Why do some farmers euthanise healthy male calves?

More calves are born on a dairy farm than are needed for milk production. These mostly male calves have a few different pathways.

Last updated 17/01/2024

Calves that are not needed for milk production or those that aren't reared for veal or beef are known as bobby calves. These mostly male calves are typically sent to a saleyard or abattoir at five days or older.

Calves sent to the abattoir are often used for veal for food products or hides for leather goods.

Where dairy farms are located long distances from the abattoirs some farmers will euthanise bobby calves. The length of time bobby calves can travel to abattoirs is regulated for welfare reasons.


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