Cattle (England): Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock (PB7949)

Section 2 - Calf rearing


Inspection

The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2000 (S.I. 2000 No. 1870) Schedule 4, paragraphs 3 and 4, state that:

- All housed calves shall be inspected by the owner or keeper of the calves at least twice a day to check that they are in a state of well-being.

- Calves which are kept outside shall be inspected by the owner or keeper of the calves at least once a day to check that they are in a state of well-being.

99. It is particularly important that you watch calves carefully for signs of diarrhoea or respiratory disease, such as coughing or rapid or laboured breathing, both of which could spread rapidly. When you buy in calves, you should inspect them as soon as they arrive, before they come into contact with other calves on the farm. You need to assess their general health, paying particular attention to their posture, breathing and the condition of their nose, eyes, navel, anus, feet and legs.
100. After carefully inspecting any calves you have bought, you should rest them in comfortable conditions for a few hours and then give them a first feed of milk or other suitable liquid, such as electrolyte solution. Where practicable, you should keep them apart from other calves for long enough to prevent any possible cross-infection.
101. If you rear calves in a system where milk is provided by artificial means, you should closely monitor their feed intake. If calves have a reduced or slower feed intake, this is often an early sign of disease.
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