Dairy Cattle Code

48

Source: National Farm Animal Care Council

The Code Committee had a series of online meetings over 2 consecutive days in June. The first sessions were devoted to housing, and each member had an opportunity to speak to their stakeholder’s overall hopes for the updated housing chapter.

The main areas of focus were stall design, animal comfort, and various options for offering cows and calves freedom of movement – all of which were among the topics most frequently raised by stakeholders who participated in the top-of-mind survey. In later sessions, they circled back to housing to summarize areas of common ground and gaps in knowledge to fill in advance of future discussions.

Great progress was made reviewing the draft chapters on husbandry and euthanasia, and at this point those draft chapters are largely complete. Work on the husbandry chapter allowed the committee to address many of the points raised through the top-of-mind survey, notably the importance of calm, quiet handling as well as the overall need for attentive training and supervision of staff. For euthanasia, the committee aims to incorporate user friendly tools to support euthanasia decisions and offer additional guidance on correct technique for euthanasia.

Perhaps owing to how well the group got to know each other through past face-to-face meetings (and of course group dinners!), the committee continues to have very positive, productive exchanges despite the current realities of meeting remotely.

The peer review of the report on priority welfare issues is complete, and the research writer is working with the Scientific Committee to address the input.

Details of past dairy cattle CDC meetings are available here.

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