Draft code for dairy cattle decries electric prods for calves

NEW ZEALAND - A new draft animal welfare code for dairy cattle released on Friday does not address controversial issues such as docking of cows' tails, but leaves those for a separate set of rules on painful procedures.
calendar icon 4 November 2006
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And the new code will mean only veterinarians or people supervised or approved by them will be able to carry out signficant surgical procedures on dairy cattle.

It sets 18 proposed minimum standards for other aspects of dairy cattle welfare, including the need for food, water, shade, shelter and housing.

Management of "downer" cows, requirements around the use of stand-off areas and feed pads and the feeding of bobby calves prior to transport are also covered by the code, which is also for calves born from dairy cows until weaning, all dairy replacement stock and dairy cattle kept as "house cows".

Farmers are urged not to use electric cattle prods on calves under the proposed new code, and a new standard calls for newborn calves to receive an adequate amount of colostrum, the first milk after calving which contains special nuitrients and antibodies. Many farmers are paid extra to supply colostrum for human health products.

Source: stuff.co.nz
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