19th February, 2016
ICSA beef chairman Edmond Phelan has called for regulation to be introduced to prevent the sale of calves less than 14 days old at marts. “Farmers buying calves a few days old are exposing themselves to all sorts of potential risk. They need to ensure that the calf is good and healthy and that it has received adequate colostrum at birth. Problems are likely to arise within the first fourteen days. Hence, this is a measure to protect the interests of calf buyers.”
“Marts should not be used as dumping grounds for calves that are not yet fit to be sold. At present calves cannot be exported until they reach two weeks of age and the same rule should apply to bringing calves to be sold at marts. I see no difficulty in implementing a mandatory minimum age limit of two weeks before a calf can be presented for sale.”
“When you look at this issue from an animal welfare stance it’s very straightforward. Giving a calf the opportunity to establish itself is not an unreasonable requirement. I would call on all concerned parties including the marts and department of agriculture officials to look at this matter immediately,” he said.