The Buitelaar Group is a large UK calf trader with four major ‘collection centres’ that receive up to 1,500 calves every week. Many calves sold to traders are born on dairy farms with the sire being a ‘beef breed’; whether the baby is male or female, they are then sold on for rearing in the beef industry. This is another key part of the integrated dairy-beef industry, which Animal Justice Project exposed for the first time in the UK in 2020.
The Buitelaar Group produces beef and rose veal for major the supermarket Morrisons, by fattening male dairy-bred calves. Around 60,000 male dairy calves continue to be shot on UK farms each year; however, almost 65,000 were also sent to slaughterhouses in 2020. Many calves also enter rearing systems through traders such as Buitelaar. This large company offers ‘The Buitelaar Promise’, which outlines numerous assurances to its customers, including calves being “treated with the utmost respect” through their “higher welfare values”.
In 2021, Animal Justice Project filmed inside Buitelaar’s Wrexham Collection Centre. We caught workers on camera treating calves like they were simply property – shoving them down trailer ramps before processing them one-by-one. Some calves were left without food for many hours at the centre and appeared distressed, crying out. One such calf was left without access to food for over 21 hours.
As the dairy and beef industries proceed to integrate, the exploitation of calves continues. This sending of male dairy calves to beef farms has been put forward as a ‘solution’ to their being shot on farms; however, Animal Justice Project has revealed many going to slaughter, and young, vulnerable babies going into the beef industry. The Buitelaar Group is central to the trade in calves for veal and beef, and should never have been awarded ‘The Good Calf Award’ by Compassion in World Farming (CIWF). The exploitation and killing of animals is not something to celebrate.
This is another example which shows DAIRY = BEEF, and those consuming dairy products are fuelling the cruel beef industry.
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For the animals.