Tasmanian dairy farmers today described as “essential reading” a new guide to ensure the well-being of the state’s vast dairy cattle herd.
Andrew Lester, who chairs the TFGA Dairy Council and the Dairy Animal Health and Welfare Action Group, said the action group’s new publication, A Guide to Tasmanian Dairy Cattle Welfare, is a comprehensive handbook for the care of dairy cows, bulls and calves.
The guide covers nutrition, cow health, managing young stock and bulls, animal husbandry, transport and euthanasia.
“I think this strongly reinforces the fact that our industry takes its responsibilities for animal welfare seriously,” Mr Lester said. “We recognise that the welfare of animals is of broad community interest as well.
“Most dairy farmers realise that to deliver safe, quality dairy products, they must practice sound animal husbandry and keep their animals in peak condition. This industry does not support bad practice,” he said.
The Tasmanian dairy industry adopts what it terms the Five Freedoms:
• freedom from thirst, hunger and malnutrition
• freedom from discomfort
• freedom from pain, injury and disease
• freedom to express normal behaviour
• freedom from fear and distress.