Taiwan has published official guidelines for dairy cattle welfare. The guidelines set out requirements for producers that wish to describe their products as ‘animal-friendly’.
In a recent press release, the guidelines note that animal-friendly dairy production must feature appropriate veterinary care, opportunities for social interaction and professional training for employees. The guidelines require that dairy cattle have enough space to lie down, suitable bedding, and access to the outdoors on a rotating basis. Milking sheds must be equipped with cow brushes and feature appropriate lines of movement and anti-slip flooring to reduce the risk of slipping.
While the guidelines are voluntary, they act as a reference for producers seeking to improve animal welfare conditions and lay the groundwork for stronger government regulations.
“While long overdue, the guidelines for dairy cattle welfare send a signal to Taiwan’s dairy industry that animal welfare is not an issue that can be overlooked,” stated YuMin Chen, deputy chief executive of Environment & Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST).
The dairy cattle welfare guidelines were published shortly after EAST launched the EAST certified animal welfare certification scheme – the first animal certification scheme in Taiwan using transparent, evidence-based criteria.