Transparency is a vital tool for animal welfare

Belfast, 2nd November 2017: There is a growing need for greater transparency in the results of animal welfare schemes across the global dairy sector, the IDF World Dairy Summit heard today.

Dr Jennifer Walker, Director, Dairy Stewardship, of Dean Foods Company, a leading manufacturer of dairy produce in the United States, told the summit that guidelines produced in many schemes do not include sufficiently specific outcomes that can be audited.

Dr Walker told the Summit: “There is a need for standardised industry acceptance of what animal welfare standards should look like. Measurable outcomes that can be audited are an essential part of this process.”

Dr Walker said consumers want to feel good about issues such as animal welfare but the priority should be ‘what is good for the cow’. Customers of dairy companies such as retailers, restaurants and coffee shops are increasingly demanding information and transparency on animal welfare standards.

Luc Mirabito, team leader for the International Dairy Federation’s guide to good animal welfare practices in dairy production and expert in the World Organisation for Animal’s (OIE) former Animal Welfare Working Group, said: “It is vital that the dairy industry evidences that farmers are doing their utmost to ensure high standards of animal welfare. The practical use of an animal welfare management system in a farm environment is a powerful tool to demonstrate good animal husbandry practices. To help achieve this objective, OIE standards and general principles can be used as a relevant and valuable starting point.

“On a global scale, the vision is to reach a world where the welfare of animals is respected, promoted and advanced, in ways that complement the pursuit of animal health, human well-being, socio-economic development and environmental sustainability.”

Notes to Editors

Image 1: Dr Jennifer Walker, Director, Dairy Stewardship, Dean Foods

Image 2: Luc Mirabito, team leader for International Dairy Federation’s guide to good animal welfare practices in dairy production and former expert in the World Organisation for Animal’s (OIE) Animal Welfare Working Group

Contacts

For further information, please contact:

Sophie Clarke, Dairy UK, 0207 025 0543 / sclarke@dairyuk.org,

Ramsay Smith, Media House, 0207 710 0020 / ramsay@mediahouse.co.uk

Sophie Watson, Media House, 0207 710 0020 / sophie@mediahouse.co.uk

IDF World Dairy Summit 2017

The IDF World Dairy Summit is the foremost international conference event for all dairy sector leaders and stakeholders. The conference, “Making a Difference with Dairy”, will run from Monday 30th October to Thursday 2nd November at the Belfast Waterfront, an award-winning venue in the city centre. For more information on the individual conference programmes, technical tours and social events, and to register for the event, please visit: www.idfwds2017.com.

The International Dairy Federation

The International Dairy Federation (IDF) is the leading source of scientific and technical expertise for all stakeholders of the dairy chain. IDF engages all stakeholders in productive activities and research projects to further current knowledge and science on a wide range of issues. Today, dairy is one of the most vibrant and strategic sectors, with a major impact on national economies, public health and the environment. Through its working bodies, events and work programme, IDF provides a common platform, systems and processes for the global dairy sector to come together to reach consensus. Given its consensus-building capacity, IDF represents the global voice of dairy towards stakeholders and intergovernmental organisations. For more information, please visit www.fil-idf.org.