Dairy Australia is making a substantial investment into animal welfare on behalf of Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) and the Australian dairy industry.
In 2005 the Australian dairy industry developed a National Dairy Industry Animal Welfare Strategy to support the Federal government’s vision under the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy that "the welfare of all animals in Australia is promoted and protected by the adoption of sound animal welfare standards and practices." The industry strategy has been reviewed and updated in 2009 and 2012.
The vision of the National Dairy Industry Animal Welfare Strategy is that every dairy animal is well cared for.
Practical examples for the strategy are included in this 'Caring for our cows' booklet. To deliver safe, quality dairy products, dairy farmers must keep their animals in peak condition. Good husbandry practices are integral to the day-to-day care of our cows. To ensure the welfare of the herd, cows should be checked daily.Everyday practices on the farm, such as checking cows daily, help to ensure good animal welfare. This booklet demonstrates the industry’s commitment to ensuring every dairy animal is well cared for.
Evaluation and review
In order to monitor the uptake of animal welfare initiatives in the dairy industry Dairy Australia regularly commissions independent surveys of farmers. These surveys provide a measure of the adoption of on-farm practices that improve animal welfare.
Dairy welfare - we care. Animal husbandry survey 2014 (PDF, 957KB)
Data was collected through 400 telephone interviews with a random sample of dairy farmers. Issues covered by the 2014 survey include:
- Disbudding calves in preference to dehorning older stock
- Management of bobby calves, particularly in regards to transporting and managing antibiotic treatments where given
- Calving induction
- Tail docking
- Downer cows
- Herd nutrition programs and monitoring
- Disease risk management and biosecurity
- Staff training in the above areas
- Awareness of industry standards