It’s also expensive to make the transition because there is more variation in group-penned calves. “Decisions need to be science-based rather than emotion-based,” Vermeire said. “The veal industry will meet the challenge that consumers want of tether-free veal. We are ahead of schedule with the transition to group housing.”
“Bob” veal is not “real veal”
There have been some reports about veal calves being tested positive for antibiotic residue, but Vermeire wants to clarify that that tends to be the case of a “bob” dairy calves sold to slaughter, and not a calf from a veal operation. “They are veal in name only,” he explained. “When a dairyman takes a bob calf to the sale barn with a residue, the veal industry gets a black eye. Bob calves should be classified as dairy calves, not veal.”
Vermeire went on to explain that veal has an excellent safety record with a lot of veterinary oversight, and veal has a very low rate of positive residues even with a disproportionately large amount of testing compared to other types of meat.