The farmer had been changing the identities of the animals. If there is a hereditary disease in the family, it can't be traced, and the animal cannot go into the food chain (remember BSE). The animals are cremated after they are killed (humanely as possible) - they were malnurished on the farmer's premises, many had to be put down before they were moved off. At least for the past 4 weeks they have had huge barns to stay in and have had 24 hour 'assistance'. They look like different animals.
There have been about 40 calves born on the new farm, they will all be sold. (as they are 'tracable')
I don't agree with it at all though, I got thinking about it last night, it's harsh.