Investigation of calf health and welfare on dairy farms in south-west England
A questionnaire was designed to investigate calf health and welfare on dairy farms in the south west of England with regard to the degree of compliance with the Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2000. The level of veterinary involvement in calf rearing and management on dairy farms in the south west of England was also assessed. The questionnaire was sent to 32 large animal practices in the catchment area of the Veterinary Laboratories Agency - Langford. Compliance with the regulations was found to be variable. The requirements for the isolation of sick calves, provision of bovine colostrum within six hours of birth, the provision of fresh, clean water and restrictions concerning tethering were not well complied with. However, the requirements for twice-daily feeding and inspection, visual and tactile contact between calves, access to forage and the provision of clean, dry bedding were well complied with. The results also suggested that there was some lack of veterinary input into the health and welfare of calves on dairy farms visited by the practices routinely and non-routinely.
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