04/21/2014 01:20 EDT | Updated 06/21/2014 05:59 EDT

Undercover video shows 'abuse' of Quebec veal calves

Animal rights campaigners are calling for improved treatment for baby calves after releasing an undercover video that shows the animals being kicked and punched, and detained in confining crates with little room to move at a Quebec-based veal producer.

Mercy for Animals Canada said its undercover investigator recorded the brutal treatment of veal calves over an eight-week period at a Délimax Veal-affiliated farm in Pont-Rouge.

The video shows farm employees kicking, punching and force-feeding milk to baby calves. One calf is shown bleeding from the mouth and another can barely reach its water supply.

Animals are also shown chained by the neck and confined in crates that are too small for them to turn around in. One calf is collapsed with a hind leg caught in the wooden slats of the crate’s floor.

Mercy for Animals Canada has now lodged a complaint with Montreal’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. 

Mercy for Animals wants the SPCA to pursue animal cruelty charges against the veal producer in the video.

The organization is also calling on the Retail Council of Canada to implement a new policy that would prevent veal raised in confinement crates from being sold by its member grocers. The group says grocers including Costco, Metro, Sobeys and Loblaw already have such a policy in place.

Twyla Francis, Mercy For Animals’ director of investigations, said in a news release that the time has come to end the “misery, violence and deprivation” that characterizes the short lives of baby calves raised for veal.

“Common sense tells us that animals with legs should be given at least enough room to walk and exercise,” she said. “It’s time for the Retail Council of Canada to take a stand against this horrific animal abuse by ending the use of inherently cruel veal crates by its member supply chains.”