Animal health and welfare
Fair Oaks Farms, Fair Oaks, Indiana - USA
|Source : Innovation Center For US Dairy|
If the cows aren’t happy, nobody’s happy. That’s the philosophy at Fair Oaks Farms in Fair Oaks, Ind., which houses 30,000 cows on 10 dairy sites owned by the Bos, den Dulk, McCloskey, Schakel and Van Ravenswaay families. Fair Oaks Farms are environmentally conscious dairy farms that place a special emphasis on animal husbandry, which is casually referred to as cow comfort.
”Cow comfort is one of the most important things a dairy farmer can do for his or her cows,” says Mike McCloskey, president of Fair Oaks Farms and a licensed veterinarian. ”When animals are happy and treated well, they respond by producing a greater amount of milk.”
Each of the happy cows at Fair Oaks Farms produces almost 10 gallons of milk per day, which is enough fluid milk to supply all the citizens of Chicago with milk each year, McCloskey said. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average dairy cow produces six gallons of milk per day.
The Sustainable Dairy Chain - commitment of the Dutch dairy industry
|Source : NZO (Nederlandse Zuivel Organisatie)|
The Sustainable Dairy Chain initiative ('Duurzame Zuivelketen' in Dutch) embodies the commitment of the Dutch dairy industry to take significant steps concerning three major themes:
- Energy and Climate;
- Animal health and welfare;
- Grazing, and
- Biodiversity (closing of mineral loops, sustainable soy, landscape conservation).
Working together, dairy farmers and the processing industry in the Netherlands have set collective goals. These goals are being pursued more specifically through a number of ongoing projects. For more information on their progress, see the attached 2010 annual report “Breakthrough in sustainability”.
Tools for Dairying Change: MG FarmC@re Environment Program - Australia
|Source : Murray Goulburn Cooperative|
MG FarmC@re Environment Program: a whiole farm risk management program that provides assurance for Murray Goulburn farmers together with our constomers.
This program works with farmer suppliers to improve farm environmental management using automated web based tools. The program focusses on nutrient and effluent management but also offers avenues for exploring new ideas and assistance in other areas of farm management and improved farm performance.
The Path to Sustainable Development – A Strategy for Canadian Dairy Farmers
|Source : Dairy Farmers of Canada|
In July 2010, Canadian dairy farmers adopted a sustainable development strategy to solidify their commitment to ensure the environmental and economic sustainability of dairy farming in Canada.
While dairy farmers have long served as environmental stewards, this strategy will direct their efforts to further reduce the dairy farming carbon footprint in Canada. As a start, Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) is partnering with government, academic institutions and the private sector to fund research on sustainable practices in dairy, including the launch of a lifecycle analysis of the dairy farm sector.
Dairy farmers’ vision for the strategy is:
“Working within the context of a strong supply management system, Canadian dairy farmers will strive to produce safe, nutritious food in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable way to the benefit of Canadian society."
Animal health and welfare - Australia
|Source : DemoDAIRY|
Developing management tools - Sweden
|Source : Swedish Dairy Association|
The Swedish Dairy Association has developed management tools for animal health and welfare, which are important aspects of efficient milk production with low climate impact.
Sustainability Opportunities within the Dairy Sector - USA
|Source : Darigold|
Bolstering consumer confidence in the Industry though promotion of on-farm best practices
Sustainability Efforts within Darigold
Animal Welfare on-farm assessments initiated 2008, with following objectives in mind:
- Establishing a baseline understanding of current farm practices
- Raise dairy farm owner awareness of actual farm activity
- Provide self-evaluation tools that contain adaptable templates for farm management practice improvement, leading to greater efficiency and profitability
To date, over one third of Darigold producers have conducted assessments.
On-Farm Practices: Dairy Quality Assurance - USA
|Source : Darigold|
NDA takes great pride in producing high quality, nutritious food for their families, neighbor and communities.
NDA recognizes and accepts the integral role it plays in the extended community of customers.
Major Objectives of On-Farm Dairy QA:
- Elevate dairy farm owner awareness of actual farm activity
- Protect and enhance Dairy/Industry Image
- Protect and enhance Darigold brand
As such, we have launched a proactive, best-in-class on-farm sustainability assessment tool
- Initial module is animal well-being
- Represents our efforts in establishing and communicating a baseline understanding of current farm practices
- Continuous improvement opportunities will now become apparent
Future modules will extend our reach into food safety, environmental stewardship, bio-farm security, employee management/training, energy conservation practices, etc.
Impact of Dairy Reform on animal health and welfare - Israel
|Archived||Source : Ministry of Environmental Protection|
In 1999, a reform package was initiated in the dairy sector, which continued until 2007. The main aims of the reform were:
- Encouraging dairy producers to become larger, more competitive and more efficient
- Preventing pollution from dairy farms and protecting the country's water sources by upgrading cowsheds and establishing environmental infrastructure
A couple of the major achievements were:
- Unique dry technologies based on local development, which reduce environmental nuisances such as stench and fly infestation associated with wet processes, were introduced
- In terms of animal welfare, cows have benefited from a larger area and better conditions (20 sq.m/cow instead of 10 sq.m/cow previously), which have an impact on milk production as well
Ilan Zadikov, Ministry for the Environment paper on ‘Dairy Farm Reform‘; 1999
Improvements in animal welfare from DeLaval
|Archived||Source : DeLaval|
Since a cow produces methane regardless of whether she is producing milk or not, it is important to make her as healthy and productive as possible to minimize the amount of methane emitted during the animals entire life time.
DeLaval Cow Brushes improve animal welfare and promote correct cow traffic in the barn. They are developed to increase: the cows’ health, comfort, welfare and their overall performance.