2 Aug 2010

MAF scrutinises bobby calves' treatment on dairy farms

5:58 am on 2 August 2010

The treatment of bobby calves on the country's dairy farms will come under increased scrutiny with the Ministry of Agriculture announcing it's stepping up its work in this area.

Last year, MAF began an animal welfare programme, in conjunction with industry groups, checking the condition of bobby calves when they were collected from farms.

This season it plans to include on-farm spot checks, to make sure bobby calves are being fed, housed and looked after properly.

Bobby calves are young mainly bull calves sent to meat plants for the veal trade because they're not wanted in dairy herds.

MAF's acting director general, Warwick Foran, says there is an animal welfare code specifically for bobby calves and MAF wants to make sure farmers are aware of their obligations.

He says MAF hopes to visit more than 200 farms in the programme this year.