Vision of Dutch organic dairy farmers on animal health and welfare

E.A.A. Smolders, M.W.P. Bestman, I.A.J.M. Eijck

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperAcademic


Dutch organic dairy farmers expressed their opinions on animal health and welfare in order to be able to communicate it internally (within the dairy sector) and externally (to consumers). A healthy animal in their opinion is free of physical and psychological discomfort, survives in a herd, takes enough food and behaves naturally. Disease resistance, both innate and achieved, plays a crucial role in health and welfare. Breeding should aim at health criteria and high production may even be sacrificed for good health. Prevention is more important than treatment. A diseased animal should, to some extend, be given the opportunity to recover by itself. However, needless suffering should be prevented by effective treatment, which only as a last remedy, may be antibiotics. For the assessment of suffering, the intensity and duration of pain should all be taken into account, as well as the course of the disease and its prognosis, feed and water intake, survival in the herd and body reserves. Moreover, more regulations are no guarantee for a better health and welfare. Housing, adequate feeding, care and the farmers’ attitude toward his animals all contribute to animal health and welfare.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventSecond scientific conference of the ISOFAR, Modena June 2008 -
Duration: 18 Jun 200820 Jun 2008


ConferenceSecond scientific conference of the ISOFAR, Modena June 2008


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