HALF a million male dairy calves are born every year in the UK. Because of their gender, the dairy industry doesn’t value them because they don’t produce milk and are considered economically unsuitable for beef production.

In 2008, 115,00 were killed shortly after birth.

One way of giving male dairy calves a better life is to rear them for British veal. More than a quarter of the UK population eat veal, yet most of this is imported from intensive continental systems which do not meet with British animal welfare standards and would be deemed illegal here.

High-welfare veal is being produced in Britain, where calves are reared on straw and receive more space and the correct diet. Calves on the Continent are housed in small pens with slatted floors with no bedding.

If British veal eaters would switch from imported to British veal, our farming industry would be able to give more calves a life worth living.

This is why I urge all your readers to choose British if they choose to eat veal.

Please join me and Compassion In World Farming in the calf life campaign to make Britain the place where male dairy calves are wanted and not wasted.

For more information please contact Compassion In World Farming at supporters@ciwf.org.uk or phone 01483 521953.

These calves deserve the chance of life.

Pauline McSweeney, Rufforth, York.