Animal Health and Welfare


The conference will deal with three topics: Health and Welfare, Breeding Technology and Disease Control, and then conclude with a Leaders’ Forum.

Session 1: Health and Welfare

09:05 – 09:25  Luc Mirabito, OIE and IDF: The OIE outcome-based standard on dairy cow welfare: An example of its application on farm
The practical use of the Animal Welfare Index in a farm environment is a powerful tool to demonstrate good animal husbandry. Luc Maribito will elaborate on the index, its application on farm and the lessons that can be learnt from its use.

09:30 – 09:50  Marie Haskell, SRUC: Cow personality and behaviour traits and how they relate to health and welfare
Cow personality and behavioural traits have a direct impact on herd health and welfare. Marie Haskell will describe significant cow traits and how they can be selected and managed to achieve optimum health and welfare outcomes.

09:55 – 10:15 Jennifer B Walker, Dean Foods: Animal welfare and the consumer
Consumer attitudes to animal welfare are becoming increasingly important in managing industry reputation and shaping consumption trends. The speaker will examine the evolution of consumer attitudes, how they affect the industry and the types of strategies being developed in response.

10:15 – 10:30  Q&A Session

10:30 – 11:00  Break

Session 2: Breeding Technology

11:05 – 11:25  Trygve Solberg, Geno: Breeding and genetics for a sustainable and robust cow. The impact and value of improving genetics
Breeding and genetics provide the industry with a variety of routes to improve the sustainability of the dairy herd. The speaker will use the examples of reduced somatic cell counts, improved longevity and the introduction of polling to demonstrate practical applications of the latest techniques.

11:30 – 11:50  Jason Osterstock, Zoetis: Making use of genetic data to make a difference in dairy
Advances in genetics are making far more information available to farmers. Jason Osterstock will explain how it can be utilised in conjunction with available genetic techniques to develop the dairy cow of the future.

11:55 – 12:15  Katie Olson, ABS Global: Gene editing and its role in dairy
Gene editing is a rapidly advancing technology that holds great potential for the future. Katie Olson will explain the technique, the practical advantages it provides to dairy farmers and its potential benefits in the future.

12:15 – 12:30  Q&A Session

12:30 – 14:00  Lunch

Session 3: Disease Control

14:05 – 14:25  Dr Matthew Stone, OIE: The global view on disease, eradication and control
Disease control is an issue that affects the entire global dairy industry. Dr Matthew Stone will provide a global perspective on efforts to eradicate, control and manage disease challenges around the world.

14:30 – 14:50  Ann Lindberg, Swedish National Veterinary Institute: The control and eradication of BVD in Scandinavia
Identifying and implementing the right strategy for the control and eradication of Bovine Viral Diarrhoea is a significant challenge for the dairy sector. Ann Lindberg will present on the differences between using voluntary and compulsory measures to eradicate the disease in Scandinavia.

14:55 – 15:15  Jolanda Jensen: Reset the mindset. Getting farmer buy-in to disease prevention and control
For any national industry tackling specific diseases fundamentally requires changing the mindset of a diverse population of dairy farmers. The speaker will present on the use of social science techniques to get the best take up of disease control on the ground.

15:15 – 15:30  Q&A Session

15:30 – 16:00  Break

Session 4: Workshop: Keeping Dairy Cattle Welfare Assessment Practical in partnership with Eurodairy

16:05 – 16:25  Pernilla Olsson (Vaxa) and Kjell Sandahl (Dairy farmer): Improving welfare in Sweden with ‘Ask the cow’

16:30 – 16:50  Gerrit Hegen (Veterinary Advisor) and Marten Knol (Dairy farmer): Welfare monitor: Practical assessment of dairy cows in the Netherlands

16:55 – 17:15  Jess Sloss (Red Tractor) and Angela Rhodes (Dairy farmer): Successful roll-out of welfare outcome measures in the Red Tractor Assurance Dairy Scheme, UK

17:15 – 17:30  Q&A Session


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