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The End of Veal Calves from Dairy Cows?

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The End of Veal Calves from Dairy Cows?

This past week (Nay 4, 2009), a male calf escaped from a slaughterhouse and ran free through New York City streets before it was captured and sent to a farm sanctuary. In the very near future, male calves will never again be born.

There are four ways for a dairy cow to get pregnant:

1) Artificial Insemination
2) Embryo Transfer
3) The good olde fashioned way
4) Immaculate conception (Holy Cow!)

In 2009, most dairy cows will be artificially inseminated with semen extracted from "champion" bulls.

There was a time last century when a farmer did not know whether his cow's offspring would be male or female. With 9.2 million dairy cows giving birth each year, the odds were that 4.6 million would be female (and be raised as dairy cows) and the other 4.6 million would be male, and would be raised as veal calves.

A relatively new technology separates bull semen so that farmers can opt for a female birth 93 percent of the time. Sexed semen companies have developed semen for 18 different breeds of cattle.

In the real world, 4.6 million calves would be born female and 4.6 million calves would be male. In the 21st century world of sexed semen, 8,556,000 will be born female, and less than 65,000 will be born male.

For many farmers, it is not even worth their while to transport a male calf to the auction house. The costs are greater than the reward. The new trend is for those cows born male to be killed and buried on the farm or sold to a renderer, depending up the size and volume of a particular dairy operation.

Robert Cohen
http://www.notmilk. com


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