The livestock sector suffers from a good deal of public misperception about how meat is produced, and none more so than the veal industry. Now Indiana Veal Producers are working to change the public perception of veal.
Images of young animals being kept in isolation in the dark surround the veal industry. However, Marisa Hake, a veterinarian in North Manchester, says the industry has made some major changes in the way veal is produced, “We have moved to group housing through the industry. This means we have rebuilt our barns and the animals live in groups of 6-8.”
Hake says today veal calves are older and larger than they once were, “They are now marketed when they are 6-8 months old and weight upwards of 600 pounds.” This, along with other changes in best practices, is dispelling the misconception of animal abuse that has haunted the industry.
As a result of these changes, the industry is reaching out to consumers trying to change the image of veal production. Hake says that is getting more people to try veal, “When they learn the animals are not baby animals and they have never been dehorned or castrated, people are changing their minds on veal.”
The veal industry is a vital part of the dairy industry. With dairy cow numbers growing in Indiana, more veal production will also be needed.