The dairy sector is continuing to raise the bar in its quest to improve dairy cow welfare, according to the Dairy Cow Welfare Strategy's second annual report.
The report, which measures progress against targets covering a range of management areas, shows particular progress in mastitis and lameness incidence.
Through the DairyCo Mastitis Control Plan, the 970 farms involved have shown reductions in mastitis of up to 20%. Lameness is also on target, with more than 140 farms registered on the Healthy Feet Programme.
DairyCo's mobility score has also been developed and is now accepted as the industry standard, and an accompanying team of mentors has been introduced, including vets and an increasing number of category-one foot trimmers.
Tim Brigstocke, chairman of the Cattle Health and Welfare Group (CHAWG), said: "Two years on and we are pleased to report that the dairy sector is certainly taking welfare seriously.
"While British dairy farmers are noted for achieving high welfare standards, this strategy is delivering what it originally set out to deliver, primarily in response to the Farm Animal Welfare Council's suggestions for further improvements," he said.
"The Dairy Cow Welfare Strategy, which is supported by 10 industry organisations, is also providing an evidence base to enable the industry to develop proactive strategies, deliver positive messages, coordinate industry activity, identify gaps in current knowledge and take action to address them."
Following a review of the strategy's progress, which will involve independent experts, CHAWG will revise the current strategy and introduce appropriate new targets in 2013 to ensure continued momentum against the stated timescales.
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Read more on the Dairy Cow Welfare Strategy