May 26, 2017
Farm animal welfare is a significant issue in Australia and overseas, and consumers are increasingly interested in knowing that a high standard of animal welfare is maintained throughout the supply chain of products they purchase.
Healthy and well cared for cows are a priority for every dairy farmer as it is central to having a successful and sustainable dairy farm.
There are many on-farm practices that have been part of dairy farming for hundreds of years and we must ensure we have a social license from consumers to continue the practices. We recognise that some things that happen on-farm can be confronting to people who are not farmers and may not understand the reason behind them. It is up to us to ensure the public understand what we do, why we do it and that at the core of every farmer is the health and wellbeing of their animals.
As an industry, we take our responsibilities for animal welfare seriously and are committed to continuous improvement of our animal husbandry practices. All farm animals must be treated with care.
We want our consumers to know farmers, processors, transporters and meat processors actively engage with each other to ensure all cows and calves are treated humanely.
The Australian dairy industry supports the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Cattle as well as the Land Transport Standards and Guidelines. These were developed in partnership with the animal welfare groups and Government, and provide the industry with a clear vision that the welfare of all animals in Australia is promoted and protected by the adoption of sound animal welfare standards and practices.
We are continuously working to improve animal welfare standards to ensure we meet consumer and public expectations and expect all persons managing livestock abide by these standards to ensure best practice is observed on-farm.
It is a priority of the dairy industry to regularly review policies and practices in line with public perceptions and to invest in ongoing national training and education to ensure farmers constantly strive to go above and beyond the agreed standard.
ADF, in collaboration with Dairy Australia, and other industry partners continue to work with industry, Government and animal welfare groups such as the RSPCA to ensure the wellbeing of our herds in all farming systems.
Interim ADF Chief Executive Officer
Jun 13, 2016
The 2016 Feeding the Genes study, conducted by Dr John Morton, for ADHIS, investigated interactions between sire genetics and feeding systems on:
- milk solids production;
- and the cow’s chance of lasting in the herd.
The milk production results were clear. The study found that in all feeding systems, the daughters of high index (BPI, HWI or TWI) sires produce more milk
solids than daughters of low index sires.
In terms of survival, the daughters of high index (BPI, HWI and TWI) sires last longer than daughters of low index sires in all pasture-based feeding systems.
The scale of effects of sire index vary by index and feeding system:
The HWI has larger effects on longevity than BPI or TWI.
In low bail feeding systems the daughters of high BPI and HWI sires last longer than daughters of low index sires.
In moderate to high bail feeding, partial mixed ration (PMR) and hybrid feeding systems, the daughters of high index (BPI, HWI and TWI) sires last longer.
In total mixed ration (TMR) systems the daughters of high HWI sires last longer.
The findings support the take-home message that herd managers should select high index sires whose ABVs are aligned with the breeding objectives for their herd, regardless of their feeding system.
Apr 04, 2016
This finding and others are reported in the latest Herd Improvement Report, published recently by the Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme (ADHIS)
and the National Herd Improvement Association of Australia (NHIA).
Dec 22, 2015
More support has been announced for financial counselling in drought-stricken regions in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia. An extra $920,000 in funding has been provided for Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) providers in those States to continue to help farmers battling drought.
The funds are in addition to the $14.3 million Commonwealth funding already allocated to the RFCS programme in 2015-16.
Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) has welcomed this support, acknowledging the financial counselling service as a vital part of supporting dairy farmers through challenging times, including drought. ADF highlighted that the service helps people take control of their business again rather than allowing their business to take control of them.
Agriculture needs as many financial counsellors as possible across rural Australia according to ADF, particularly as drought continues to challenge many dairy regions.
The RFCS can support farmers with business planning, farm debt mediation and helping them access sources of professional, industry and government assistance. The services can vary from one ten-minute phone call with a person to on-going support across a number of years.
The additional funding provided by the Commonwealth Government toward the counselling initiative will be crucial over the coming months as the pressures of drought compound continue.
ADF encourages farmers to utilise the service and to keep in contact with neighbours who may be struggling during this time.
To find out about RFCS offered in your region contact your State Dairy Farming Organisation or visit http://www.ruralfinancialcounselling.org.au/.