There’s some good news about the welfare of our most vulnerable charges: young calves.
I hate selling any of our animals but we simply can’t keep all the bull calves. Our solution is to sell them to a neighbour over the river who grows them out until they are big, powerful two-year-olds. Not all dairy farmers have this option though and send them to market as young “bobby” calves.
For a long time now, there have been standards to ensure they are strong enough and fully fed before they leave the farm but once we hand over their custodianship, we could only rely on the decency of their buyers. The good news is that while governments have not been able to reach a consensus, the people involved with bobby calves have taken the lead and announced new national standards concerning their care.
The electronic scanning technology is already in place to make sure the standards are kept and I really hope that monitoring reveals the people who take calves from farms are already doing better than we expect.