Housing, nutrition and other areas are covered.
The Dairy Calf and Heifer Association’s (DCHA) recently released Gold Standards III marks the first time a dairy calf organization has addressed animal welfare standards for rearing young dairy livestock.
“Animal welfare is a critical issue to the U.S. dairy industry,” says Vance Kells, a Kansas calf raiser, DCHA board member and chairman of the Gold Standards III committee. “As the industry trade association representing replacement animals, we felt it was important for DCHA to publish a set of welfare standards specific to calves and heifers.”
The standards focus on animal welfare for U.S. dairy calves and heifers from birth to freshening, including:
- Colostrum management
- Drug therapy
- Parasite control
- Elective medical procedures
DCHA developed the standards with input from leading calf specialists, veterinarians, nutritionists, university researchers, calf raisers and other industry experts. All Gold Standards can be found online at www.calfandheifer.org.
—Edited by Dairy Today staff
- April 2012