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TheDairySite Newsletter - 8 June 2012

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Friday 8th June 2012
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Welcome to this week's newsletter

Editorial: Culling - Ethics versus Economics

I think it is fair to say that through the global modernisation of the dairy industry we are seeing cows with fewer and fewer lactations.

Average lactations per animal is now between two to four, although this varies by production system, size of herd, management etc.

Previously I have always believed that the industry should try and increase the average lactations per cow over its lifespan. Is it ethically right to cull off an older, perhaps third lactation animal, because there is a young heifer ready to take her place in the herd?

Is economics enough to justify the culling of a relatively healthy animal?

Until last week I had not fully considered the welfare aspect of this debate. Interestingly this was a topic of discussion at an Expert Farm Animal Well-Being Forum I attended.

So I would like to share with you a quote from the UK's Farm Animal Welfare Council:

"Lifespan per se is not necessarily an accurate indicator of good welfare or of a cow having had a good quality life."

An older animal may have repeatedly suffered from lameness or mastitis, so would have it been in the best interest of the cow to cull this animal earlier on in life and prevent this suffering?

From a producers perspective, culling early on in lactation, particularly a young animal, is one of the most costly types of culling, as the animal will not likely have paid her way in the herd.

Although the issue of culling older but productive animals in favour of younger animals entering the herd will continue to be widely a discussed issue, improving the welfare of animals on farm through an emphasis on herd health could be the solution to improving longevity and welfare without compromising profitability.

I appreciate there is a much wider debate to be had around this subject and I am happy to discuss this further and would be interested to hear readers' views.

Charlotte Johnston

Cow Signals Training Books

* This Week's Feature Articles

We have 4 new features this week:

Salmonella Harboured in Lymph Nodes of Cattle
Salmonella in beef cattle can evade detection because it becomes hidden in the lymph nodes of the carcase and in consequence can increase the contamination of ground beef products, writes Chris Harris.
Dairy Industry Reducing Phosphorus Intake and Output
Reducing phosphorus in dairy diets doesn’t change a cow’s productivity, but it does affect the environmental impact that cow might have, according to a Texas AgriLife Extension Service specialist.
Financial Performance of Australia's Dairy Farms
The national average farm cash income of dairy industry farms increased from $75 110 in 2009–10 to $141 000 in 2010–11, the highest since 2007–08, according to a report from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences.
UK Farm Sector Worth £5.69 billion
Total Income from farming is estimated to have risen by 25 per cent in real terms over the last year after adjusting for inflation, to £5.69 billion, according to Defra's Agriculture in the United Kingdom 2011 report.
Biomin - the natural way
* Company News

Bayer Cattle Symposium Looks at Production
PORTUGAL - Bayer Animal Health (BAH) has confirmed its commitment to transforming cattle production at the 4th International Bayer Cattle Symposium. Reflecting their long-term dedication to meeting the needs of the cattle world, the BAH symposium, held last week, brought together an array of international experts to focus on two key areas of concern for modern cattle production: the management of vectors and vector-borne diseases in ruminants; and current approaches to metabolic disorders in cattle.
5th Well-Being Forum Looks at Welfare at Culling
GLOBAL - Last week, Boehringer Ingelheim held their 5th Farm-Animal Well-Being forum in Lisbon, Portugal. The meeting brought together around 100 experts from across the world. The first part of the meeting looked at whether the culling of farm animals is a welfare issue.
5th Well-Being Forum Looks at Pain at Calving
GLOBAL - Last week, Boehringer Ingelheim held their 5th Farm-Animal Well-Being forum in Lisbon, Portugal. The meeting brought together around 100 experts from across the world. The second half of the meeting looked at how painful parturition is to farm animals.
Pfizer Update on Animal Health Strategic Alternatives
US - Pfizer Inc. has announced the next steps in the strategic alternatives review process for the company's Animal Health business. Preparations are underway to file a registration statement in the US for a potential initial public offering (IPO) of a minority ownership stake in the new company.
* Global Dairy Cattle Industry News

   United States

 » Butter Prices Increase, Cheese, Dry Whey Decrease
 » US Exports to EU Decline Amid Competition
 » May Farm Prices Received Index Declined Two Points
 » Is Agriculture Leading the Way Out of the Recession?
 » Cattle Outlook: Fed Cattle Prices Slightly Higher
 » CME: Cattle Supplies Run Below Year Ago Levels
 » CME: Potential Impact of Weather on Crop Yields
 » Dairy Wastewater Affects Aquatic Animals
 » Court Cracks Down on Antibiotics Use in Animal Feed
 » Milk Pricing System Burdens Economy
 » US Farmers Represented at World Farmers Meeting
 » Farm Bill Good for Young Farmers
 » Senate Farm Bill Passes Key Procedural Vote

   India

 » Bihar Promotes Dairy Development on World Milk Day

   Global

 » Soybean Prices: a Roller Coaster
 » Consumers Likely to Choose GM if Benefits Clear
 » World Dairy Markets Picking Up
 » FAO Food Price Index Drops Sharply

   Kazakhstan

 » FMD Breaks Out in East Kazakhstan

   New Zealand

 » Agonline Introduces Real-time Cattle Auction
 » NZ Changes Management of Dairy Industry Database
 » Dirty Dairy Fines Only Cover Part of the Problem
 » Challenging Environmental Farming Assumptions
 » Ensuring a Viable Progression Path for Dairy

Pfizer Animal Health
   Korea, South

 » Korean Experts to Inspect 24 US Cattle Ranches

   Australia

 » TAF Voter Packs Sent to Farmers
 » Farmers, Retailers Meet to Discuss Sustainability
 » A$5 Million for Greener, Profitable Dairy Industry
 » Fonterra Invests to Cut Energy Costs

   France

 » WMC - IMS in Partnership with FAO on Livestock Emissions

   China

 » New Dairy Training Institute Underway in China

   European Union

 » Measures Proposed to Ensure Green Transition

   Philippines

 » Soccsksargen Strengthens Livestock Sector

   United Kingdom

 » Welfare Assessment for Dairy Cows Launched
 » World Class Cheese & Dairy at Great Yorkshire Show
 » UK Schmallenberg, Cases in Cattle Rise

Animax Veterinary Health
   Colombia

 » FMD NEWS: Farmers on Border Urged to be Vigilent
 » Farmers on Border Urged to be Vigilent for FMD

   Saudi Arabia

 » Saudi Invests $66 Million for Ag, Fishing Projects

   Italy

 » €250 Million Cheese Lost after Earthquake



That's all for this week!

Ed.
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