The director-general of the International Dairy Federation (IDF), Caroline Emond, has praised the sector’s commitment to animal health and welfare.
Emond said that the dairy industry was motivated by “a steadfast dedication to the continuous improvement of best practice across all levels of the dairy supply chain”.
Speaking at the OIE Global Animal Welfare Forum, she said: “With consumer interest in animal welfare growing across the globe, the spotlight has been focused on animals involved in the production of food, with the dairy sector no exception.
“Farmers know that healthy cows produce quality milk. To build on their success in this area, the global dairy sector needs to develop communication of the numerous actions undertaken for years to improve animal health and welfare.
“Dairy is a vital part of the global food system and provides economic, nutritional and social benefits to a large proportion of the world’s population. The growing world population needs nutritional security, and we must provide this both safely and sustainably.”
One company that has taken recent steps towards ensuring a sustainable dairy supply chain is Valio. The Finnish dairy manufacturer has recently committed to discontinue the use of soy in feed for cattle, mindful of the need to stop feeding animals food that is suitable for human consumption.
It also committed to pay a responsibility bonus to its farmers in Finland who commit to various measures to promote animal wellbeing – including monitoring the condition of cows’ hooves, and ensuring that pain relief and sedatives are given to calves as part of their dehorning.
Alongside key strategic partners including OIE, ISO and FAO, the IDF has been at the vanguard of developing science-based best practice guidelines for animal welfare. IDF represents the dairy sector in the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock and is a founding member of the Dairy Sustainability Framework. Later this year will also see the publication of the updated IDF Guide to Good Animal Welfare in Dairy Production.
Emond said: “At the IDF, the leading source of scientific and technical global dairy expertise, we are proud to contribute to the development of animal welfare expertise that benefits animals, farmers and society.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019