I AM concerned that the lifting of the EU ban on exports of British beef has opened up the possibility of a resumption of the live export of young male dairy calves to the EU.

These calves are not considered ideal for beef, because their breed has been optimised for milk production. So they are likely to face distressing and frightening long-distance travel in cramped conditions, only to spend their short lives in cramped veal crates which have been illegal in the UK since 1990.

Even when an EU ban on the keeping of calves in narrow crates comes into force at the end of 2006, any calves exported for veal production are likely to end up in inadequate rearing systems. If the calves were reared in the UK, bedding would have to be provided. and the Government must encourage farmers to make use of EU funded schemes to rear these unwanted male calves in the UK.

(Mrs) H REED.