Animal health and fertility

Attaching teat cups

Market need/context

  • Reproductive performance of the Australian dairy herd is limiting farm profitability and business resilience. Meeting market requirements for raw milk quality requires continual improvement in on-farm practices. Animal husbandry practices are under growing scrutiny from consumers and customers.
  • Target audiences include dairy farm owners, managers and workers, and service providers such as milk company field officers, dairy veterinarians, animal genetics and herd improvement organisation employees, livestock agents and transporters.

General approach/strategy

  • The industry’s 10 year strategy to lift herd fertility developed by the DMF Reproduction Steering Group requires improvements across a raft of on-farm practices underpinned by better genetics for cow fertility. Adoption will be principally driven through the InCalf initiative and ADHIS activities working with a range of collaborators (below).
  • Success in the milk quality area requires daily application of best practices on-farm. The Countdown initiative already offers an excellent range of training, tools and resources. Closer partnerships with the milk processors will increase the reach and uptake of these industry assets.
  • Animal health and welfare priorities can be influenced by region, season, animal activism, regulatory and trade issues. A nimble and tailored approach to RDE&E is required to effectively address these issues across the industry.