Beef group call for age of killing cows to be reduced to tackle greenhouse gas emissions

A group of farmers has called for the age that cows can be killed to be lowered to tackle climate change.

The National Beef Association (NBA) believes calves killed at eight months instead of 12, should be classified as beef rather than veal.

They say it would reduce greenhouse gases and also increase profitability in the beef sector.

The NBA's Chief executive Chris Mallon said:

“It would improve farm profits thanks to reduced feed, bedding and labour costs associated with each animal.
It would also increase the turnover of cattle on beef units, helping farmers increase production and potentially add significant sums to their bottom lines.
“An additional advantage of younger production systems will be reduced greenhouse gas emissions per animal."

In response to the move, the Charity Animal Aid told The Telegraph newspaper:

"We feel that this profit-driven proposal simply amounts to a marketing ploy which attempts to overcome UK shoppers’ reluctance to buy 'veal'.
"Claiming that killing cattle earlier is in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is also a weak attempt at 'greenwashing'.
"Regardless of length of lifespan afforded whilst they are farmed, cattle end up being mercilessly killed at the slaughterhouse, at a mere fraction of their natural lifespan, which is around 20 years.
"If consumers are concerned with the environmental impacts of meat consumption, then the very best way for them to help is to adopt a compassionate vegan diet."

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