Veal Farmers of Ontario Welfare Assessment

As an Ontario veal producer, you are constantly striving to improve animal welfare on farm by adjusting management practices according to current research in order to meet or exceed industry standards for the care of veal cattle. With the recent update to the “Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Veal Cattle” (the final version is expected to be released in this fall), there is no better time to assess welfare on your farm and ensure you are following the requirements of the code. While most farms are already following the new requirements, a welfare assessment can help you benchmark the level of welfare on your farm and identify your farm’s strengths as well as areas to improve in order to provide the best welfare for your herd. The welfare assessment is simple to complete. You can do it yourself or ask an advisor such as your herd veterinarian to complete it with you. The standards and information you need are all included in the assessment booklet – there’s no need to look anything up.

Calf Welfare in the First 24 Hours

As part of the “On-farm animal welfare producer education series” project, Veal Farmers of Ontario (VFO) has created a video showing how to care for calves in the first 24 hours of life. The first 24 hours after a calf is born can have tremendous effects on their overall performance and health throughout their life. This makes early management and rearing practices a key component to raising a healthy, hardy calf for the dairy, veal and dairy-beef industries. Animal care is a top priority for VFO, and through new research projects, innovation and education, we continue to work with producers to find solutions to their on-farm issues and improve calf health in the province.

Veal Cattle Transport

Pascal Bouilly, Dairy Calf Supply Chain Manager at Grober Nutrition and Paul Ooudshorn, Owner and Operator at Ooudshorn Farms, discuss important considerations for transporting veal cattle such as selecting cattle for transport, preparing for transport, handling during loading and unloading, selecting a transporter and trailer, maintaining a comfortable environment in the trailer, and minimizing stress during transport.

Overcoming challenges in male dairy calves 

Watch this video featuring Frank Vander Shock, a dairy farmer, as he learns about the challenges male dairy calves and their owners face. He describes five key factor of calf health that can influence purchase price, as well as future health and performance.

The video is based on findings from a team of University of Guelph researchers led by Dr. Dave Renaud, evaluating ways to improve the health of male dairy calves. The research was supported by Veal Farmers of Ontario, and we encourage dairy and veal farmers to continue to work together.