Scale of Production Vs. Animal Welfare in Dairy: Farmer’s Views
Understanding animal welfare through the eyes of the farmers who rear farmed animals has always been a strange proposition: we would feel suitably critical of the opinions of people who benefit financially from animal farming, and their views of “animal welfare” are often narrow and highly motivated by profit. This research from the Journal Of Dairy Science, a survey of Australian dairy farmers, looks specifically at how increasing the scale of production in the dairy industry could have negative outcomes when it comes to animal welfare. Though the study states that increasing herd size (in this case, above 500 cows) can “increase the risk of adverse welfare outcomes unless carefully managed,” the survey finds that farmers themselves do not notice or acknowledge these potential effects.