Vaarst, Mette; Winckler, Christoph; Roderick, Stephen; Smolders, Gidi; Ivemeyer, Silvia; Brinkmann, Jan; Mejdell, Cecilie; Whistance, Lindsay; Nicholas, Pip; Walkenhorst, Michael; Leeb, Christine; March, Solveig; Henriksen, Britt I. F.; Stöger, Elisabeth; Gratzer, Elisabeth; Hansen, Berit and Huber, Johann (2011) Animal health and welfare planning in organic dairy cattle farms. Open Veterinary Science Journal, 5, pp. 19-25.
- Published Version
Continuous development is needed within the farm to reach the goal of good animal health and welfare in organic livestock farming. The very different conditions between countries call for models that are relevant for different farming types and can be integrated into local practice and be relevant for each type of farming context. This article reviews frameworks, principles and practices for animal health and welfare planning which are relevant for organic livestock farming. This review is based on preliminary analyses carried out within a European project (acronym ANIPLAN) with participants from seven countries. The process begins with gathering knowledge about the current status within a given herd as background for making decisions and planning future improvements as well as evaluating already implemented improvements. Respectful communication between the owner of the herd and other farmers as well as animal health and welfare professionals (veterinarians and advisors) is paramount. This paper provides an overview of some current animal health and welfare planning initiatives and explains the principles of animal health and welfare planning which are being implemented in ANIPLAN partner countries, in collaboration with groups of organic farmers and organisations.
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