Health and welfare must be viewed as one

19 Jun 2019

There must be a move away from thinking of farm animal ‘health’ and ‘welfare’ as separate issues, for the benefit of both animals and productivity, according to renowned US dairy welfare expert Jim Reynolds.

Speaking at a dairy research collaboration event, hosted by Agri-EPI Centre, CIEL and VetPartners, Prof Reynolds said high welfare, achieved by being compassionate to the mental and physical condition of animals, must be regarded by all in the farming industry as being at the forefront of animal health.

Improves production

“Providing animals with clean, dry, and comfortable housing, also reduces disease and improves production. We, therefore, need to bring the approach to animal ‘health’ and ‘welfare’ back together and build this into the cost of production.”

Dr Reynolds, a professor of large animal production at California’s Western University, stressed the importance of collaboration across research and industry to address welfare issues, a message which chimed with the participating researchers, vets and producers.