Australian Dairy Farmers interim chief executive officer John McQueen said the 2017 routine calving induction limit had been revised to a maximum of 12 per cent of cows in a herd, down from the 15 per cent set in 2016.
This was great news for the industry, he said.
Routine calving induction refers to all non-therapeutic inductions.
The new target was set after reviewing 2016 induction data and following consultation with dairyfarmers, vets and processors through the Calving Induction Steering Group, the ADF Animal Health and Welfare Policy Advisory Group, the ADF National Council, ADF board and the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) board.
“Farmers are constantly reviewing and improving their practices,» he said.
“Dairyfarmers are dedicated to providing a high standard of care and to change practices when it is in the best interests of their animals.
“Caring for cows has always been a key priority for ADF and the industry.»
A survey of veterinary practices performing inductions in 2016 confirmed that induction was used in fewer herds and the number of cows induced (0.75 per cent nationally) was almost half the number induced in 2015.
In April 2015, following a series of meetings and consultation with farmers, vets and processors, the dairy industry agreed to phase-out routine calving induction nationally.
“The Australian dairy industry wants to be as proactive as possible on measures to support excellent animal welfare outcomes and to meet the expectations of customers and consumers”, Mr McQueen said.