31 March 2000

Separation may be best

SEPARATING cows and calves 24 hours after birth may be the most welfare-friendly option.

According to a study by De Montfort Universitys Ruth Forde the cow-and-calf bond may be less strong at 24 hours than at two weeks. But her studies show that 24 hours after calving some bonding has occurred, with calves recognising the call of their mothers.

She said further studies were now needed to establish the best time to separate cow and calf. &#42