Deliberately starved of essential nutrients and exercise to keep his young flesh “tender, he is left to suffer in solitary confinement until he’s killed.

Sadly, the taxpayer-funded National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) continues to support keeping calves alone in crates so small the animals can barely move. Despite scientific evidence affirming that calves need exercise and social interaction to thrive, NFACC doesn’t mandate enough space for these baby animals to walk around, let alone run or play with other calves.

Luckily, Canadians have proved time and again that they can make a change. When a 2014 undercover investigation by Mercy For Animals into Délimax, a Quebec veal factory farm, revealed abuse that’s all too common in veal production—calves crammed into feces-ridden wooden crates barely larger than their own bodies, calves chained by the neck and unable to turn around or lie down comfortably, and injured animals left to suffer and slowly die in their own filth—the public outcry was substantial, and the industry responded.

As a result of the horrifying investigation, Les Producteurs de bovins du Québec (Quebec Cattle Producers) committed to banning veal crates in favor of loose housing at its member facilities by 2018, and the Veal Farmers of Ontario recommended a phaseout by the same year. Major retailers Loblaws, Sobeys, and Metro agreed to ban veal crates in their supply chains, and Harvey Buksbaum, president of Montpak International, North America’s largest veal producer, committed to a ban on veal crates for his company by 2018.

Canadians care about preventing extreme animal cruelty, and our taxpayer-funded organizations should as well. Therefore, given NFACC’s failure, MFA is calling on the veal industry to ensure it honors its commitment to ending the use of cruel crates in favor of group housing for these social baby animals.

While veal production is one of the most abusive forms of animal agriculture, suffering is also widespread throughout the meat, dairy, and egg industries. Undercover investigations by MFA at dairy farms, pig farms, egg farms, hatcheries, and slaughterhouses have all exposed violence and cruelty to farmed animals.

No baby deserves a short, miserable life for the sake of someone’s dinner. Compassionate consumers can end their financial support of farmed animal abuse by rejecting veal and other animal products and adopting a compassionate plant-based diet.