Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Consider cow welfare when designing housing

New Zealand Veterinary Association

Media release


Wednesday 22 October


Consider cow welfare when designing housing

Dairy farmers should consider the health and welfare of their cows when building housing for their stock, says New Zealand Veterinary Association president Richard Wild.

A recent paper on the welfare of cows kept in grazing and housed systems, concluded that New Zealand dairy cows are generally better off living outside grazing pasture than being housed inside in barns.

"With New Zealand dairy farming expanding into new geographic areas, it is timely to evaluate the matter of housing," says Dr Wild. "Milking cows are valuable animals and deserve the best conditions we can provide."

The review paper, written by veterinarian Richard Laven and dairy scientist Colin Holmes, was published recently in the New Zealand Veterinary Journal. It lays out the advantages and disadvantages of housing for dairy cattle welfare in the New Zealand environment. One of the obvious benefits is protection from inclement weather.

"While housing gives the benefit of protecting cows from adverse weather – both hot and cold – results from overseas show it can detrimentally affect welfare by increasing the risk of mastitis and lameness," says Dr Wild.

"The types of lameness and mastitis are also different in housed cows and require different strategies for management."

He says housing cows is an expensive option, so getting the design right is critical as health and welfare issues need to be taken into consideration. Farmers also need to consider the cost incurred, not only in buildings, but also in increased labour requirements.

"Veterinarians can assist farmers who are designing stock housing, by helping them to anticipate and eliminate potential problems as far as possible," says Dr Wild.

"Animal health plans can be tailored to ensure farmers have systems in place to monitor stock and identify the different health problems that may be encountered in housed animals."

Dr Wild says there is a lot of information available about different dairying systems.

“New Zealand veterinarians and dairy farmers need to work together to ensure that dairying in this country benefits from reports on international experience.”




© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


By May 2018: Wider, Earlier Microbead Ban

The sale and manufacture of wash-off products containing plastic microbeads will be banned in New Zealand earlier than previously expected, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced today. More>>


Snail-ier Mail: NZ Post To Ditch FastPost

New Zealand Post customers will see a change to how they can send priority mail from 1 January 2018. The FastPost service will no longer be available from this date. More>>


Property Institute: English Backs Of Debt To Income Plan

Property Institute of New Zealand Chief Executive Ashley Church is applauding today’s decision, by Prime Minister Bill English, to take Debt-to-income ratios off the table as a tool available to the Reserve Bank. More>>


Divesting: NZ Super Fund Shifts Passive Equities To Low-Carbon

The NZ$35 billion NZ Super Fund’s NZ$14 billion global passive equity portfolio, 40% of the overall Fund, is now low-carbon, the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation announced today. More>>


Split Decision - Appeal Planned: EPA Allows Taranaki Bight Seabed Mine

The Decision-making Committee, appointed by the Board of the Environmental Protection Authority to decide a marine consent application by Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd, has granted consent, subject to conditions, for the company to mine iron sands off the South Taranaki Bight. More>>