At LUDF our animal health and welfare in all farming aspects on the farm is a of extreme importance to us due to the farm being under careful watch of the general public.
As a demonstration farm, public perception of animal well-being is imperative in providing accountability and transparency within the agricultural industry.
The farm has multiple strategies in place to make sure the stock on farm are cared for in the best way. This ensures the five freedoms of animal welfare in New Zealand are achieved.
Animal Health and Welfare requirements on farm
Nutritional – condition of animals:
- Ensure cows are well fed at all times and complete body condition scoring at least four times throughout the year to ensure they are in good condition.
- Provide stock with the minerals needed to remain healthy through a trough dosatron.
- Guarantee stock leaving the property are in the best condition for transportation.
- Ensuring all calves have adequate colostrum within first 24 hours of being born.
- Vaccinate stock with the relevant vaccines and drenches required at the correct times of year.
- Ensure animals have access to water at all times.
Environmental – planning for adverse weather events:
- Provide necessary shade and shelter to stock when needed.
- Give extra break or silage when cold weather approaches.
Health – mastitis, lameness, mortality:
- Give medical attention to stock when required.
- Manage the cow’s environment and take preventative measures to avoid lameness and mastitis which are the main animal health issues on farm.
- Use appropriate measures when dehorning calves including sedation and local anesthetic.
Behavioural – herd improvement through genetics:
- Ensure cows have a purposeful life by having a clear breeding objective which will reduce empty cows and bobby calves.