Phasing Out Calving Induction
The Australian dairy industry does not support routine calving induction and has committed to phase it out by 1 January 2022.
Routine calving induction was used on some farms to ensure cows had their calves and began lactating in line with grass production. This cessation does not include therapeutic inductions, performed for the welfare of the cow (e.g. mis-mated heifers).
Induction of calving may result in
A weak calf that needs special care and attention, or in some cases immediate euthanasia.
An increased risk of mastitis, metabolic diseases, retained membranes and infection for the cow.
Alternatives to routine calving induction
Improving herd fertility to ensure mating at the best time, reducing the need to use calving induction.
Moving from seasonal to split calving patterns or year round systems.
Support for improving calving pattern
Dairy Australia has been working with research, development and extension programs and with farmers to reduce the need to use induction on-farm.
Industry programs include:
The InCalf extension program, developed to help improve herd fertility – speak to your regional DA office to register your interest in the next InCharge Fertility workshop.
Other workshops include Transition Cow Management, Heat Detective, Low Stress Calving and Heifers on Target – Speak to your regional DA office to register your interest.
Managing calving patterns is key for phasing out induction – find more resources on our Managing calving patterns page.
Repro Right adviser training is a course to develop fertility analysis skills in dairy vets and advisers – find out more including a list of advisers.
Selecting for short gestation and high calving ease bulls in the Good Bulls Guide can help tighten calving periods.
Information for Veterinarians
As of 1 January 2022, the Australian Dairy Industry requests that veterinarians seek dispensation for any routine (non-therapeutic) calving induction to be performed on dairy farms.
Dispensations will only be granted for truly exceptional emergency situations beyond the control of the farmer, such as natural disasters or unavoidable health events. Evidence of these circumstances, historic fertility records, detailed plans of other actions to be performed to mitigate the circumstances and any other applicable information are looked upon favourably by the dispensation committee.
Applications are reviewed by the Dispensation Panel, which includes representatives from Australian Dairy Farmers, Australian Cattle Veterinarians and Australian Dairy Products Federation, supported by Dairy Australia.
Applicants must application and record inductions forms below - and submit them two months before the proposed induction start date.
Calving induction dispensation application form 2019DOCX, 229.15 KB
ADIC Calving induction record form 2021PDF, 7.81 MB
Routine calving induction to be phased out by 2022PDF, 144.02 KB
Routine Calving Induction FAQs 2019 2022PDF, 285.71 KB