AVMA members encourage change in veal calf housing

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NEW ORLEANS — The American Veterinary Medical Association delegates voted July 19 to pass new policy on veal calf housing that promotes both animal health and welfare.

The resolution passed by a 88.7 percent vote.

This new policy states “that the AVMA supports a change in veal husbandry practices that severely restrict movement, to housing systems that allow for greater freedom of movement without compromising health or welfare.”

More details needed

Ron DeHaven, association chief executive officer, said the resolution still gives the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee the opportunity to do an analysis of the science and to consider all relevant perspectives of veal calf production.

The delegates referred a second veal housing resolution to the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee, which is currently studying all aspects of the welfare of veal calves, not just housing.

“The new policy acknowledges that a multitude of factors, including, but not limited to, housing contribute to veal calf welfare and need to be considered conjointly,” said Gail Golab, director of the AVMA Animal Welfare Division.

“To ensure we are meeting the physiological and psychological needs of calves, we need to look at systems that may not be as confining, but still maintain the benefits of the systems we currently employ.”

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