THE CASE: By law, journeys over eight hours are not permitted for unweaned calves unless, after nine hours of travel, the calves are given a one-hour break for rest, water and “if necessary”, food (milk replacer).
As the Scottish Government admits, calves can only be fed if they’re unloaded at a suitable facility – not while travelling on the trucks. However, in practice, these poor animals aren’t unloaded after the first nine hours. So, they must travel all the way from Scotland to Northern France without a meal – that’s up to 23 hours with no food.
Not only is this an outrage: we’re arguing that it’s illegal. That’s why we’ve launched Judicial Review proceedings against the Scottish Government at the Scottish Court of Session.
THE AIM: A ruling that, because the legal requirement for food after nine hours of travel isn’t being met, the Scottish Government should stop journeys over eight hours from taking place.
IF WE WIN: It would be impossible for British live calf exports to continue in their current form. This could spare thousands of unweaned calves every year from suffering on exhausting journeys from Scotland to Spain.
What’s more, the UK could set an example for other countries to follow. UK and EU legislation on live transport is identical – so a Scottish ruling against calf exports could have implications across Europe, and maybe even beyond.