Jim Mulhern on NMPF Tail Docking Decision

a holstein calf

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.

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Spell Check

foley, MN
12/16/2015 02:00 PM

  all you people at nmpf are a bunch of flippin DING DONGS as a nmpf member why dont we have a say in anything i would like to see one of you suit &tie experts come and milk in hot summer days and get wacked in he face with a shity stinky tail its not fun you people only see the handful of bad farmers look at the thousands that do a good job. what the hell are we paying you for (o ya to feed your face)

Greenwood, WI
1/17/2017 08:49 AM

  Farmers need to get together and get a attorney! And fight these basterds!! This is only the beginning of a lot more to come from the FARM program!!

Batavia, NY
10/30/2015 09:39 AM

  The problem with banning tail docking is, how is this better for the cows? Does a cow having her tail ripped out at the root by an automatic alley scraper help the cow? I wonder if any of the so called consumer groups have seen what that looks like? It seems the overpaid geniuses at NMPF have not seen it. Or is it better that the rear end of the cow is covered with manure since her tail now will lie in a walk alley behind the freestall? Does that help the cow? My calves have their tail docked with a band at a young age. Ten minutes after the band is applied the calf is drinking her milk and then lying down and resting. The band is not even noticed by the calf at that point. Now NMPF is bannong tail docking because a few moron dairy farmers do not know how to dock a tail at a young age with almost no pain. The change should have been on those farms, not a total ban on an acceptable practice. It is time to defund the NMPF. Then these geniuses can take their "knowledge" someplace else.


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