What is veal?

Veal crates are not used in Australia.

The system of veal production where calves spend their entire lives in individual crates with solid wooden sides that do not allow the animal to turn around or express natural behaviours, are not used in Australia. This system of housing calves for veal production is designed to produce the ‘classic’ white-coloured veal by denying the calf access to iron. Veal crates have been illegal in the UK and Europe since 2007 but are still used in some countries.

In Australia, veal is the meat produced from dairy calves weighing less than 70kg or beef calves (vealers/weaners) weighing up to 150kg.

Calves from the dairy industry may be a pure dairy breed (such as a Holstein) or a dairy cross beef breed (such as Holstein/Angus). The calves usually grow up on specialist calf-rearing properties unless the dairy farmer has facilities for rearing calves. Calves are generally reared in groups in sheds (some with access to pasture) and fed milk or milk replacer and then a grain-based ration. This specialist calf-rearing method results in rose (pink) veal.

Vealers or weaners are beef breeds raised on pasture with their mothers. This method of calf rearing results in a light red veal.

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Updated on May 1, 2019
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