The animal care module is based on the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Dairy Cattle, and its criteria meets the stipulations of the National Farm Animal Care Council to demonstrate, with assessment and validation, that farmers respect the Code of Practice on their farms. To this end, the research done by leading animal care experts in various Canadian universities has been essential, as was the collaboration of many other experts and stakeholders in our industry.
The questions below outline the animal care criteria, from animal housing to staff training and communication. The validations are completed annually, through either farmer self-declaration or by independent assessors and validators.
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Do you ensure that housing for unweaned calves:
a. Allows calves to easily stand up, lie down, turn around (180°) and adopt normal resting postures?
b. Provides bedding?
c. Permits calves to have visual contact with other cattle?
d. If group housing, provides a bedded area large enough to allow all calves to rest comfortably at the same time?
Do you ensure that housing for weaned heifers:
a. Allows heifers to easily stand up, lie down, and adopt normal resting postures?
b. Provides bedding?
c. Permits heifers to have visual contact with other cattle?
d. If group housing, provides a bedded area large enough to allow all heifers to rest comfortably at the same time?
Do you ensure that bull housing (if applicable to your farm):
a. Permits bulls to easily stand up, lie down, adopt normal resting postures, and mount safely?
b. Provides bedding?
Do you ensure that dry cattle housing:
a. Allows cattle to easily stand up, lie down, and adopt normal resting postures?
b. Provides bedding?
Do you ensure that dry cattle and lactating cattle housing provides adequate stocking densities? (Free-stall: does not exceed 1.2 mature cows per usable stall. Bedded-pack pens: provide 11 m2 (120 ft2) per mature Holstein cow.)
Do your animal husbandry, manure and waste management systems ensure the cleanliness of lactating cattle’s udders, legs and flanks?
Do you ensure that the calving area (prior to and after delivery of calf) is kept clean and dry?
Do you have a designated area for the segregation and treatment of sick and injured cattle?
Tie-Stall Barns: Are electric trainers:
a. Designed to not exceed 2500 Volts?
b. Equipped with a height adjustment?
c. Located over the chine when the animal is standing with her hind feet near the gutter curb?
Feed and Water
Have you established and implemented a Standard Operating Procedure for colostrum management and calf feeding?
Do heifers receive feed that is adequate for maintaining health, growth and vigour?
Do all cattle have access to a clean water source?
Biosecurity and Animal Health
Have you established and implemented a Standard Operating Procedure for animal health practices (e.g. disbudding/dehorning, castration, supernumerary teat removal and branding) that includes appropriate pain control where required?
Do you provide prompt medical care for cattle that are sick, injured, too thin (BCS ≤2), severely lame, in pain or suffering?
Have you established and implemented a Standard Operating Procedure for managing down cattle?
Have you established and implemented a Standard Operating Procedure for euthanasia?
- Had a cattle assessment conducted by an independent assessor on your milking herd for Body Condition Score; hock, knee and neck score; and mobility score? (Record 7)
- Documented and implemented an appropriate corrective action plan for results in the red zone to meet the program’s timelines for continuous improvement? (Record 7b)
Do your cattle have full tails?
Handling and Shipping Animals
Do you handle cattle without the use of electric cattle prods whenever possible?
Have you established and implemented a Standard Operating Procedure for shipping cattle?
Staff Training and Communication
Do you train all animal handlers, and are they familiar with cattle behaviour and quiet handling techniques?
Do you have a written corrective action plan on how to communicate and address downed animals?
Farmers invest in technology and equipment, and work with experts like veterinarians and nutritionists to constantly improve cow comfort.
|Quick Tips||July 2021||PDF (0.3 MB)||Download|
|Lameness Impacts and Treatment Options||October 2022||Launch Video Player|
|Preventing Lameness in Your Herd||October 2022||Launch Video Player|
|Pain Mitigation in Your Herd||October 2022||Launch Video Player|
|Managing Injuries in Your Herd||October 2022||Launch Video Player|
|Having a Plan and Being Prepared for Down Cattle||October 2022||Launch Video Player|
Listen to our podcasts at the links below or find them on your regular podcasts service by searching “DFC PLC”
Cull Cow Resources
|What Do We Know About Cull Cows in Canada||PDF (2.2 MB)||Download|
|Canadian Cattle Transport Regulations||PDF (4.1 MB)||Download|
|Shipping Animals||PDF (1.5 MB)||Download|
|Decision Tree for Culling Cattle in Canada||PDF (0.9 MB)||Download|
|Culling Checklist||PDF (2.3 MB)||Download|
|A Proactive Approach to Culling Dairy Cows in Canada||PDF (0.6 MB)||Download|
|Best Practices and Key Considerations for On-Farm Euthanasia||PDF (1.3 MB)||Download|
|Cull Cows in Canada – Why Are They Important and What Can We Do||PDF (1.6 MB)||Download|
|Drying off cull dairy cattle||August 2020||PDF (0.6 MB)||Download|
Video Series: Hoof Care
Animal welfare and proper hoof maintenance is an industry-wide concern, not unique to any one breed or management system. As a result, this project was a joint effort, generously supported by Jersey Canada, Holstein Canada, Semex, and Dairy Farmers of Canada. Together, a series of eight short videos were produced addressing correct hoof trimming techniques, and the impact a quality hoof trim has on locomotion and injury prevention.
|Hoof Care: The Foundation of Cow Health||June 2016||1:25 minutes||Launch Video Player|
|Locomotion: The Key to Assessing Hoof Health||June 2016||2:03 minutes||Launch Video Player|
|Trimming for Comfort & Traction||June 2016||2:53 minutes||Launch Video Player|
|Some Exceptions to Consider when Trimming Various Breeds||July 2016||1:09 minutes||Launch Video Player|
|Foot Angle: A Small Adjustment Goes a Long Way||July 2016||3:31 minutes||Launch Video Player|
|Bedding Makes a Difference||July 2016||3:38 minutes||Launch Video Player|
|Testimonials||July 2016||7:30 minutes||Launch Video Player|
|Final Thoughts from Kiyoshi Kamei||July 2016||1:09 minutes||Launch Video Player|