Yesterday the National Milk Producers Federation announced tail docking, a practice used on nearly 25% of dairy farms, would end January 1, 2017 for producers participating in the Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Program.
AgriTalk Radio’s Mike Adams caught up with NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern at the NMPF annual meeting this morning to discuss the issue. Mulhern says the policy change was made by the board after “extensive discussions with customers across the country in retail and food service.”
He says the number one issue customers in retail and food service hear from their consumers is the practice of tail docking.
“Many are establishing their own policies as companies to require their milk supply to come from farms that don’t use this practice,” Mulhern says.
You’ll remember the Veterinary Medical Association and the Association of Bovine Practitioners concluded in 2012 that there was not sound science to support tail docking and recommended against it. Mulhern says because of that finding, paired with the market place and consumers having a firm opinion on the issue, the NMPF board decided they needed to address the concerns and gain consumer confidence.
“When the market place and consumers tell our customers that they don’t want to purchase milk and dairy products from farms using the practice, you have to respond.”
Listen to the full interview with Jim Mulhern below.