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Improving animal welfare by assessing college’s farms

Smolders, Gidi (2009) Improving animal welfare by assessing college’s farms. In: Vaarst, Mette and Roderick, Stephen (Eds.) CORE Organic project nr: 1903 - Aniplan. Workshop report - The process of researching animal health and welfare planning. Core Organic project Series, no. 1903-2. Aarhus Universitet - Faculty of Agricultural Sciences , Departement of Animal Health and Bioscience, pp. 28-30.

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Document available online at: http://aniplan.coreportal.org/gfx/ANIPLAN-proceedings-2-Norway.pdf


Health and welfare is a major topic in the Netherlands in both organic and non-organic dairy farming. This report highlights issues arising from welfare assessments conducted on Dutch farms producing milk for Ben and Jerry’s (B&J) ice cream. The Netherlands is the base for the European market for B&J ice-cream. Four years ago 11 farms were asked to produce milk for B&J. High human and animal welfare was a pre-condition. In order to evaluate the animal welfare on those farms, cows were assessed at the end of the housing season and at the end of the grazing season. At a plenary meeting the farmers discussed the results and the possible improvements on their farms. Since the farmers had a desire to control things on their own farms, they wanted to assess their own farms and animals. In a number of sessions a checklist was developed by the group of farmers and tested. This so-called ‘caring dairy’ checklist is now used in all kinds of farmers groups, conventional and organic, with farmers assess each others cows and farms. A 5 hour workshop at a host farm at the beginning of the process includes a theoretical and practical part and at least a proposal from the host farmer with three points to improve. The following assessments of colleagues take 3 hours per farm, which also results in proposals to improve.

EPrint Type:Report chapter
Subjects: Food systems > Food security, food quality and human health
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Animal husbandry > Breeding and genetics
Animal husbandry > Feeding and growth
Research affiliation: European Union > CORE Organic > ANIPLAN
Denmark > ICROFS - International Centre for Research in Organic Food Systems
Related Links:http://aniplan.coreportal.org/gfx/ANIPLAN-proceedings-2-Norway.pdf
Deposited By: Holme, Ms. Mette
ID Code:15918
Deposited On:29 Jul 2009
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:39
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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