Dairy farmers take care of their cows as well as possible. The cattle is the most important capital of the farmer and a healthy cow that feels good gives more milk. Good health with the least possible disease and a long life expectancy, that is what every dairy farmer wants.

Goals

  • Responsible use of antibiotics, to the standards of the Autoriteit Diergeneesmiddelen (SDa)
  • 6-month increase in the average lifespan of cows
  • Improvements in the animal welfare score

Method

Several tools are developed to further enhance animal health and welfare on the farm. The dairy farmer fills in these tools together with his regular vet. This way, it is possibel to look at company level how it is going and if there are points of improvement.

Activities

  • Together with the regular vet, the dairy farmer fills in the Farm Health Plan and the Farm Treatment Plan. In this way, everybody knows how much and which antibiotics are used and the dairy farmer can compare this with colleagues
  • A welfare-monitor is integrated in the CowCompass to asses the welfare on a company and give handless to enhance welfare if needed and possible
  • A research has started into motivation of diary farmers to lengthen the lifespan of cows. By knowing what drives the farmers, they can be stimulated to act on increasing lifespan

Results

For the goal of responsible use of antibiotics:

  • Use of antibiotics as dropped 48% in 2016 in comparison with 2009 and 99% of the farmer are below the actionlevels of antibiotics by the SDa

For the goal of increasing lifespan:

  • Monitoring and insights for dairy farmers on lifespan of cows. A benchmark has bees set, which offers the farmer comparison with colleagues

For the goal of improvements in animal welfare score:

  • The Welfaremonitor has been developed, which offers the dairy farmer insight in the healthstatus of his company
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