This fall National Milk Producers Federation decided to accelerate the timeline for a ban on tail docking for all producers involved in their FARM program. To say some producers were upset is an understatement. NMPF president and CEO Jim Mulhern took some heat at the group’s annual meeting in Orlando because of the decision. A new poll by Dairy Today shows a majority of dairy farmers don’t agree with a nationwide mandated ban on tail docking.
[In case you missed it, here’s some background on the issue.]
According to the poll results, of the 344 farmers who voted 68.6% of them want to continue docking tails on their farms; 38.6% of those folks say the traditional practice is important for the cleanliness of their cows.
However, in 2012 the Veterinary Medical Association and the Association of Bovine Practitioners concluded there was not sound science to support tail docking and recommended against it. So there’s that.
The ban was put in place because consumers have determined the practice to be inhumane and milk buyers have asked that it end according to Mulhern.
“Many are establishing their own policies as companies to require their milk supply to come from farms that don’t use this practice,” he says.
Which is a reason that left 30% of farmers saying ‘not stopping’ because they think it opens the door for consumers to dictate other areas of animal husbandry. Only 20 of the farmers polled think they should change their practices because milk buyers request it.
Tail docking isn’t as common in the Western U.S. 25.6% of the producers polled say they don’t mind the ban because they quit docking tails years ago.
Want your opinion to matter? Submit your comments to NMPF by Jan. 6.