Farmers who actively focus on animal health and welfare and have a good relationship with their veterinarian usually achieve better standards of animal wellbeing. Which has led to Fonterra asking their suppliers to develop and implement an animal wellbeing plan with their veterinarian in order to achieve within The Co-operative Difference.

Developing plans

An Animal Wellbeing Plan needs to be developed with your veterinarian and should addresses each of the following topics at a minimum:

  • Nutrition – strategies to ensure cows reach body condition targets.
  • Health - mastitis, lameness, mortality, and minimising antimicrobial resistance.
  • Environment - planning for extreme weather events and development of management strategies for heat stress.
  • Behaviour - discussion about current and future herd improvement strategies through genetics, for example the use of polled and/or thermally tolerant genetics.

The plan needs to be reviewed annually and must be current during the season. It’s a working document that provides a framework for the farm for anything related to animal health and welfare and ultimately their wellbeing.

WelFarm has a template that captures what Fonterra are looking for within Wellbeing plans. Talk to your veterinarian about utilising WelFarm to develop yours, or contact us directly.

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