Spain: European recommendations to improve the welfare of dairy cows, ducks, geese, and quail

Frozen Bone-In Beef
Published May 16, 2023

Tridge summary

Dairy cows, ducks, geese and quail need more space and improved housing according to animal welfare recommendations published this Tuesday May 16 in two new scientific opinions from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The opinions are part of a series of documents on farm animal species that support the ongoing review of the European Union's animal welfare standards.

Original content

As for dairy cows, EFSA indicates that having enough space to move and rest is an important factor in their well-being. Scientific evidence shows that permanently tethered cows in stalls have impaired welfare, and this practice should be avoided according to EFSA. Each cow must have access to a total interior space, including a lying area, of at least 9 m2. Other recommendations include: giving dairy cows access to pasture with drained and shaded areas; regular control of lameness, mastitis and metabolic disorders; and use brushes in all loose housing systems (ie systems where cows are not tethered) to allow cows to engage in natural behaviors such as scratching and body grooming. If housed in stalls, cows should have individual space and sufficiently thick bedding. EFSA scientists also considered the risks to the welfare of ducks, geese and quail. They evaluated the rearing systems for breeders, as well as those used for poultry in the production of meat, foie gras and eggs. EFSA ...
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