Morrisons moves to end killing of male calves at birth

UK supermarket guarantees market for unwanted offspring of dairy cows on suppliers’ farms that might otherwise be slaughtered immediately

Morrisons is guaranteeing a market for all male calves born on its dairy suppliers’ farms in a bid to stop them being killed at birth.A Guardian investigation last year revealed an estimated 95,000 male dairy calves were being slaughtered on-farm as farmers couldn’t afford to keep them, in a practice known as the dairy industry’s “dirty secret”. The retailer’s new policy – coming into force in October – ensures they are neither shot or exported. Instead farmers will be required to rear the calves to a certain weight until 15–40 days of age, at which point they will be bought by the beef-rearing company Buitelaar.

Related: Dairy’s ‘dirty secret’: it’s still cheaper to kill male calves than to rear them

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