Woodlands Dairy Milk Standard

Pasture-based cows are happy cows!

Submitted by Marno Fourie

All dairy cows that produce milk for Woodlands Dairy roam freely and are pasture fed. They are therefore happy cows, because they have freedom of movement on pastures and enjoy fresh green grass as their main diet.

Woodlands Dairy annually assesses animal welfare on all producer farms, based on the five freedoms identified by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Dairy Federation (IDF) in 2011 in their guide to “Good Dairy Farming Practices”.

The five freedoms include: 1.Freedom from thirst, hunger and malnutrition
2.Freedom from discomfort 3.Freedom from pain, injury and disease;

4.Freedom from fear and 5.Freedom to engage in relatively normal patterns of animal behaviour.

Pasture-based dairy cows are fed a balanced diet consisting of green grass, concentrate and roughage. By assessing their body condition score, indicates if they are well

fed or undernourished. Plenty of clean drinking water should always be available. Regular visits by veterinarians to the farm, contributes to ensure that all animals are well looked after. Pasture-based dairy cows spends more than 70% of their grazing time on pastures.

Comfort of cows are catered for by ensuring their freedom of movement in big enough camps to graze on and that walkways are wide enough and well maintained for walking comfort. The stock handling facilities are

safe and the flooring is non-slip and comfortable to walk on.

The animals are handled and cared for to prevent pain or injury and are treated pro-actively with the aim of preventing the attraction of disease. Pasture-based dairy cows are handled with care, and tenderness so as to not cause them to fear and stress while being herded or milked. Herdsman and milking staff are trained not to cause any fear when handling cows, as this eases the milking process and limits injury to animals.

Pasture-based dairy cows are free to engage in their normal daily

routine of grazing and interacting with other cows in the herd, thus enabling normal animal behaviour. This is the way we source milk from pasture-based farms and for us it is of paramount importance that dairy cows are cared for from young calves to adult producing cows. We see it as our responsibility to inform the consumer on the packaging that milk is sourced from responsible farmers who take care of their animals.

Sources:
1.FAO and IDF, 2011. Guide to good dairy farming practice. Animal Production and Health Guidelines. No. 8. Rome. Accessed http:// www.fao.org/3/ba0027e/ba0027e00.pdf on 23/07/2019 at 11:38.
2.Woodlands Dairy 2018. Sustainable Dairy Farming. Woodlands Dairy Milk Standard. Accessed https://www.woodlandsdairy.co.za/ sustainability/ on 23/07/2019 at 11:59