3 Feb 2011

Dairy farmers phasing out induction of cows - survey

12:49 pm on 3 February 2011

A survey carried out by vets shows that dairy farmers are well ahead of the industry target for phasing out the much-criticised practice of inducing cows so they calve earlier.

Most dairy famers no longer carry out the practice, but about a third of farmers still induce late calving cows to get them back into milk production with the rest of the herd.

Animal welfare groups want the practice of forced births banned because it kills most of the calves.

A memorandum of understanding between dairy companies Federated farmers ande the the Veterinary Association has a three year timetable for phasing out inductions.

And the vets resoruce manager, Wayne Ricketts, says a survey carried out last season shows they are ahead of the target, both in terms of the total number of cows induced and the average number of inductions per herd.

Mr Ricketts says 3.3% of the national herd are being induced, average per herd was about 7.7%.

Based on this, he says, the second year herd average induction target of 7% should be achievable.

He says vets and the dairy industry are advising farmers who still rely on inductions, to help them better manage the reprductive process so they don't have late calving cows.