Animal Welfare in mega dairies


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  • Animal Rights: a belief system that animals intrinsically have the same rights to life and liberty as afforded to humans (Getz and Baker, 1990)
  • World organization for animal health
  • Animals are sentient being who fell pain, thirst, hunger, fear…Animal have always been part of living and cows specially have a religious sentiment attached for a large number of people in India. Advertisements show cows in lush green pastures, blue water in streams, and clear blue skies .Pastoral images that portray the wholesomeness of the environment where cows produce milk - healthy cows, healthy environment, and a healthy food. We all know that the reality is different.Increased consumer awareness- about how food animals are treated , cared for and what happens to them?Research reference:Understanding and addressing issues related to well being of livestock, R.Pawelek and C.Croney, March 2003
  • Livestock census, 2007
  • There are two possible ways to meet this milk demand-Strengthen the present small holder system…which calls for intensive work with the farmer, giving appropriate door step services to the farmer, strengthening veterinary services, ensuring capacity of the farmer to feed its livestock, educating him about various diseases and by enhancing his traditional knowledge by introducing the best husbandry practices to him…….and increase milk production while preserving symbiotic relationship between man & animal..and let dairying be the tool for rural empowermentThe other way is to let private entrepreneurs set up factories to produce milk and conquer market in no time… The noticeable trend in the country is rise of commercial dairy farming in order to meet milk demands of the country..No lets look at what’s animal welfare?
  • The concept of Five Freedoms originated with the Report of the Technical Committee to Enquire into the Welfare of Animals kept under Intensive Livestock Husbandry Systems, the Brambell Report, December 1965 (HMSO London, ISBN 0 10 850286 4). This stated that farm animals should have freedom “to stand up, lie down, turn around, groom themselves and stretch their limbs
  • Innate problems in commercial dairy operations
  • Growth hormones: 25% mastitis increase (Bovine SomatoTrophicharmone), lameness & other problems, diminished body conditionRepeated pregnancy: Faulty AI, quacks in AI services, self medication ‘One calf an year’ - In order to continue to produce milk, dairy cows must calve yearly and will typically become pregnant again three months after calving.
  • Many health problems are associated with use of tie stalls. Lying space
  • In indoor systems, flooring is customarily concrete, as it is inexpensive, easy to clean and maintain. However, it can cause harm to cows as it is hard, abrasive and slippery due to urineBecause lame cows typically walk at the back of the herd they are more affected by an impatient handler; they are crowded together and cannot see where to place their feet (Ref: The welfare of cattle in dairy production, farm sanctuary)
  • Further problems when they become bulls
  • > Naturally cows are active animals who love to forage, explore, lick each other, sniff and groom. Commercial dairy operations do not provide them opportunity to express their natural behaviour and needs such as walking and exercise.> Researchers in France found out that cattle move up the hierarchy because of such traits. Cattle live inhierarchically ranked groups and begin to order themselves at a young age. Physical communication and grooming helpto establish this social ranking.
  • Explain typologies and on going work and invite contributors
  • Animal Welfare in mega dairies

    1. 1. ‘Welfare of Cattle’in Commercial Dairy OperationsKhushboo Gupta & Dr.M.L.KambojCoordinator-Farm Senior ScientistAnimals, LPM, NDRIFIAPO
    2. 2. What is Animal Welfare?• The ability of an animal to cope physiologically, behaviorally, cognitively and emotionally with its physiochemical and social life environment, including the animal‟s subjective experience of its condition (Gonyou, 1993; Duncan & Fraser,1997;Scott,2004)• State of well-being, in which at least basic needs are met and suffering is minimized (Spedding, 2000)
    3. 3. Oie- Office International Des Epizooties on Animal Welfare“Animal welfare means how an animal is coping with the conditionsin which it lives. An animal is in a good state of welfare if (asindicated by scientific evidence) it is healthy, comfortable, wellnourished, safe, able to express innate behaviour, and if it is notsuffering from unpleasant states such as pain, fear, and distress”Good animal welfare requires disease prevention and veterinarytreatment, appropriate shelter, management, nutrition and humanehandling
    4. 4. Why Animal Welfare?• Animals are sentient beings: Emotional aspect of using animals• The reality of dairy industry is different from what is shown in advertisements for publicity of animal products• Consumer awareness• “Well managed and gently handled animals are productive than anxious animals , or those handled roughly” (Pawelek & Croney,2003)
    5. 5. Indian dairy industry- A brief overview • India has a population of 199.1 Million cows and 105.3 Million buffalos(2007 Census) • Prevalence of cross bred cows & various breeds of buffalo • Dairying as a tool for rural empowerment- livelihood & food security • Specially for small farmers • Shift in nature of dairying: from household to commercial • Completely production oriented • Dairy industry superficially regulated
    6. 6. Prevailing Milk Production Systems {Typologies}• Large commercial dairy• Urban & peri- urban dairy• Small holder backyard farmers• Government farms & breeding centres• Gaushalas
    7. 7. Milk production to be doubled by 2020• Strengthening of present small holder in the country OR• Start large commercial units with numerous milk producing cows
    8. 8. Dairy Industry
    9. 9. But within this market… Loser
    10. 10. Welfare considerations in commercial dairy operations The Five freedoms Indicators Practices
    11. 11. Freedom from thirst, hunger and Freedom malnutrition Freedom to from express discomfort normal due to behavior forenvironment the species The 5 Freedoms Freedom Freedom from from fear pain, injury and distress and disease
    12. 12. Freedom statement What it entailsFreedom from Hunger and Thirst Ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigourFreedom from Discomfort Providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease Prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour Providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animals own kind.Freedom from Fear and Distress Ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.
    13. 13. Indicators of Reduced Animal Welfare Bar biting MilkTongue rolling Reduced feed productionWind sucking intake, decreased, Cut Inter/Cross- Immune Body Weight Injury sucking suppression, decreased, Body damage Eye rolling Adrenal activity Reproduction Tail biting altered impaired,
    14. 14. Cheap milk is good but the cows are losing…….
    15. 15. Production & Reproduction• Growth hormones - bST• Diet related/ nutritional problems - challenge feeding, milk fever ( calcium intake vs milk extraction) etc• „One calf an year‟ - Metabolism of animal & male calves - Longevity - Effect on consistent productivity
    16. 16. Housing• Tie stalls “Mammary infections and/or teat injuries have been found into be more common in cows kept in tie stalls compared to cows kept in free stalls or straw yards” (Hultgren J.2002)• Lying space “Lying behaviour plays a critical role in the production potential, profitability and welfare status of intensively managed dairy cattle. When cows are deprived of adequate lying time, their welfare may be reduced” (Fregonesi & Leaver (2001) & Cooper et al. (2008) )• Freedom of movement
    17. 17. Typical daily time budget for a lactating dairy cowActivity Time devoted to activity per dayEating 3 to 5 h (9 to 14 meals/d)Lying/resting 12 to 14 hSocial interactions 2 to 3 hRuminating 7 to 10 hDrinking 30 minOutside pen (milking, travel 2.5 to 3.5 htime) Grant and Albright, 2000
    18. 18. Cows have a strong behavioral need to restRelationship between resting time and milk yield in dairy cows Grant, 2004
    19. 19. Cows will take more rest when• Microclimate inside the house is comfortable• Comfortable resting place is available• They are not over crowded• Surface of the floor is conducive for rest - not hot in summers - not cool in winters - not slippery
    20. 20. In order to maximize milk production, a cow shouldspend over 12 hours, or more than 50% of herday, lying in a stall or a pasture Ryan A., 2010
    21. 21. Flooring• Concrete floors “ The presence of excreta on walking surfaces causes discomfort to cows and predisposes them to developing leg and foot problems” (Wells et al. 2008)• The greater use of free stall housing with concrete floors may be contributing to reproductive loss. (Phillips and Morris, 2001)• Concrete flooring has also been blamed for a higher incidence of lameness in modern dairy cows Lame cows with claw lesions (approximately 18% of the herd) were half as likely to conceive when compared to healthy cows (Hernandez et al., 2001)
    22. 22. Concrete floorStress Lameness Diet Decline in performance
    23. 23. Calf Rearing• Separation from mother (Day old weaning)• Feed to calves -Biased feeding -Male in buffalos, female in local & draught breeds• Male calves (young & adult) - Disposal in young and adult mainly in cross bred cows - Unwanted, uncared, unno
    24. 24. Other problems…• Inadequate feeding -Increased aggression in the feeding area when cows are overcrowded has been noted by a number of researchers (Olofsson, 1999; DeVries et al., 2004; DeVries and von Keyserlingk, 2006,Huzzey et al., 2006)• Frequent re -grouping• Locomotion and activity• Physical- Lameness, mastitis, tail docking, de horning• Branding• Handling, transport & slaughter
    25. 25. Are current dairy production systems ethical?Considerations: – Animal welfare • Is the animal harmed? • Are the animals‟ needs met? – Human obligations • Are the animals being used responsibly? • What is the impact on the environment? (Croney, 2004)
    26. 26. Dairy operators’ approach to welfare• Many would like to spend more on improving cow health and welfare – But variation in attitudes• Not always clear return on investment for health / welfare matters
    27. 27. Fears in adopting animal welfare• Unclear about what it entails• Avoid making large, expensive changes• Unaware of the impacts of poor animal welfare• Misconception that animal welfare is being taken care of
    28. 28. Who will improve the condition then? Vets?
    29. 29. YOU can make a difference to lives of thousands of animals at dairies! By enhancing your knowledge on animal welfare By introducing your students to this concept & By including AW in course curricula- UG & PG level By encouraging research in this area By publishing scholarly articles on ‘harmonizing animal welfare in dairy operations’ By vocalizing animal welfare at scientific fora By advising commercial dairy operators to adopt welfare practices
    30. 30. FIAPO’s efforts….• Developing scientific scaling methods to assess welfare of dairy cows across different typologies of milk production units in India• Development of strategy to promote animal welfare of dairy animals
    31. 31. Possible Strategy to promote AW• Development of a national code of dairy standards• Incorporation of dairy standards in the Bureau of Indian Standards• Up gradation of Registration of cattle premises rules• Work with Animal Husbandry departments to adopt dairy code• AH depts. to include animal welfare indicators such as housing and waste disposal as eligibility for dairy promotion schemes
    32. 32. Strategy continued…..• Invoke India’s commitment to international covenants and treaties• IEC to farmers• Capacity building of cooperatives to ensure functionaries to ensure compliance of animal welfare practices by their members.• NIAW to run training programme on animal welfare best practices in dairy operations• Consumer outreach & public awareness• Network of dairy scientists & progressive dairy farmers
    33. 33. Applying good animal welfare can be as simple as applying good husbandry practices on consistent basis
    34. 34. Good animal welfare EQUALS Better health Improved productivity Quality productsIncreased overall profitability
    35. 35. I can be reached at-Email: Contact: 09717867045 THANK YOU!