Development of animal health and welfare planning in organic dairy farming in Europe
Good animal health and welfare is an explicit goal of organic livestock farming, and will need continuous development and adjustment on the farms. Furthermore, the very different conditions in different regions of Europe calls for models that can be integrated into local practice and be relevant for each type of farming context. A European project with participants from seven countries have been established with the aim of developing principles for animal health and welfare planning in organic dairy farming, based on a process where knowledge about the status within a given herd will be included as background for taking decisions and planning future improvements. An important part of the planning process is communication with other farmers as well as animal health and welfare professionals (veterinarians and advisors). Other principles such as systematic evaluation of how the improvements work in the farm ensure the continuity of the planning process. This presentation gives and overview over the current animal health and welfare planning initiatives in the participating countries and lines up the principles which are being gradually implemented in partner countries in collaboration with groups of organic farmers and organisations.