Animal Welfare Research Needs for Veal Cattle

Following is a list of research priorities gaps identified during the veal cattle Code development process. Click here to visit the veal cattle Code web page for the Scientific Committee report and to view the full Code.

List compiled: August 2017

Marketing and transport of young calves

  • Better tools for age verification
  • Better tools for traceability
  • Animal welfare implications of moving calves directly from the dairy farm or through auction
  • Strategies to reduce calf stress when moving from the dairy to veal farm (e.g. electronic auctions)
  • Animal welfare implications of calf age at transport

Cleaning and Disinfection

  • Link between cleaning routines for feeding equipment, bacteria counts, and animal illness, particularly diarrhea
  • Applied research on how to effectively clean facilities and feeding and watering equipment when calves are present

Calf Health

  • On-farm risk factors for morbidity and mortality, particularly respiratory disease
  • Measuring the occurrence of abomasal ulcers in Canadian veal production
  • Welfare implications of antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance

Iron Deficiency Anemia

  • Optimal management strategies for blood sampling of calves as well as appropriate intervention thresholds for iron supplementation at the individual calf level

Housing

  • Studies comparing different types of flooring for veal cattle (v. fattening bulls and dairy cattle).
  • The effects of specific characteristics of flooring materials on young calves (traction, friction, hardness, wetness, slat and gap widths, etc.). Such studies would benefit from the use of a common standard positive reference material for comfort (e.g.  deep straw bedding), and the examination of factors such as the weight of the animal, time spent on the material, ambient temperature, etc.

Welfare of grain-fed veal cattle

  • Understanding health and welfare risks for grain-fed veal cattle

Fibre

  • Importance of type, amount and form of fibre on calf health and the occurrence of oral stereotypies