Cork Co-operative Marts Limited has announced that a comprehensive review of calf handling operations will be conducted in response to the recent RTÉ Investigates program. The program, which aired on July 10th, revealed instances of mistreatment of Irish calves at various marts across the country, including those operated by Cork Marts. In a meeting held on July 11th, the board and management of Cork Marts agreed to provide further animal-welfare handling training for all staff and take all necessary actions to ensure the welfare of animals presented for sale at the marts. The statement released by Cork Marts expressed disappointment at the behavior towards calves shown in the footage, emphasizing that such actions are unacceptable and indefensible. The mart group affirmed that the behavior witnessed during the program is in direct opposition to their animal welfare policy, which places animal welfare as a key value. The policy, last updated on January 18th, 2018, requires each of the six sale centers to adhere to current animal welfare guidelines. It also stipulates that new employees receive training and all staff undergo refresher courses every three years. The policy further states that any major changes in policy trigger a training needs analysis, and if standards are not met, additional training is provided. Despite acknowledging that such incidents are exceptions rather than the norm, Cork Marts expressed disappointment at the mishandling or mistreatment of livestock, particularly calves, emphasizing that it is not acceptable and is not in anyone’s interest. Cork Marts has committed to fully cooperating with the investigation launched by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) following the program. The management intends to review the footage, address the issues with all staff, and determine the dates, times, and individuals involved in the incidents. Cork Marts plays a significant role in the calf market, handling approximately 70,000 calves for sale during the calf season, which runs from February to May.
Cork Marts Unveils Bold Plan of Action in Wake of RTÉ Exposé
“Cork Co-operative Marts Limited Announces Full Review of Calf Handling Operations Following RTÉ Investigates Program”