Dairy cow welfare report 2010 - Eblex

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Dairy cow welfare report 2010 - Eblex

Dairy CowWelfare StrategyAugust 2010Developed for industry byin conjuction withCHAWGCattle Health andWelfare Group


Dairy Cow Welfare StrategyContentsIntroduction ................................................................................................................................2Why do we need a strategy for dairy cow welfare? ......................................................................3A Vision for Dairy Cow Welfare ....................................................................................................4The British Dairy Industry ..............................................................................................................5Current Standards of Animal Welfare............................................................................................7Current Performance ....................................................................................................................9Working on Welfare: Drivers of Improvement ..............................................................................11Working on Welfare: On Farm ......................................................................................................12Working on Welfare: Working in Partnership ................................................................................15Putting the Strategy Into Practice..................................................................................................20Dairy Cow Welfare Action Plan: Top 10 Priorities ..........................................................................21Appendix 1 Current Standards of Dairy Cow Welfare....................................................................25Appendix 2 FAWC Opinion on the Welfare of the Dairy Cow 2009 ..............................................27Appendix 3 Working on Welfare: Industry Initiatives ..................................................................28Bibliography ................................................................................................................................30Glossary........................................................................................................................................311


IntroductionIntroduction“Welfare principally concerns both the physical and psychological wellbeing of ananimal, which is largely determined by the standard of stockmanship, the system ofhusbandry and the suitability of the animal for the environment.” 1The welfare of the dairy cow 2 is of fundamental importance on all British dairy farms. In its simplestform, the ability to produce high quality, nutritious milk 365 days a year relies on two essentialthings:1. Healthy and content dairy cows that are able to get in calf and give birth to healthy calves.2. Skilled farmers and stockmen who ensure that animal welfare, milk quality and hygiene are ofthe highest standard.To achieve this dairy farmers must ensure that their herd’s requirements – both physical andpsychological – are accommodated at all times. It is this diligent and consistent level of care that makesdairy farming one of the most knowledgeable and conscientious sectors in animal welfare.British dairy farmers already operate to world leading animal welfare standards, but there is alwaysroom for improvement. Dairy cow welfare is a top priority for dairy farmers and health, with its directimpact on welfare, is intrinsically linked to this.While the responsibility for dairy cow welfare fundamentally rests with dairy farmers, the whole supplychain benefits from good welfare standards on farm. This strategy acknowledges current welfareperformance, promotes industry achievements, examines the drivers for improvement and,importantly, identifies where the potential and responsibility for further improvement exists throughoutthe dairy supply chain.1 Definition adapted from Farm Animal Welfare Council: Farm Animal Welfare in GB: Past, present and future.October 20092 Where appropriate in this strategy, this refers to dairy cows and youngstock.2


Dairy Cow Welfare StrategyWhy do we need a strategy for dairycow welfare?In 2009 the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) published its Opinion on the Welfare of the DairyCow 3 . While the report acknowledged that there had been positive welfare developments, despite themany pressures facing dairy farmers, it also made some useful and sensible recommendations tofurther improve welfare standards. We believe that it is important that the dairy industry is wellpositioned to act on these recommendations.The welfare of the dairy cow has also been the focus of media and consumer attention in recent years,and it is fair to say that the dairy industry has not always had the evidence base it needs to be able todefend itself robustly against any negative allegations. A welfare strategy will allow the dairy sector toco-ordinate industry activity, identify gaps in current knowledge and take action to address them.Furthermore, the dairy industry can learn from the good practice adopted in other livestock sectors,including the poultry and pig industries, where welfare strategies are being successfully implementedto the benefit of animals, farmers and the whole supply chain.Against this backdrop, we believe there are five important objectives that the dairy industry shouldseek to achieve by developing and supporting a welfare strategy of its own:1. To raise the standard of welfare for all dairy cows and reduce the welfare impacts of endemicdiseases.2. To establish an industry agreed set of welfare priorities to guide future policy development,research and on-farm improvement initiatives.3. To set welfare goals and identify industry responsibility for improving dairy cow welfare.4. To bring about a recognition and acceptance that welfare is dependent on the quality andstandard of husbandry and stockmanship in any system.5. To generate greater consumer awareness and understanding of welfare standards to ensure acontinued positive public perception of dairy cow welfare in Britain.3 Opinion on the Welfare of the Dairy Cow, October 20093


A Vision for Dairy Cow WelfareThe VisionThe following organisations support this strategy and endorse this vision for dairy cow welfare.1. The dairy sector meets consumers’ requirements for safe, high quality, and nutritious milk anddairy products from cows reared and managed in an environment that safeguards their healthand welfare.2. The dairy sector is compliant with EU health and welfare legislation.3. All dairy farmers, in conjunction with their veterinary advisers, maintain high herd health statusand minimise the impact of disease by use of herd health plans, disease eradicationprogrammes and prudent use of veterinary medicines.4. All dairy farmers have effective training programmes available to them on husbandry systems,the promotion of health and welfare, and the management of disease and welfare risks.5. The veterinary profession will continue to offer up-to-date expertise in recognition,management and prevention of disease threats and the implementation of good welfarestrategies.6. Dairy cow health and welfare provisions are informed by scientific knowledge, professionalexperience and evidence-based learning.7. A recognition that welfare standards are underpinned by the suitability of the farm system tomeet the needs of the animals and the skills of the stockman, and that the type of productionsystem does not dictate the health and welfare status of the cow.8. The occurrence of pain and distress is minimised throughout the animal’s life, in transport andat slaughter, through the use of appropriate environmental design, safe handling facilities andcompetent and considerate stockmanship.9. All stockmen have a compassionate and humane attitude to cattle, are skilled in recognising ananimal’s needs and are able to anticipate and alleviate any welfare problems.10. All animals have access to food and water, a comfortable, draught free, dry and well-drainedresting area, shelter from adverse weather and space to move aroundand interact socially.CHAWGCattle Health andWelfare Group4


Dairy Cow Welfare StrategyThe British Dairy IndustryDairy farms are situated across Britain, but are concentrated mostly in areas where the climateencourages favourable conditions for grassland farming. In recent years milk production has gravitatedtowards the West and South West of England, and West Wales.Since the mid 1990s the British dairy sector has undergone significant restructuring, with the numberof dairy farms halving to around 13,000 today and the number of dairy cows falling by a fifth toaround 1.6 million animals 4 . Despite these major changes British milk production has, until recently,remained relatively stable. This has been achieved by increases in milk yield 5 , herd size 6 and the use ofnew technology and research.High quality cattle are a necessity for profitable dairy farming. This requires good quality genetics,excellent management and high standards of health and welfare. Over 90% of the British dairy herd isof the black and white Holstein Friesian type. While other breeds are chosen for specific milk qualitycharacteristics (such as Ayrshire, Guernsey and Jersey) the Holstein Friesian remains the most popularbreed, giving high lifetime yields of quality milk from a mix of fresh grass, forage and concentrates.The average size of the British dairy herd is 102 cows. The majority of British herds produce less thanone million litres of milk annually, with less than one hundred producing over 4 million litres.Number of British herds per production levels (2009 – 2010)Annual Production level (litres)Number of herdsLess than 500,000 5,008500,000 – 750,000 2,270750,000 – 1 million 1,6281 million – 2 million 2,7092 million – 4 million 681Over 4 million 944 DairyCo Datum, May 20105 Yields have increased from an average yield per cow of 5,000 litres in 1980s to around 7,500 litres today.6 Average British herd size has increased from 72 cows in 1996 to 102 in 2010.5


Current Standards of Animal WelfareDifferent types of dairy farming systems can be seen across Britain, reflecting differences in localclimate, topography, cow requirements and, increasingly to improve biosecurity. The most commonsystem is that of seasonal grazing, which takes advantage of the British climate, which is generallywarm, wet and ideally suited to growing grass. In this system dairy cows graze during the spring andsummer months, and are housed for up to six months of the year, usually from late autumn through tothe end of winter, when the weather is wet and cold and grass stops growing.A small, but increasing, number of British dairy herds spend the majority of their time indoors in barnsor open sided sheds, generally referred to as ‘year round’ or ‘continuous’ housing. This system allowsfor controlled management of a cow’s diet, nutrition, health, breeding and is usually practiced withlarger herds. Routinely housed cows may spend up to two months outdoors before calving duringtheir dry period and are fed a freshly cut or conserved forage-based diet, often having access topasture or dedicated ‘loafing areas’ for exercise and socialising.Importantly, welfare standards in any dairy system are underpinned by the skills of the stockman andthe production system chosen does not relate directly to the health and welfare status of the cow. It isin the interest of all dairy farmers to have healthy, contented cows that produce high quality milk.6


Dairy Cow Welfare StrategyCurrent Standards of Animal WelfareThe welfare of livestock, including cows, is protected by the Welfare of Farmed Animals (England)Regulations 2007 and the Animal Welfare Act 2006. These are based on the concept of the FiveFreedoms 7 , developed by FAWC in the late 1970s to provide a logical basis for assessing animalwelfare within any husbandry system. In October 2009 FAWC published a new report 8 on theeffectiveness of British policy on farm animal welfare since 1965, and looked ahead to the next twentyyears. The report offers recommendations to Government for commercial policies, which FAWCbelieves will lead to improvements in the welfare of farm animals in the next twenty years.Dairy farmers are required by law to have access to, and be familiar with the ‘Defra Code ofRecommendations for the Welfare of Livestock: Cattle’ which takes into account the Five Freedomsand sets out statutory requirements and best practice for keeping cattle. The Code is educational,achievable and aspirational by recommending and illustrating best agricultural farming practice.Compliance is assessed by Animal Health inspectors, through Statutory Management Requirements(SMRs) 9 . Failure to comply with these conditions can result in deductions from, or completecancellation of a farmer’s Single Farm Payment. Strict regulation also controls the welfare of animalsduring transport and slaughter. For more information, turn to Appendix 1.Red Tractor Farm Assurance Dairy (RT Dairy) 10Over 95% of British dairy farmers are members of the Red Tractor Farm Assurance scheme.Participating farms are required to comply with a stringent set of standards covering food safety,animal welfare, traceability and environmental protection and are assessed and certified byindependent Certification Bodies accredited to EN45011, an internationally recognised standard forproduct certification. Standards are detailed and comprehensive ensuring that producers have thenecessary equipment and expertise to achieve the standards expected by consumers and thereforerequired by retailers. RT Dairy standards are reviewed every 18 months and amended in light of newscientific information, regulatory changes and stakeholder views. Within the scheme, all participatingproducers must possess a Herd Health Plan and Welfare Performance Review which covers four areas:1. Basic disease control measures2. Herd security against infectious disease3. Recording, monitoring and control of disease present on the farm4. Disease surveillance.7 Appendix 18 Farm Animal Welfare in GB: Past, present and future, FAWC, October 20099 SMR 18: Animal Welfare and SMR 16: Welfare of Calves10 Red Tractor Farm Assurance Dairy was previously Assured Dairy Farms www.assureddairyfarms.org.uk7


Current Standards of Animal WelfareFreedom FoodsDairy farmers can also join the RSPCA Freedom Food scheme. The scheme focuses uniquely andexclusively on welfare standards, and as such, dairy farmers also have to be certified by RT Dairy tomeet retailer requirements for assurance on food safety.Retailer standardsRetailers are taking a more active role in animal welfare through the development of dedicated supplychain arrangements, which remunerate farmers to produce milk to specific standards. A number ofmajor retailers have launched bespoke welfare standards for their dedicated milk suppliers. Importantlythese retailers are supporting their farmers financially to achieve the standards required.8


Dairy Cow Welfare StrategyCurrent PerformanceThe dairy industry has already invested a great deal of time and effort in addressing welfare challengesand improving welfare performance. As such, it is important that a welfare improvement strategyacknowledges current performance and promotes welfare achievements made by dairy farmers to date.‘Over 90% of British dairy farmers are taking measures to reduce health andwelfare issues’The 2010 DairyCo Farmer Intentions Survey 11 identifies lameness, TB, mastitis and fertility as being thebiggest health and welfare issues on dairy farms and reveals that over 90% of farmers are takingmeasures to reduce them.Perceived biggest animal health and welfare issues(by the steps that are being taken to manage/reduce the issues)100%80%OtherConsulting with other advisorsScreening and/or analysing dataMaintain closed herdRegular foot carePart of a management schemeWorking with my vet to0% reduce incidencesLameness TB Mastitis Fertility BVD* Johne’s Other60%40%20%‘Dairy cows are managed to Red Tractor standards on 95% of British dairy farms’Independently audited RT Dairy inspections are carried out on 95% of British dairy farms on a minimum18 month cycle. Farms are assessed on cattle health, condition and cleanliness and standards of housing.The Red Tractor logo shows consumers which dairy products have come from assured dairy farms.‘Incidences of dairy cow lameness are decreasing’Currently the best national estimates for lameness incidence are NADIS 12 reports. Data records areupdated monthly and recent lameness reports show that good progress has been made year on year incontrolling all types of lameness especially in the traditional causes, such as sole ulcers and foul in thefoot, helped by increased farmer training and use of trained foot trimmers.11 DairyCo Farmer Intentions Survey, 201012 NADIS is a network of 60 veterinary practices and 6 veterinary colleges who monitor disease levels in cattle, sheep andpigs across the UK.9


British Dairy Cow Welfare Performance700600Cattle Lameness - All Cattle20082009Av 1997-2007500Number of Cases4003002001000JanFeb Mar Apr May Jun JulMonthAug Sep Oct Nov Dec‘Consumers believe dairy farmers do a good job looking after their animalsand that animal welfare in Britain is the best in the world’The public perception of dairy farming is positive. The 2009 Dairy Council Public Attitudes survey 13revealed that 75% of the respondents believe dairy farmers do a good job looking after their animalsand 62% believed that animal welfare in Britain was amongst the best in the world. These were themost positive results since the survey began in 2004.‘Breeding priorities focus on health and welfare traits over productivity’Breeding has been responsible for much of the tremendous production progress made by the Britishdairy industry since the 1970s. Now breeding for longer- lived, more productive cows better suited tothe needs of modern milk production has meant placing more emphasis on fertility, health andlongevity. Future selection indices will be continually monitored to ensure that animal welfare is a highpriority on dairy farm breeding programmes.Relative importance of traits in the Profitable Lifetime IndexSCC 5.5%Udder 5.6%Locomotion 4.1%Production 45.2%Fertility 18.5%Lifespan 21.1%13 The Dairy Council and DairyCo Consumer Survey 2009 Final Report August 200910


Dairy Cow Welfare StrategyWorking on Welfare: Drivers of ImprovementDairy farmers never stop striving to improve the way they do things. However, very often just havingthe desire to improve is not enough. There are many factors that can enable, support and driveimprovements in welfare, including:DAIRYairy farmers take great pride in caring for their animals. This is one of the most powerful driversof all.wareness of the need to maintain a positive public perception of dairy cow welfare is an importantdriver for improvement, and is one that the whole supply chain can take responsibility for.nvestment on dairy farms is fundamental to maintaining high welfare standards. Investment willonly happen if farmers have the confidence gained from sustained periods of profitability.esearch, technology and innovation are essential for continued improvement. Farmers must haveaccess to information, new technologies and science to enable improvements in efficiency,competitiveness and performance.ields are affected by poor dairy cow welfare. Contented, well cared for dairy cows will producemore milk, and ultimately, the need to produce high quality British milk for consumers to enjoy isthe biggest driver of all.11


Working on Welfare: Drivers of ImprovementWorking on Welfare: On FarmReducing Endemic DiseaseAlthough this strategy focuses on improvingwelfare, health and welfare are inextricablylinked. For both welfare and economic reasonsit is vitally important for dairy farmers to havehealthy cows in their herds, which meansreducing the prevalence of endemic diseasessuch as mastitis, lameness, Johne’s disease,bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) and bovinetuberculosis (bTB).MastitisMastitis is the most common disease of dairycows, a major reason for premature cullingand remains one of the largest costs to thedairy industry; with mild cases costing anestimated £150-£175 per annum. Mastitis isalso a significant cause of poor dairy cowwelfare and severe cases, whilst rare, mayeven result in the death of the animal.Work needs to be undertaken to quantify thelevels of mastitis in a herd, but differentiationmust be made between type, severity, thenumbers of quarters affected, or whenveterinary intervention is required. Thedevelopment of automatic systems ofdetection, vaccines to prevent and controlmastitis (both clinical and sub-clinical) andalternatives to antibiotic therapy should besupported. Research into the heritability oftraits associated with reduced clinical mastitisshow that these can be included in breedingprogrammes and should be promoted for thebenefit of the industry.Rather than set arbitrary targets withouthaving baseline data, it is better to aspireto achieve reductions in mastitis throughan industry-wide control plan until suchtime as reliable national data is available.LamenessLameness can have a serious impact on cowwelfare and productivity, causing pain anddiscomfort, production losses and contributing toculling decisions. Measuring lameness in a herdcan be done in two ways: mobility scoring orrecording the actual incidence of lameness (cowstreated). While there is a debate about what are‘acceptable levels’ of lameness and the definitionof lameness, there is no dispute that foot and leghealth is a priority area for improvement.A recording, prevention and treatment planshould be encouraged on all dairy farms, butimprovements can be made in the provisionof information to farmers on foot bathingand trimming, the selection, design andmaintenance of flooring, cow tracks andhousing, and breeding.Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD)BVD infection in cattle is a widespread disease ofmajor economic importance to cattle farmers.Recent reports show that 38% of Scottishsuckler herds and 57% of UK dairy herds areinfected. Whilst BVD does cause diarrhoea, themain disease occurs when BVD infectssusceptible pregnant cows where the virusquickly crosses to the foetus. Infected foetuseseither die and are reabsorbed, are aborted, arestillborn or survive to term but are damaged andgrow poorly. Infected calves excrete the viruscontinuously for the rest of their lives, and BVDinfection is spread and maintained through theexistence of persistently infected animals.Control and prevention of the infectioncan only be achieved by applying strictbiosecurity procedures, vaccination and longterm control strategies. There is a reasonablyeffective test for BVD that can identifypersistently infected cattle, meaning thatreduction and eradication of the disease isachievable.12


Dairy Cow Welfare StrategyJohne’s diseaseJohne’s disease is a chronic intestinal infectionin cattle and effectively a wasting condition ofruminants. The effects of the disease can havesignificant financial and welfare consequencesincluding reduced milk yield, diarrhoea and lossof condition. Johne’s disease may be a majorcause of the involuntary culling of dairy cattle;and a recently published report 14 reveals thatJohne’s disease is present in 35% of thenational dairy herd. Of the various diagnostictests available to test for the disease, all areprone to error, yet detecting the diseasewithout testing can be difficult. Currently, thereis no effective treatment for Johne’s diseaseand infected cows are culled to preventdegeneration and risk of further spread. Workhas begun within the industry to offerimproved guidance to vets and farmers onJohne’s Disease.It is essential that farmers are duly awareof the condition, its symptoms and thepotential impact on their businesses andto ensure industry co-ordination tocontrol and eradicate the disease.Bovine TBIn 2009 over 36,000 cattle (of which 20, 715are estimated to be from the dairy herd) wereslaughtered in Britain due to bTB. Todayaround 750,000 cattle are tested everymonth 15 . The stress placed upon the animalsby testing, movement restrictions and handlingcauses major welfare concerns. The testingprocess disturbs and upsets cattle, reducingmilk production and weight gain in youngstock – the cost of which is impossible toevaluate. Farmers have also reported lowerconception rates and higher mastitis levels onpost TB testing days due to cow disruption.For some farms, labour requirements becomea critical concern as the potential loss ofproductive dairy cattle and milk yield makesthe retention of skilled farm labour untenable.As animal welfare is dependant on the skill andcare of good stockmen, this could have aserious impact on welfare. The need to buy innew stock to replace animals lost to bTBincreases the risk of bringing in new diseases,which can further impact animal welfare. Inaddition, the inability to sell animals that areplaced under restriction can put pressure onstocking densities on farm.Longevity and Voluntary/InvoluntarilyCulling of Dairy CowsThe recent FAWC Opinion 16 states that a longlifespan can indicate good welfare butrecognises that the culling of unhealthy cowsshould be done promptly. Whilst farmers canand do breed for improved lifespan, takinglongevity as a sole measure of welfare is, assuch, one that industry should steer away from.Instead, looking at longevity in parallel with theratio of voluntary to involuntary culling andherd replacement rate will give a more realisticindication of welfare.That said the average lifespan of the dairy cowis increasing despite outbreaks of major exoticdiseases and the continued spread of TB.The average dairy herd culling rate in Britain isaround 24%. Of this, 57% are classed asinvoluntary culls and 43% voluntary 17 . Thereasons for these culls must be considered andaddressed before judgements are made aboutwelfare on the basis of longevity. Voluntaryculling might be linked to a cow’s performanceor the management of the herd – in otherwords it is a planned cull and often preventswelfare problems arising. Involuntary culling onthe other hand may be linked to healthproblems, disease (for example because of TB)14 SB4022: An integrated strategy to determine the herdlevel prevalence of Johne’s disease in the UK dairy herd.Defra. November 2009.15 There may be seasonal differences.16 FAWC, 2009, Opinion for the Welfare of the Dairy Cow17 FAWC, 2009 Opinion on the Welfare of the Dairy Cow13


Working on Welfare: On Farmor infertility. Reducing involuntary culling ratesis important for increasing farm profitability aswell as for dairy cow welfare.Reasons for involuntary culls should beidentified, explored and levels reduced.Understanding Fertility ProblemsInfertility is a complex issue and one that is notalways linked to cow welfare. However,infertility can be used as an indirect indicator ofpoor welfare and is often the main reason forpremature, involuntary culling of dairy cattle.Fertility can be influenced by body condition,metabolic disorders and negative energybalance, the presence of disease, poor dry cowand heifer management and chronic stress.Infertility is being addressed through breedingyet only 5% of differences in dairy cow fertilityare reported to be due to genetics.Understanding the impact that selecting forfertility may have is important, as is the need toencourage farmers to use accurate bull andheifer genetic information on fertility.A better understanding of the main causesof infertility in the national herd would bea useful outcome for this strategy. There ishuge potential to improve national fertilitylevels through dry cow management,condition scoring, accurate nutrition(during lactation and in the dry period),changes to general farm managementand improved breeding.Youngstock WelfareOne of the most important influences on calfhealth and welfare is ensuring that calvesreceive sufficient, good quality colostrumwithin six hours of birth. Colostrum is essentialto protect the calf against infectious disease.Poor intake can lead to scours, pneumonia,impaired growth, weakened immune systemand higher levels of mortality. Good dry cowmanagement and nutrition is alsofundamentally important to calves – cowscalving in good body condition and free frommetabolic disease will calve easily, producegood quality colostrum, and will have “lookedafter” the calf in late pregnancy, ensuring thecalf is fit and healthy.Dairy heifer calves are integral to the dairyfarming system by providing replacements forcows leaving the main dairy herd. Male bullcalves offer an alternative income to somefarmers through the beef supply chain. Thewelfare of calves should not be compromisedby their sex, value or destination. Farmers ondedicated retailer contracts are oftensupported and encouraged to improve calfwelfare standards.Further research needs to be carried outinto the reasons for calf mortality andimproved recording of reasons for deathon farm is recommended.An industry campaign to highlight theimportance of colostrum and furtherresearch into increasing its intake inyoung calves should be undertaken.Further promotion of best practicemethods for calf rearing and feeding todairy farmers would also be beneficial.14


Dairy Cow Welfare StrategyWorking on Welfare: Working in PartnershipWhile the responsibility to ensure animalwelfare fundamentally rests with dairy farmers,there is undoubtedly a strong responsibility andability to support and enable improvementsthroughout the supply chain. By working inpartnership and sharing responsibility forwelfare we believe that further improvementscan be made.Improved Co-ordination of WelfareActivityA wealth of initiatives are available to dairyfarmers to improve dairy cow welfare(Appendix 3). Most recently, outcome basedwelfare standards have been launched byretailers for their dedicated groups of dairyfarmers. The recognition of the need to adopt aproactive, and outcome based approach tomaintaining and improving dairy cow welfarestandards is a positive step, yet awareness andco-ordination of this activity, and the ability toharness the knowledge it provides is limited.Having an inventory of industry activity toenhance welfare and case studies available tohighlight successes would be helpful inpromoting the industry’s efforts, sharing bestpractice and identifying any gaps in provision.The Cattle Health and Welfare Group(CHAWG) is best placed to coordinate thisactivity.Farm Assurance SchemesWelfare forms an integral part of the RedTractor Farm Assurance Dairy standards andperformance against these standards has, andcontinues to drive improvements in welfare.Non-conformance with these standards couldultimately lead to exclusion from the scheme,which would leave many dairy farmers withouta market for their milk. It is important thereforethat RT Dairy assessors and Certification Bodies(CBs) are regularly audited to monitorconsistency and standards of inspections andthat the CBs adopt a robust approach toauditing producer compliance with welfarestandards, especially where persistent nonconformancesare recorded.A stricter corrective programme for highrisk producers in the RT Dairy scheme couldinclude an increased frequency ofinspections and a publicised charging policyto ensure that only those farms that areconsidered high risk have to bear the costof re-inspection.Vets and Vet ServicesBy working together, vets and farmers can andshould do more to improve dairy cow welfare.Vets can take a leading role in addressingwelfare issues by being proactive in educatingfarmers and working with farming clientstowards a ‘Herd Welfare Plan’ followedalongside the ‘Farm Health Plan’. Veterinarysurgeons are well placed to offer help andadvice to farmers on reducing the levels andwelfare impacts of mastitis, lameness andinfectious diseases and can communicate thebenefits of improved health and welfare onproductivity and profits.The role of the vet in food animal production isbeing further explored and debated within theremit of the Vets and Vet Services Group 18 .Future challenges include succession planningfor large animal vets, training and support fornewly qualified vets, encouragement ofveterinary specialism and the promotion andprotection of animal welfare.The veterinary profession has aresponsibility to keep up to date with newdisease threats, developments in antibioticand vaccine production and risks associatedwith changes in dairy cow managementsystems or practices.18 Vets and Vet Service website and report15


Working on Welfare: On FarmInformation Sharing on Health andWelfare TrendsThere is currently a dearth of statistical evidenceupon which levels and trends in dairy cowwelfare can be fully understood. Thisknowledge base must be developed to improveindustry understanding of the incidence ofwelfare issues and to provide the evidence baseupon which the industry can challenge negativewelfare propaganda and proactivelycommunicate positive efforts to improve dairycow welfare.Currently, the statistics available include RTDairy inspection records, milk recording data,breed society data, dairy farm consultancy dataand veterinary data. This could be enhancedby better on farm recording of data,co-ordination of industry data and, increasingly,having access to the data generated by retailersworking with their dedicated supply chaingroups.Collating health and welfare data wouldenable a national picture of animal healthand welfare traits to be developed, andpotentially, for benchmarks on key welfarepriorities to be set. Farmers would then beable to compare their individualperformance against national averages.Veterinary surgeons are well placed torecord the incidences of health andwelfare disorders and to help develop anational picture of the disease situationacross Britain. Recording of disease viaNADIS 19 or similar databases should beencouraged.Skills and TrainingThe FAWC recognises the importance oftraining and certification of stockmen toimprove dairy cow welfare. Specific shortcourses on dairy cow welfare have beendeveloped, but there is a need for greater coordinationand quality assurance of thesecourses. In addition to formal, vocationalqualifications, Lantra Awards and NPTC are thetwo main Awarding Bodies for the agriculturalsector and both offer a variety of technicaltraining courses, many with specific dairyindustry content. These courses are oftendelivered flexibly, on-farm and are deemed tobe relevant to farmers’ business needs.However, there are barriers which exist to theuptake of training 20 which need to beovercome.As well as considering skills and training forthe current workforce, it is also important torecognise that graduates and new entrantsmust have the right level of practical skill andcompetence to operate effectively in the dairyindustry. To this end the National OccupationalStandards (NOS) for the dairy industry, uponwhich qualifications are based, must meetindustry needs and be kept up to date toreflect new technologies and managementsystems. For example the Scottish DairyAcademy 21 aims to offer dairy training andqualifications which will be delivered to allfrom total beginner through to graduate andexperienced dairyman/ manager.Training and skills development is arequirement of the RT Dairy scheme andthere should be an industry wide recordingsystem for farmers and their employees toundertake and record skills development.19 National Animal Disease Information Service20 Lantra Sector Skills Agreement: Livestock Industry 200721 www.scottishdairyacademy.com16


Dairy Cow Welfare StrategyResearch Priorities and DisseminationThere is a need to ensure greater linkagebetween research bodies, institutes andindustry stakeholders engaged in driving thewelfare agenda in the dairy sector. Theimportance of this is twofold:1. Ensuring that funding for research isdirected at addressing the industry’swelfare priorities alongside the need forproductive, efficient milk production.2. To focus the research agenda ondelivering benefits and solutions towelfare problems.The dairy sector recognises the essential needfor proper scientifically conducted andadequately funded research. Priorities include:breeding, rearing, production and handlingpractices, the design, construction andmanagement of facilities, the epidemiology ofdiseases and the welfare needs of dairy cows innew and modified management systems.The creation by DairyCo of its Research Forumas a means of bringing together dairy industryexperts to discuss research needs and prioritiesis a welcome move.Continued involvement and funding by Defrais vital for this research work. Whilst directlybenefiting the dairy sector, research alsoinforms public debate and underpins newwelfare codes and regulations.It is essential that funding for dairyresearch is maintained and increased andthat findings are disseminated andcommunicated to dairy farmers to bringabout positive changes in managementpractices on-farm.Proportionate and Informed WelfarePolicyGovernment must ensure that welfare policy isinformed and driven by science, evidence andprofessional experience. While industry agreesthat regulation has a role to play in settingminimum standards of welfare, this must beproportionate to the needs of farmers, and nothinder production and on-farm investment.Industry-led initiatives and developments shouldbe welcomed, and regulation only consideredas a last resort. The key to avoiding legislationis to ensure farmers have the opportunity andability to deliver the welfare ‘outcomes’required. To do this we must be agreed onwelfare priorities and how they are improved.Government should respond to the recentlypublished FAWC Opinion on the Welfare ofthe Dairy Cow. This report maderecommendations on longevity, skills andtraining, breeding, disease incidence andsurveillance. All these areas have beentaken into consideration in drafting thisstrategy.Funding for Welfare ImprovementRegional Development Agencies (RDAs) havean important role to play in supportingimprovement in animal welfare through theallocation of Axis 1 Rural Development fundsat regional level. Although each RDA has setregional priorities, it is important that there isa degree of co-ordination to ensure that anyprogrammes reflect wider national prioritiesfor animal welfare. RDA funding has createdopportunities for regional collaborationbetween the livestock sector and localveterinarians to promote health and welfare asa contribution to regional development.As an example, Yorkshire Forward developed apackage of RDPE support for the dairy sector to17


Working on Welfare: Working in Partnershipencourage and enable capital investment thatis above standard practice for animal healthand welfare. The package recognised that thedelivery of exceptional welfare standards incursadditional costs.Amidst current uncertainty regardingfuture delivery of RDPE, it is essential thatrural development budgets remainavailable to address health and welfareimprovements within the currentprogramme. A cohesive and collaborativeapproach needs to be taken to bestaddress dairy cow welfare, and future ruraldevelopment schemes should support this.Informing Consumers and RaisingAwarenessWhile current data suggests that the Britishconsumer believes that standards of welfare onBritish farms are amongst the best in the world,consumers would undoubtedly benefit fromreceiving more consistent, positive and factualmessages on animal welfare. A major focus ofthis should be better promotion of the RT Dairyscheme and the standards farmers areoperating to within it.The DairyCo developed consumer facingwelfare website 22 should provide a centralfocus for proactive, positive and factualcommunications and provide a platform forthe industry to educate consumers on dairyfarming systems, standards and practices.22 www.thisisdairyfarming.com18


Dairy Cow Welfare StrategyOver the last five years, retailers have taken amore active role in animal welfare through thedevelopment of dedicated supply chainarrangements, which remunerate farmers toproduce milk to specific standards. This interestin welfare comes in response to a heightenedpublic awareness of animal welfare issues,which in turn creates a desire for greaterwelfare assurances. Crucially, all theseinitiatives have one thing in common, and thatis a recognition that higher welfare comes at aprice, either to the retailer, or to the consumer.It is hoped that the data and research findingsfrom these dedicated supply chains will bemade available to the industry so that welfareachievements can be recorded and promoted,and the knowledge and science disseminatedto benefit the wider dairy industry.There is a role for all industry stakeholdersto maintain and improve public perceptionthrough education and proactivecommunication. There is great potentialto provide point of sale information toconsumers on dairy cow welfare initiatives,farm assurance schemes and the consumerfacing website.Preparing for the FutureThe British dairy industry is constantly changingas farmers take advantage of new technologiesin breeding, milking and farming systems, andas relationships in the dairy supply chainevolve. This progress means that the industryis continually finding new and better ways tomanage dairy cows, while delivering toconsumers the huge range of quality, Britishdairy products they enjoy.Public confidence in dairy products is anabsolute priority for farmers and as an industrywe will always be guided by consumerpreference. However, these preferences needto be informed by balanced, scientifically-basedresearch and assessment wherever possible.Predicting the future direction of the Britishdairy industry is a difficult task; however,certain trends are beginning to emerge – suchas a gradual increase in herd size. It is in thewhole industry’s interest to be united andconsistent in its messages to farmers,consumers and the general public. Greaterindustry co-ordination, communication andcollaboration will better prepare us for copingwith the changes that may face the Britishdairy industry - be they expected (throughtechnological advances, food securitychallenges or agricultural policy) orunexpected (future disease threats or theimpacts of climate change).Achieving one voice on animal welfare is adesirable and realistic goal for this strategy.19


Working on Welfare: Working in PartnershipPutting the Strategy into PracticeThe Cattle Health and Welfare Group (CHAWG) is an industry group responsible for prioritising,planning and co-ordinating a programme of economically focussed improvements to cattle health andwelfare in England, and for coordinating a wide range of health and welfare activities across Britain.Its membership includes farmers, farming organisations, industry levy bodies, vets, government,assurance bodies and breed societies. CHAWG is the first port of call for all cattle health and welfareresearch, new disease challenges and knowledge interaction initiatives to ensure efficiency, knowledgegap identification, co-ordination and minimal duplication. CHAWG also liaises closely with all industrystakeholders and educational institutions to promote consistent regional dissemination of nationalwork and encourage the uptake of technological advances and best practice.CHAWG is the logical focal point for coordinating industry activity on welfare and is tasked withoverseeing delivery against the actions and priorities set out in this strategy. In addition, CHAWG’smembers will review any new scientific and industry developments and refocus the strategy asnecessary.CHAWG and its member organisations will monitor progress against each priority area. A moredetailed timescale is provided in the action plan. As and when required, other relevant organisationswill be invited to CHAWG meetings to provide expertise and information on certain priorities.20


Dairy Cow Welfare StrategyDairy Cow Welfare Action Plan:Top 10 PrioritiesThe action plan below summarises the top ten priority areas for action, which are categorised as short,medium or long term goals. Responsibilities have been assigned to individual organisations and bodiesfor each activity and recommendation. This table should be reviewed and amended as issues evolvetaking into account changes in knowledge, technological advances and veterinary expertise.Red: begin work immediately and review progress in 2011Amber: aim to be underway by 2011 and review progress in 2012Green: ongoing aspiration to achieve a lasting change in behaviour / outcome –review annually and assess priority levelAction Outcome OrganisationsCurrentsituationTargetMeasurePriority 1: Better on-farm recording and use of aggregate dataIncrease in thenumber offarmersrecordingproduction,health andwelfare data.The benefit of understanding andrecording production, health andwelfare trends on-farm cannot beunderestimatedFarmers should know the baselinesituation on-farm to understand if, andhow improvements can be madeNMRCISNFUDairyCoRT DairyRetailersCDIBreedSocietiesNo accurateinformation onnumber offarmersrecording onfarmdataAll dairyfarmersrecording theincidence ofmastitis andlameness, andthe reasons forculling as aminimum andaggregatedata sharedwith industryNMR dataCIS dataRT Dairy dataBCMS dataNFSCo dataDevelopmentof a nationalsystem tocollatedairy cowproduction,health andwelfare trendsand measuresA centralised recording system forcattle health and welfare trends toallow industry to identify how theactions within the strategy areimproving welfareDairyCoRT DairyBCVAVLANMRRetailersCDIHUKNo centralbody forinformationcollationData setanalysed in2011Industry widedata setavailablePriority 2: Mastitis: Improvement in recognition, treatment, prevention and controlDairyCoExpansion ofthe DairyCoMastitisControl planor similarIncreased number of veterinarysurgeons and consultants trained onmastitis prevention, control andtreatmentBCVABVAFarmersRetailersBreedSocieties146 peopletrained with354 farmsenrolled onscheme750 farmplans by 2012DairyCo dataOther schemedata21


Putting the Strategy into PracticeAction Outcome OrganisationsCurrentsituationTargetMeasurePriority 3: Lameness: Improvement in recognition, treatment, prevention and controlDevelopand launchDairyCoMobilityprogrammeVeterinary surgeons, foot trimmers andfarmers trained on lamenessprevention, control and treatmentDairyCoBCVABVAFarmersBreedSocietiesUnderdevelopment2011 launchDairyCo dataOther schemedataIncrease in thenumber ofqualified foottrimmersEnsure training and continued CPD offoot trimmersDairyCoNACFTWebsite andtraining setup.102 foottrimmersregistered.200 foottrimmers onNACFTwebsiteNACFTwebsitePriority 4: Understanding InfertilityLead anadvisorycampaign onunderstandingfertilityproblemsMore effective communication ofcurrent information and new researchto farmersBCVABreedSocietiesNo industryco-ordinationof materialsand keymessages atpresentCampaign /programme tobe scoped anddeveloped by2012BCVAAI CompaniesOther datasourcesPriority 5: Cow NutritionIncreased useof Cow BodyConditionscoringPromotion of Body Condition Scoringas a tool for measuring dairy cowwelfareDairyCoRT DairyBCVARetailersProcessorsSome retailersstipulate thatfarmers BodyConditionScore10% of Britishdairy farmersregularly BodyConditionscoring theirherdsRetailer dataRT Dairy dataDairyCo surveyIncreasedfarmerguidance onfeeding themodern dairycowOrganise and promote industryworkshops on feeding the dairy cowDairyCoFarmersConsultantsBCVACertain eventsbut variationregionally10% of dairyfarmersattendingDairyCoFeeding +events by 2012(or similar)DairyCo dataIndustry data22


Dairy Cow Welfare StrategyAction Outcome OrganisationsCurrentsituationTargetMeasurePriority 6: Addressing welfare through Farm AssuranceEnsuringconformancewith RT Dairystandards aremaintained atall timesCorrective programmes developed forfarmers who are non-compliant at RTDairy inspectionsRT DairyAFSCertificationBodiesDairy UKData on noncompliancesand high riskfarms availableReduction innumber offarmersclassified asHigh Risk byRT DairyRT DairystandardsFuturestandards toincorporatewelfareoutcomemeasuresFarm inspectors will be able to measureagainst more specific welfare standardsRT DairyBCVARSPCAStandardsreviewed every18 monthsIncorporationof welfareoutcomesmeasures infuture reviewRT DairystandardsPriority 7: Improving welfare through Breeding ProgrammesPromotingbreeding as atool forimprovedwelfareImprove industry understanding,availability and use of geneticinformation for the benefit of dairycow welfareDairyCoBreedingSocietiesAI CompaniesInformationavailablethroughDairyCoBreeding+All farmersaware ofBreeding+Increasenumber ofknowledgetransfer eventson breedingPriority 8: Informing and educating the ConsumerPromotion ofconsumerfacing websiteon British dairyfarmingProactive, factual and positiveinformation available to consumers andheightened consumer awareness of thewelfare standards achieved by Britishdairy farmerswww.thisisdairyfarming.comDairyCoDairy CouncilDairy UKNFUConsumerwebsitelaunchedWebsitepromotedby allstakeholdersCross-industrypromotionConsumerfacingdairywelfareliterature andpoint of saleinformationRetailers, processors and industryorganisations should promote thecurrent achievements of the Britishdairy sector to consumersNFUDairyCoRetailersDairy UKRSPCAVery littlepositiveliterature ofdairy cowwelfare.Improvementin consumerknowledge ofdairy farmingThe DairyCouncil/DairyCoConsumerSurvey data23


Dairy Cow Welfare Action Plan: In PartnershipAction Outcome OrganisationsCurrentsituationTargetMeasurePriority 9: Preparing for the futurePR Protocolsfor DairyFarmersReflecting a positive and proactivemessage on dairy cow welfare toconsumers and the general publicNFUDairyCoBest practiceguidancegiven by NFUand DairyCoClear protocolin place forfarmers andindustry ondealing withwelfare andother sectorissuesNumber offarmersattendingtrainingProgramme ofwelfarefocused farmwalksKnowledge transfer events for dairyfarmers to promote welfare bestpractice and communicate updates ondairy policy, regulation and initiativesNFURABDFDairyCoHolstein UKNot in placecurrentlyTwo briefingdays annuallyin addition tocurrentindustry eventsTwo briefingdays heldFarm WelfareChampionsRecognition of the good welfarestandards already achieved by Britishdairy farmersNFURABDFDairyCoHolstein UKNo welfarespecificvisitsAs requiredDatabase ofwelfarechampionsPriority 10: Industry Co-ordinationDevelopindustryinventory onwelfare activityBringing together all dairy cow welfareinitiatives across BritainCHAWGNo industryco-ordinationAnnual reportpublishedCHAWGreportOne voice fordairy welfareEndorsement of dairy cow welfarestrategy and increased use of agreed“issue statements” that set the currentscene for dairy cow production, healthand welfareDairyCoNFUDairy UKProcessorsRetailersBreedSocietiesWelfare issuestatementsagreedIssuestatements tobe reviewedregularly, andnew issuesidentifiedPositive mediaincreased24


Dairy Cow Welfare StrategyAppendix 1Current Standards of Dairy Cow WelfareWorldThe World Health Organisation “Guiding Principles for animal welfare” stipulate that:• There is a critical relationship between animal health and animal welfare;• The internationally recognised ‘five freedoms’ provide valuable guidance in animal welfare;• Improvements in farm animal welfare can often improve productivity and food safety, andhence lead to economic benefits.EuropeanCouncil Directive 98/58/EC concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes lays downminimum standards for the protection of animals bred or kept for farming purposes, including cattle.The recently adopted Community Action Plan on the Protection and Welfare of Animals (2006 – 2010)sets a clear and comprehensive map of the Commission’s planned animal welfare initiatives. Theseinclude• Upgrading existing minimum standards for animal protection and welfare• Giving a high priority to promoting policy-orientated future research on animal protection andwelfare• Introducing standardised animal welfare indicators• Ensuring that animal keepers/ handlers as well as the general public are more involved andinformed on current standards of animal protection and welfare and fully appreciate their rolein promoting animal protection and welfare• Continue to support and initiate further international initiatives to raise awareness and createa greater consensus on animal welfare25


Appendix 1 - Current Standards of Dairy Cow WelfareWelfare of animals in transit and at slaughterIn 2007, new EU regulation on the welfare of animals in transit 23 came into force, with the new rulesstating that animals must be fit to travel and that transporter authorisation is required for journeysover 65km. Regulations to protect animals at the time of slaughter and killing both inside and outsideof slaughterhouses make it an offence to cause or permit an animal to be caused avoidableexcitement, pain or suffering. There are also specific rules on handling, restraining, stunning andslaughter of animals 24 .Great BritainIn 2004 the GB Animal Health and Welfare strategy 25 was developed to improve animal health andwelfare for domestic and production animals. It was followed in 2007, by the Animal Welfare DeliveryStrategy (AWDS) 26 setting out Government’s priorities for improving animal welfare standards.Successful implementation of the AWDS will ensure all animal keepers have the knowledge and meansto improve animal welfare and provide a partnership framework giving consumers clear and simpleinformation on the welfare origins of the product they are buying. The Welfare of Farm Animals(England) Regulations 2007 also include specific schedules for calves and cattle.Five FreedomsThe five freedoms, which have been widely integrated into UK and EU legislation and farm assuranceschemes and have gained recognition and legislative inclusion outside the EU, are:1. Freedom from hunger and thirst – by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain fullhealth and vigour;2. Freedom from discomfort – by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and acomfortable resting area;3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease – by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment;4. Freedom to express normal behaviour – by providing sufficient space, proper facilities andcompany of the animals’ own kind;5. Freedom from fear and distress – by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mentalsuffering.23 The Welfare of Animals (Transport) (England) Order 200624 Welfare of Animals (Slaughter and Killing) Regulations 199525 Animal Health and Welfare Strategy, 200426 Animal Welfare Delivery Strategy, 2007, England26


Dairy Cow Welfare StrategyAppendix 2FAWC Opinion on the Welfareof the Dairy Cow 2009Recommendations• The British dairy industry should aim to raise the standard of welfare of dairy cows over thenext five years. A target lifespan of eight years for the dairy cow should be an aspiration of theindustry.• The British dairy industry should invest more in education, skills, training and professionaldevelopment of farmers and stockmen.• Breeding programmes used by British dairy farmers should place more emphasis on welfaretraits, resulting in a cow that is better able to deal with the demands of modern dairying.Breeding programmes should aim to improve health and welfare rather than merely to halttheir decline.• The incidence of endemic diseases in dairy cows, particularly mastitis and lameness, should bereduced urgently. Government and industry should put every effort into agreeing andimplementing an eradication plan for bovine Tuberculosis. On-farm recording of disease andwelfare by the farmer should be encouraged, perhaps as part of farm assurance schemes.Health and welfare plans are an important part of dairy husbandry and should be developedby the farmer with his veterinary surgeon.• The Government should ensure that public surveillance of cow welfare is carried out efficientlyand effectively so that progress can be monitored. Findings should be given greater publicityand information about best practice should be disseminated. A national database ofinformation about cow health and welfare, as well as production measures, should bedeveloped.27


Appendix 3 - Working on Welfare: Industry InitiativesAppendix 3Working on Welfare: Industry InitiativesMany of the improvements and achievements in animal welfare are closely linked to farmmanagement practices. There is a wealth of industry activity and initiatives aimed at improving welfare,and promoting best practice, a few of which are listed below:Locomotion and Mobility Scoring: The UK was the first country in the world to routinely record‘locomotion’ defined as the cow’s ability to move with ease. Currently Holstein UK records locomotionon over 125,000 cows annually as part of its routine type evaluation service providing farmers withbreeding values for locomotion 27 . In 2008 DairyCo launched the cattle mobility score, becoming theindustry standard for measuring mobility and lameness in dairy herds and allowing farmers to recordthe mobility of their herd with the images on the guidance sheet indicating different mobility scoresand making suggestions on how to improve them. This work started through the Tubney Trust’sHealthy Feet Project whose overall aim was to help the industry reduce lameness in dairy cattle.Ensuring professionalism: The National Association of Cattle Foot Trimmers is the UK’srepresentative body for professional hoof trimmers, set up to increase the credibility andprofessionalism of the industry, to encourage continuing professional development and to share bestpractice. The NACFT website allows farmers to access information on certified foot trimmers in theirregions who are fully trained and continually assessed.Dairy Centre of Excellence: In 2009 Tesco launched the Dairy Centre of Excellence incollaboration with the University of Liverpool, bringing together experts from across the dairy sector tolook at issues from animal welfare to consumer trends. As well as offering state of the art knowledgeand research for the benefit of the wider dairy industry, the centre also houses a visitor centre and actsas a national resource centre for farmers, the general public and non-governmental organisations.DairyCo Mastitis Management Plan: The DairyCo Mastitis Control Plan, launched in 2009,provides a transferable method for addressing mastitis problems and achieving mastitis control whichcan be used by farmers in consultation with suitably qualified and trained veterinary advisors. The planhas been shown to reduce farm mastitis by at least 20%, and DairyCo are investing heavily over thenext three years to allow farmers better access to the plan. The purpose of this DairyCo initiative is toidentify a team of UK veterinary surgeons and other advisers to work in a collaborative manner toinitiate and develop a widespread mastitis control scheme. This aims to reach approximately 750 dairyherds by 2012.Beyond Calf Exports Forum: This forum was set up to encourage the whole supply chain to worktogether in an integrated way to develop value added markets for dairy bull calves. The forum aimsare threefold; an increased uptake of male dairy calves in the UK beef chain, a reduction in thenumber of calves killed on farm and a reduction in live exports of calves for veal. The success of theforum highlights how voluntary, industry-led initiatives and sharing of best practice can work tobenefit dairy calf welfare and how industry can work together to solve specific welfare problems.27 Holstein UK data, 200928


Dairy Cow Welfare StrategyRDPE Funding for Livestock Health and Welfare: European money is available through theRural Development Programme for England to address regional livestock health and welfare issues. Incertain regions, Lantra managed LandSkills programmes have been developed allowing funding of upto 80% for farmer training and development needs. RDPE has also funded the Livestock Northwestwebsite and programme, a gateway to information, advice and support for livestock farmers lookingto improve performance in England’s North West. The programme is a four-year business supportpackage aiming to improve farm competitiveness, animal health and welfare and the efficient use ofmain farm resources.Knowledge Transfer: There have been huge advances in the availability and quality of skills andtraining available to dairy farmers, either through DairyCo, the industry levy body; independentconsultants; veterinary surgeons; milk processors and retailers, and other industry bodies. BetweenApril and November 2009 DairyCo held over 300 discussion group meetings, which were attended byover 2500 dairy farmers. On a professional level more than 130 veterinary surgeons, consultants andfarmers attended the 2009 British Mastitis Conference, 160 delegates attended the Cattle LamenessConference 2010 held at Nottingham University and 300 delegates attended the National CattleMobility Event 2010. These events have been instigated to address the absence of a UK forum to sharethe latest research findings and disseminate best practice, and are aimed to gather interested partiesto facilitate knowledge sharing and discussion.British veal: Standards for veal production in Britain are significantly higher than what is required byEU regulation. Calves reared for veal in Britain are reared in groups and must be provided with beddingwhich gives them a comfortable floor surface. Young calves are supplied double the amount of fibrousfood compared with EU requirements, and older calves have greater space allowance than stipulatedin EU law.29


Appendix 3 - Working on Welfare: Industry InitiativesBibliography:Assured Dairy Farmers: www.assureddairyfarmers.org.ukDairyCo Breeding: www.dairyco.org.ukDairyCo Consumer Website: www.thisisdairyfarming.org.ukDairyCo Datum: www.dairyco.org.uk/datum.aspxDairyCo Farmers Intentions Survey, April 2010Defra: An integrated strategy to determine the herd level prevalence of Johne’s disease in the UK dairyherd. November 2009.Farm Animal Welfare Council: Farm Animal Welfare in GB: Past, present and future. October 2009Farm Animal Welfare Council: Opinion on the Welfare of the Dairy Cow, October 2009Lantra Sector Skills Agreement: Livestock Industry 2007National Animal Disease Information Service: www.nadis.org.ukThe Dairy Council and DairyCo Consumer Survey 2009: Final Report August 2009Unlocking Potential: A report on veterinary expertise in food animal production by Professor Philip Lowe30


Dairy Cow Welfare StrategyGlossary:AFSBCMSBCVABVACDICHAWGCISDairyCoDEFRAFAWCHUKNACFTNADISNFSCoNFUNMRNPTCRABDFRDARDPERSPCART DairyVLAAssured Farm StandardsBritish Cattle Movement ServiceBritish Cattle Veterinary AssociationBritish Veterinary AssociationCentre for Dairy InformationCattle Health and Welfare GroupCattle Information ServiceDepartment of Environment, Food and Rural AffairsFarm Animal Welfare CouncilHolstein UKNational Association of Cattle Foot TrimmersNational Animal Disease Information ServiceNational Fallen Stock CompanyNational Farmers UnionNational Milk RecordsNational Proficiency Tests CouncilRoyal Association of British Dairy FarmsRural Development AgencyRural Development Plan for EnglandRoyal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to AnimalsRed Tractor Dairy (formerly Assured Dairy Farms)Veterinary Laboratories Agency31


If you have any questions or comments,please contact a representative at:NFU Head OfficeAgriculture HouseStoneleigh ParkStoneleighWarwickshireCV8 2TZTel: 024 7685 8500Fax: 024 7685 8501Cattle Health andWelfare GroupPO Box 3592MalmesburySN16 1ARruminanthandw@gmail.com

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