Group Housing Goal Nears Reality

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The AVA’s dedication to transition to group pens confirms the U.S. milk-fed industry is committed to the well-being of their calves and supporting a culture of continuous improvement to ensure positive change for animal care. These new facilities allow calves to stand, stretch, lie down, groom themselves and socialize with other animals.

Read the full update here.

AVA reaffirms commitment to group housing

Member companies of the American Veal Association are well are their way to transition to group housing methods by the end of 2017, a goal set in 2007. The AVA board of directors approved a resolution reaffirming their commitment to group pens at their annual meeting in December, estimating that the transition is nearly 90% complete.


Download AVA's Group Housing Resolution.

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AVA Astounded by FSIS Equivalency Decision of Dutch Veal Imports


The American Veal Association (AVA) is extremely disappointed in an apparent decision by USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to allow imports of veal from the Netherlands into the United States. The AVA is concerned the agency has failed to fully assess the Netherlands' inspection and production system for veal in making its determination that the Dutch system is equivalent to the U.S. system.

Download AVA's official comments (PDF)

The AVA believes the proposed rule is unnecessary and misleading.

Proposed Rule: Requirements for the Disposition of Non-Ambulatory Disabled Veal Calves, Docket No. FSIS–2014–0020, RIN 0583-AD54, 80 Fed. Reg. 27269 (May 13, 2015)

The AVA supports the current regulation which allows calves that are tired and cold a period of time to rest upon arrival at the slaughter plant. Similar to other young animals, veal calves need to rest frequently. They are also very sensitive to heat and cold, and are subject to transit fatigue. Formula-fed veal is typically shipped from climate controlled barns, unlike large bovines that are often coming from outdoor feed yards.  Veal calves have not been conditioned to the weather extremes that older bovines have, making them more susceptible to exposure during transport. The thermo-neutral zone for young calves is much narrower than for older bovines. However, veal calves typically have a quick recovery when given an opportunity to rest and be rehydrated.  The same is true for pigs.

Download AVA’s official comments (PDF)

Our Guiding Principles: Ethical Standards and Code of Conduct for the U .S. Veal Industry

The U.S. veal industry recognizes that consumers and customers expect us to produce food in a responsible manner consistent with their values. To foster more confidence in our practices and promote a better understanding of our guiding principles, we affirm the following ethical standards and code of conduct for those involved in the U.S. veal industry.

Download Statement of Principles (PDF)