CS - De Tolakker Organic Dairy Farm At The Faculty Of Veterinary Medicine In Utrecht
‘De Tolakker’ is the educational research farm of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine from the Utrecht University in the Netherlands with separate stables for dairy cows, pigs and sheep. The dairy farm of the Tolakker is an organic farm and the concepts of organic farming are structurally integrated in its farm management. Within the European Union, organic farming is bound to strict regulations on for example roughage production, housing, grazing management, nutrition, animal reproduction and veterinary drug use. The integration of the organic programme with the educational function of the research offers students the opportunity to understand the differences between organic and conventional farms. Apart from this, the dairy farm of the Tolakker plays an important role in the education of veterinary students on farm animal (health) management by means of practicals, the “adoption cow concept” and rotational training. In this paper, special attention is finally paid to legislative rules concerning veterinary drug use on organic farms. Organic farming requires a restricted and responsible application of antibiotics on dairy farms, but transparency and efficiency in veterinary drug use are also of great concern for conventional dairy farms. Therefore, a project on the transparent and efficient use of veterinary drugs on dairy farms has been initiated by joint action of various organizations involved in the dairy sector in the Netherlands. The dairy farm of the Tolakker is also actively participating in this project.