Residents of Storrington in Sussex are dismayed at what they see as
the callous involvement of the monks of Storrington Priory in the
factory farming of baby veal calves.
It is reported that 750
calves at a time are kept in two big padlocked sheds on Gerston farm in
Greyfriars Lane which is owned by the Priory of the Shrine of Our Lady
of England at Storrington.
Representatives from C.I.W.F. have
twice visited the farm but were not allowed access to the calves. We
are, however, informed that the calves live, chained individually by the
neck, and lie on wooden slats without straw bedding.
On one of
our visits there was a large cattle-truck from St. Malo, France, and it
is evident that there is also involvement in the lucrative live export
trade to the Continent. Questions are being asked about the monks' life
style allegedly from the proceeds of factory farming and the live export
A parish councillor told us that the veal unit was set up
in 1980 but if he had his way it would be closed down because he
considered it cruel.
A planning officer said that the set-up was
very modern with automatic feeding and cleaning-out. It had, he said,
been built with a government grant. He said that he had seen the calves
in the sheds held by chains and standing on raised wooden slats.
On one of our visits the manager, Luigi Ruggiero, showed us some 20 or
so small calves housed two to a pen on straw in a dilapidated
store-shed. Luigi said "These are in quarantine. There are problems with
transporting such young calves. They get ill very easily. I think that
one will die (pointing). It is an expensive business and very little
profit in it. It costs a lot in drugs to stop too many dying."
The Priory was the first independent House of the White Canons to be
established in England since the Reformation. It is significant that it
is dedicated to the Mother of Jesus to bring "many souls to Jesus
through Mary's loving intercession." There is precious little respect
for motherhood in veal farming, where calves are taken from their
bellowing mothers at a few days of age to be chained immobile on a
slatted floor for life, and then shipped to their deaths in a foreign
Reproduced with thanks to Compassion In World Farming
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