NPR - ANIMAL WELFARE IN EUROPEAN DAIRY FARMS – FIRST INSIGHTS
The European Dairy Farmers (EDF) Snapshot 2018 focused on “Animal Welfare” as animal welfare is a daily concern of dairy farmers and is increasingly important to those outside farming. 201 farmers from 16 countries participated in the survey. First descriptive results are presented in this paper. Even though the results are not representative, they offer interesting insights into the farmers’ perception of animal welfare: According to the participating EDF farmers, animal welfare is of high importance throughout the supply chain, but they also see different priorities for animal welfare aspects. Where EDF farmers consider animal health as the most important aspect, society seems to attach great importance to grazing. In addition to legal and dairy processors’ requirements concerning all farmers in the respective countries, half of the EDF farmers join voluntarily at least one additional programme concerning animal welfare. EDF farmers are mainly motivated to implement animal welfare criteria to improve the cows’ welfare and to increase profitability. The EDF Snapshot data provides interesting insights into the status quo of animal welfare in European dairy farms and forms the basis for further research. EDF members use the results to discuss the current situation and to optimise their own farm strategies.
Keywords: Farm animal welfare, Dairy Farming in Europe, Benchmark