Quebec Veal Industry Horror

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Quebec Veal Industry Horror

By: Victor Malarek CTV W5 Senior Reporter, Published on Sat Apr 19 2014

Baby calves, just weeks old, are kicked, punched, slapped and yelled at by barn employees. Some are grabbed by the testicles to force them into narrow wooden stalls. Several lie gasping for air on slats stained with urine and feces.

These are among the disturbing images revealed in undercover video footage shot by Mercy for Animals Canada, an anti-cruelty animal activist group, at a milk-fed-veal complex in Pont Rouge, outside Quebec City. It was obtained by CTV’s W5 as part of its investigative report on the Quebec veal industry.

At the Pont-Rouge barn, about 800 calves are subjected to harsh treatment and inhumane confinement for the entire 18 to 20 weeks of their short lives, the undercover investigation reveals. They are housed in crates so narrow they can’t turn around or lie down comfortably. Many are tethered by chains around their necks.

The crates, most of which are no more than 49 centimetres wide, are designed to prohibit exercise and normal muscle growth in order to produce tender veal. The calves are fed a milk-substitute diet deliberately low in iron so their flesh will stay pale.The calves don’t go outside to play, breathe fresh air, clean themselves or bond with their mothers. They never see sunlight, the Mercy for Animals investigator says. Most of their time in the barn is spent in the dark.



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Oh my god.


This stuff sells by names like "Delft Blue". I knew that went on in the past, didn't know it still does. Hope there is a tremendous outcry.

The other odd thing about the purpose of this cruelty is that "veau de lait" (milk-fed veal) has virtually no flavour whatsoever. One might as well eat tofu.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Is there a reason to eat meat from a calf?...It has nothing to do with flavour,I'm not sure or clear what the allure is.

Thankfully,I don't eat veal.

Truth be told,I'd probably not eat meat at all if I knew everything that was going on in barns and slaughter houses.



Yes, I will write the new QC Agriculture minister, and try to embarrass him/her into a response.

Both veal and lamb come by definition from killing young animals,  hence more objectionable. but this is really awful.


btw, there was a proposal for an animal-rights forum here, but it was vetoed; what is the natural home for that?


Definitely environmental justice; that doesn't refer only to justice for humans, but also for non-human animals and all the ecosphere.

There are also aspects of the issue that relate to labour and consumption.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture of a recent demo in montreal for the closing of slaughterhouses. some graphic images one of which we see a very brave pig making his escape.

Riot: Montréal marche pour la fermeture des abattoirs