The specialisation of breeds for desirable food production traits, such as milk, meat and egg production, has created a problem of unwanted offspring in some farmed species e.g. male dairy calves (bobby calves), male laying hens, male dairy goat kids and buffaloes. Very many of these animals are killed at a young age, often shortly after birth.
The killing of large numbers of healthy, unwanted animals, raises both animal welfare
and ethical problems. In this FVE position paper, the veterinary profession states we should aim to move away from the production of surplus animals. We should prompt and support initiatives to seek solutions to the killing of unwanted animals, working with other relevant stakeholders; for example, by helping to stimulate consumer understanding of, and demand for, high welfare veal or meat from humanely reared male dairy goats or buffaloes.