Recent efforts by animal rights groups to limit livestock production practices have focused on veal production. Legislation has been introduced in California, Illinois, and New Jersey that would ban or limit certain aspects of veal production. The legislation in New Jersey would ban tethering, mandate the feeding of iron supplements shortly after birth, and mandate the feeding of “digestible fiber” beginning at 14 d of age. All of these requirements may be contraindicated for optimal veal calf health. In addition, they invite more extreme measures. For example, the tethering ban may be extended to all dairy and beef animals up to 340 kg (750 lb) and could extend to adult and junior cattle shows and exhibitions as well. This paper describes the effects of these practices (tethering, controlling iron intake, and limiting fiber intake) on calf health and management. Portions of this paper were written to provide the New Jersey legislature with a science-based perspective on veal-raising practices addressed in the legislation. Finally, this paper will seek to point out implications of this and other legislative approaches to limit livestock management practices.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Animal Rights Groups
- Digestible Fiber