Welfare Assessment of Dairy Cows in Small Farms in Bangladesh

Animals : an Open Access Journal From MDPI
M Ariful IslamClive J C Phillips


Protocols for assessing the welfare of dairy cows in large scale intensive dairy systems in the developed world have been used extensively. Little attention has been paid to the use of similar welfare assessment protocols for small dairy enterprises in developing countries. We modified part of the standard assessment protocol and used it to assess aspects of the welfare of dairy cows in a field survey of 70 small farms in the Sirajgonj district of Bangladesh. Welfare indicators selected were mainly those of health and economic importance, such as lameness, lesions on the body and limbs, cleanliness levels, milk yield, and body condition. The study included physical examination of 700 cows and use of a structured questionnaire to collect data on health and management practices and farmers' perspectives about animal welfare. Mean milk yield, averaged across farms, was 10.3 L/d (range 6.3-14.2) and body condition assessment indicated that cows were, on average, thin. Hygiene management was often poor, with soiling of body parts with faeces. The prevalence of lameness, at 4.3%, was less than has commonly been observed in larger, more intensive dairy farms, but body injuries were commonly detected at the carpal and hock joints (56 a...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Ankle Joint Structure
Limb Structure
Lameness, Animal
Practice Management, Medical
Health Care
Body Part

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