MANY readers may not be aware that lifting the ban on exports of British beef has allowed the live export trade in young calves from the UK to resume.

Thousands of calves are now being exported to the continent, with some travelling to Dover from as far away as the Republic of Ireland and Scotland. Latest figures show that 15 per cent end their journey in Spain.

Scientific evidence shows that these young animals, who are often only two weeks old, suffer greatly during transport. Most of these animals are male dairy calves, unwanted by the dairy industry. If they are not exported, they are often killed at birth.

Once on the continent, they are taken to veal units where they are reared in conditions which would be illegal in the UK. They are often reared in barren systems, without bedding and slatted floors.

These calves could be reared in the UK, which would benefit animal welfare and UK farm incomes. Please ask your local MPs to sign Early Day Motion 395 which calls for the Government to take action on this issue. Buy Soil Association approved milk as this ensures that calves have not been exported to the continent for veal production.

L SELLWOOD, Southampton.