A - Papers appearing in refereed journals
Mullan, S., Bunglaven, S. J., Rowe, E., Barrett, D. C., Lee, M. R. F., Ananth, D. and Tarlton, J. 2020. Welfare Challenges of Dairy Cows in India Identified Through On-Farm Observations. Animals. 10 (586), pp. 1-13.
|Authors||Mullan, S., Bunglaven, S. J., Rowe, E., Barrett, D. C., Lee, M. R. F., Ananth, D. and Tarlton, J.|
India has the largest population of dairy cattle in the world at over 48 million animals, yet there has been little formal assessment of their welfare reported. Through observations of dairy cows on 38 farms in Kerala, India, we aimed to investigate the welfare of these animals and the practicality of animal-based assessments within common farming systems. Substantial welfare challenges were identified. All cows were close-tied (less than 1 m length) via a halter that pierced the nasal septum when housed, which was for the entire day (50% of farms) or part thereof. When outside access was available, it was also usually restricted by close-tying, longline tether, or hobbling. Ad libitum water was only available on 22% of farms and food access was also restricted (mean of 4.3 hrs/day). Future work should focus on encouraging dairy farmers in India to improve the welfare of their dairy cattle by ceasing to tie and tether cattle or at least providing tied and tethered cattle with exercise opportunities, unlimited access to drinking water and a readier supply of food (especially quality green forage/fodder); clean housing more frequently; provide strategies to prevent heat stress; breed cattle suited to environmental conditions and with increased resistance to heat stress; carry out welfare assessments more regularly using a validated protocol; rectify the causes of poor welfare. Such changes could substantially improve the welfare of tens of millions of cattle.
|Keywords||Animal welfare; Dairy cow; India|
|Year of Publication||2020|
|Journal citation||10 (586), pp. 1-13|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||doi:10.3390/ani10040586|
|Open access||Published as ‘gold’ (paid) open access|
|Funder||Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council|
|Funder project or code||India Partnering Award|
|Accepted author manuscript|
|Online||31 Mar 2020|
|Publication process dates|
|Accepted||25 Mar 2020|
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