There should be an immediate suspension of live calf exports and an investigation launched into claims of animal cruelty, the Irish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) has said.

The organisation was reacting to footage released by the animal welfare group Eyes on Animals of Irish dairy calves being abused by workers at a port in France.

“The ISPCA is horrified and angered by the footage released by animal welfare groups Eyes on Animals and L214 of Irish dairy calves being physically abused, kicked, dragged by the ears, thrown and stamped on by workers at a control post in France after arriving on a ferry from Rosslare in March,” a spokesperson said.

“We are calling on Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to launch an immediate investigation and to immediately suspend the export of calves from Ireland to France and the Netherlands until the investigation is complete.”

Veal industry

Meanwhile, the ISPCA believes that a veal industry should be developed in Ireland to help find alternatives to live exports of calves.

“It is time for the Government to explore alternatives to live exports of calves including raising male dairy calves for the beef or veal industry with the meat to be exported on the hook, not the hoof, and to work with the importing countries to increase capacity to import chilled or frozen meat products,” the ICSA spokesperson said.

“We also would like to see the Government encourage farmers to produce rosé veal for export.”

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