A new Dairy Code of Practice has been posted for information and public comment.
It can be found at nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/dairy-cattle/code .
It is long, covers every conceivable situation and is supplemented with additional best practices which are more elaborate than the proposed mandatory requirements.
Here are the highlights:
Animal welfare means how an animal is coping physically, physiologically and psychologically with the conditions in which it lives.
Physically includes pain and injury; physiologically includes environmental or disease stressors; and psychologically includes stressors that affect the senses, especially those that result in fear, fighting, distress or stereotypic behaviors due to either frustration or boredom.
Animal welfare refers to the state of the animal; the treatment that an animal receives is covered by other terms such as animal care, animal husbandry, and humane treatment.
Calves must have a bed that provides comfort, insulation, warmth, dryness and traction. Bare concrete is not acceptable as a resting surface.
Housing must allow calves to easily stand up, lie down, turn around, adopt normal resting postures, and have visual contact with other calves.
The bedded area for group-housed calves must be large enough to allow all calves to rest comfortably at the same time.
Calves must receive at least four liters of good quality colostrum within 12 hours of birth, with the first meal occurring as soon as possible, and no more than six hours after birth.
Calves must receive a volume and quality of milk or milk replacer to maintain health, growth and vigor.
Increase milk intake during cold stress.
Housing must allow cattle to easily stand up, lie down, adopt normal resting postures, and have visual contact with other cattle.
Cattle must have a bed that provides comfort, insulation, warmth, dryness and traction. Bare concrete is not acceptable as a resting surface.
Special needs facilities must provide comfort, insulation, warmth, dryness and traction. Bare concrete is not acceptable as a resting surface.
Areas must be provided to segregate and treat sick and injured cattle.
Stocking density must not exceed 1.2 cows per stall in a free stall system.
Resting areas must provide 120ft² (11m²) per mature cow in bedded-pack pens.
Provide adequate linear feed bunk space to meet the animals’ nutritional needs.
Bare concrete platforms or hard rubber mats without bedding are unacceptable surfaces for the humane housing of cows.
Daily removal of cow patties and use of generous amounts of bedding assures cleanliness of cows kept in bedded-pack pens.
Milking equipment must be inspected by a qualified person a minimum of every twelve months.
All dairy operations must be equipped for the safe restraint and handling of animals.
Producers must take corrective action for animals at a Body Condition Score of 2 or lower.
Cows must receive a ration that is adequate for maintaining health and vigor.
Cattle must have access to palatable and clean water in quantities to meet their needs.
Producers must establish a working relationship with a practicing veterinarian (VCPR)
ame cows must be diagnosed early and either treated, culled or euthanized.
Cattle that are sick, injured, in pain or suffering must be provided prompt medical care or be euthanized.
Cattle with untreatable conditions no responding to treatment, or not fit for transport must be promptly euthanized.
Appropriate authorities must be advised of any suspect or confirmed cases of reportable disease.
If animals are culled, drug withdrawal times must be observed.
Apparatus to lift and support recumbent animals must be used with care and according to manufacturer’s specifications. Animals must be able to breath freely and not suffer unnecessary discomfort.
Producers must remove manure from alleys and beds to keep cows clean
Energizers for electric trainers must not exceed 2500 volts.
Electric trainers must have a height adjustment.
Electric trainers must be located over the chine when the cow is standing with her hind feet near the gutter curb.
Electric cattle prods must only be used in extreme situations, such as when animal or human safety is at risk, and must never be used on the face, anus or reproductive organs of dairy cattle.
Electric prods must not be used on calves that can be moved manually.
Animal handlers must be familiar with cattle behavior and quiet handling techniques either through training, experience or mentorship.
Pain control must be used when dehorning or disbudding.
Bleeding control must be used when dehorning.
All cattle must be identified using an approved ear tag as stipulated by applicable regulations.
Castration, tail docking
Pain control must be used if branding is necessary.
Face branding is prohibited.
Pain control must be used when castrating.
Dairy cattle must not be tail docked unless medically necessary.
eat removal must be performed by trained personnel
Feet and claws must be inspected and trimmed as required to minimize lameness.
Ensure cattle that are incompatible are segregated.
The method to euthanize cattle must be quick and cause the least possible pain and distress.
Confirm death immediately and before moving or leaving the animal.