Independent report

FAWC opinion on dairy cow welfare

Farm Animal Welfare Council review of the welfare issues impacting on the dairy cow.

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Economic pressures on the dairy industry have forced British farmers to seek greater efficiencies, resulting in significant changes in dairy husbandry. Some believe that these developments have compromised the cow’s welfare.

In FAWC’s previous report (1997) the main concerns were endemic diseases, infrastructure and stockmanship. These same concerns persist and can be amalgamated into one question; does the modern dairy cow have an acceptable standard of welfare?

While there have been initiatives in the dairy industry to address key welfare issues since 1997, the evidence is that the welfare of dairy cows has not improved significantly over the past decade.

You can read more about the work of the Farm Animal Welfare Committee.