IFA dairy chair Tom Phelan has described the brutality shown towards calves in Cherbourg by an individual as “despicable”.

“Irish farmers are outraged to see any animal being treated so badly,” he said, calling on the suspect to face the “full rigours of the law”.

Phelan insisted on the importance of highly regulated live exports for Irish agriculture.

ICMSA president Pat McCormack has described the treatment of calves in the video as “sickening” for any farmer.

“Anyone guilty of mistreating animals should be prosecuted under the relevant legislation, punished accordingly, and then issued with lifetime bans from any involvement with livestock,” McCormack said.

The Irish Society for the Protection of Animals (ISPCA) has called for a temporary ban on live calf exports pending the results of investigations into the case.

The ISPCA also wants the Government to explore rosé veal and other options to raise “male dairy calves for the beef or veal industry with the meat to be exported on the hook not the hoof”.

A petition calling for an EU-wide ban on unweaned calf exports launched by L214 and Eyes on Animals, the organisations that published last week’s video, has collected over 42,000 signatures.

Read more

French worker confesses to abuse of Irish calves