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Taiwan publishes guidelines for dairy cattle welfare

30 November 2021

The guidelines set out requirements for ‘animal- friendly’products

Taiwanese authorities set out new guidelines for producers wishing to use 'animal friendly' labels for products. Under the guidelines, animal-friendly dairy production must feature appropriate veterinary care. Dairy cows must also have opportunities for social interaction, and professional training for employees is required.

The new guidelines state that dairy cattle must have enough space to lie down, suitable bedding, and access to the outdoors. Milking sheds must be equipped with cow brushes and feature appropriate lines of movement and anti-slip flooring to reduce the risk of slipping.

“While long overdue, the guidelines for dairy cattle welfare send a signal to Taiwan’s dairy industry that animal welfare is not an issue that can be overlooked,” stated Yu-Min Chen, Deputy Chief Executive of Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST).

Chen said EAST investigations into conditions on Taiwanese dairy farms uncovered malnutrition, widespread heat stress and unhygienic conditions. 

The guidelines also outline conditions for dehorning, which must be conducted before three weeks' of age and accompanies with pain management. When castrating calves, anaesthesia, sedation and pain relief must be supplied if the calf is more than two months old. The procedure must be performed by a veterinarian. 

At this point the guidelines are voluntary, but EAST said they can be used as a reference point for producers who want to improve welfare conditions on their farm. EAST hopes they will also lay the groundwork for more stringent government regulations.

 



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