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Food Safety

Council Directive 2008/119/EC (December 2008, as amended, since 1 January 2007) prohibits the use of confined individual pens after the age of eight weeks. The Directive, amongst other things, sets out minimum dimensions for individual pens and for calves kept in group.

Calves are not to be tethered (except under very specific circumstances) and must be fed according to their physiological needs. In particular their food must contain sufficient iron and a minimum daily ration and fibre food must be provided.

For full details please refer to the directive.

Over the years, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) prepared several Scientific Opinions on the welfare of calves based on requests from the Commission.

Please refer to the EFSA website for their scientific opinions on the welfare aspects of calves farming.

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