Revue Française de la recherche
en viandes et produits carnés

ISSN  2555-8560

Animal welfare and management of veal calves

In a context where society is increasingly concerned about animal health and welfare issues, and where European regulations on the welfare of farm animals are being revised, the French Livestock Institute has been working on a number of projects in collaboration with various partners, including INRAE. This work, funded by INTERBEV Veaux and the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty, has focused in particular on identifying society's main expectations regarding the management of veal calves, and has highlighted the demand for animals to have outdoor access, a litter for bedding, natural light, roughage and group housing from an early age. Regarding animal housing, an overview of the main characteristics of calf housing facilities used in France was carried out. Trials have also been carried out to acquire references on the impact of different housing parameters on the health and well-being of calves (type of floor, group size, collective housing from the outset). Lastly, studies have been carried out on calf feed and health during rearing to assess the impact of different solid feed intakes on calf metabolism and behaviour, as well as the use of antibiotics in the sector between 2013 and 2020, followed by the introduction of tools for assessing biosecurity in rearing.

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