The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has confirmed that it is carrying out inspections at present in marts and on farms in relation to calf welfare.
This action is being undertaken to ensure that the Irish livestock sector maintains its reputation for high standards of animal welfare, according to the DAFM.
Highest standards and best practice
In a statement to That’s Farming, a DAFM spokesperson said: “Irish farmers have a deserved reputation for high standards of animal husbandry, including in relation to the protection of the health and welfare of animals in their care.”
“Marts also have a crucial role in ensuring that the welfare of calves at sales is maintained at the highest standards and adheres to best practice, and the cooperation and commitment of marts in this regard is widely recognised by all stakeholders.”
“Best practice is that calves in marts should be kept in a draught-free area in pens with appropriate bedding or rubber mats, and not on bare concrete.”
Age and navels
During the current inspections DAFM veterinary inspectors and technical staff are paying particular attention to verifying that all calves present in marts are a minimum of 10-days-old and that all calves have fully healed navels.