Revista Colombiana de Ciencias Pecuarias
Print version ISSN 0120-0690
TADICH, Néstor. Dairy cattle welfare. Rev Colom Cienc Pecua [online]. 2011, vol.24, n.3, pp. 293-300. ISSN 0120-0690.
The welfare of farm animals has been important research topic in recent years. The main purpose of this research is to develop appropriate assessment methods, which allow farmers to take measures to improve welfare in order to increase the productivity of animals. In this review, it is shown that there are different approaches to assess the welfare of animals: the biological functioning (health, production), the naturalness of life (normal behavior, natural environment) and affective states (pain, suffering). Thus, the more needs are met, the higher the status of welfare. It is also mentioned the quality assurance schemes on farms, which have different emphasis depending on those who have developed: industry, farmers and researchers. These schemes should include agreed-upon standards and these standards in animal welfare should be evaluated through the resources provided, the husbandry of animals, records of activities with animals and the welfare state from the perspective of the animal. Finally, based on the 5 freedoms or needs identified by the OIE, examples of how to alter the welfare of dairy cows when these freedoms are not met in production systems are shown.
Keywords : dairy cows; freedom; natural; quality assurance.