The Fellowship of Life
a Christian-based vegetarian network founded in 1973


Priory veal?

From Ag
Sep/Oct 1983

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 trade.
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 slaughterhouse.

Reproduced with thanks to Compassion In World Farming

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