At the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) Global Animal Welfare Forum April 11 in Paris, France, the International Dairy Federation (IDF) -- in collaboration with OIE and the U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) -- released the updated "IDF Guide to Good Animal Welfare in Dairy Production."
According to IDF, this new publication promotes the implementation of good animal welfare practices in dairy production at a global scale. It refers to key international standards and provides guidelines to help dairy farmers and milk processors interpret and implement them based on scientific evidence and expertise.
Importantly, IDF said the guide identifies five action areas to be considered when developing and implementing quality management systems for dairy animal welfare, including stockmanship, feed and water, the physical environment, husbandry practices and health management.
“Farmers know that healthy cows produce quality milk, and the dairy sector is wholly committed to developing progressive animal health and welfare initiatives that provide safe, nutritious and secure dairy products to global consumers,” IDF director general Caroline Emond said. “We are proud to contribute to the development of animal welfare expertise that brings benefits to animals, farmers and society.”
OIE director general Monique Eloit added that OIE welcomes the updated IDF guidelines, noting that they "will, in line with the OIE international standards on welfare of terrestrial animals, certainly support the dairy industry to meet the increasing demand of our society for a high level of welfare for livestock production systems."
"We recognize the importance of good animal welfare practices, which benefit the producers, their animals and the society as a whole and support their implementation through a variety of awareness raising and capacity development activities, in partnership with several stakeholders,” FAO assistant director-general Bukar Tijani said. “This publication is a valuable step towards the improvement of the welfare of dairy animals and the development of the sector."
The guidelines were originally published in 2008, and since then, public awareness of animal health and welfare has heightened, IDF said, adding that it is actively contributing to the animal welfare work of OIE and the International Organization for Standardization.
IDF has been a leading source of scientific and technical expertise for all stakeholders of the dairy chain since 1903. IDF engages all stakeholders in productive activities and research projects to further current knowledge and science on a wide range of issues.