Dairy Calves

On the farm

When calf rearing farms participate in the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme they raise dairy calves in a higher welfare environment for either veal or beef. These are dairy calves that otherwise would have been an unwanted by-product of the dairy industry, also known as bobby calves.

Calves on RSPCA Approved farms have space to move, play and socialise. They enjoy a quality and nutritious diet, proper bedding and access to the outdoors from at least 8 weeks of age.

Calves have

  • Space to move, play and socialise
  • Enjoy a nutritious diet that encourages suckling and chewing behaviour
  • Can rest in comfortable bedding, with access to the outdoors once weaned
  • Are naturally hornless from polled breeding strategies, or have proper pain management for disbudding


RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme Standards are based on animal welfare science, RSPCA policy, leading farming practices in Australia and overseas and take account of the commercial realities associated with farming. Livestock industries and individual producers also provide input. The Standards are reviewed every five years and are publicly available.

The Standard - Dairy Calves


Information Notes - Dairy Calves


Operations Manual


What's happening

While there currently isn’t an RSPCA Approved dairy veal or beef product in the market, the RSPCA has been talking to farmers and industry. Here's how you can help:

Contact your favourite brands

and let them know that animal welfare is important to you

Write to your supermarket

and let them know that you are interested in veal and beef farmed to higher welfare standards

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