As the U.S. moves toward reinstating retaliatory tariffs on the European Union (EU) due to unfair treatment of American beef, the American Veal Association (AVA) urges that its producers’ circumstances be recognized in the dispute.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On May 9, 2007 the Board of Directors of the American Veal Association (AVA) adopted a resolution calling for all U.S. veal producers to transition to group housing methods by December 31, 2017. Veal farmers are expected to spend $25 million to transition to new group housing systems and will focus on research to help farmers with the transition.