Animal welfare was assessed in nearly 4,000 dairy herds using the Boviwell tool. Although the vast majority of farms are well classified, the first results highlight several black spots.
To meet societal expectations in terms of animal welfare, the dairy industry has set itself the goal of evaluating 100% of farms by 2025. To date, 4,000 dairy farms out of 54,000 have been screened thanks to Boviwell, a tool developed by Cniel, Interbev and the Livestock Institute. “ The objective is twofold: to initiate a process of progress for breeding and to show the reality of French breeding to consumers and distributors, who are looking for information. “, explains Nadine Ballot, head of the livestock and environment department at Cniel.
On the first evaluations, 73% of the dairy herds are classified as “ excellent ” Where “ superior “, 24% are “ in progress and 4% are unclassified “. The evaluation takes into account various indicators on the animal (management of pain during disbudding, trimming, injuries, mortality, human-animal relationship), on the environment (exercise area, points of water, ventilation and luminosity of the building) and on the technical (cell count in milk).
Watering, mortality, disbudding
At the end of the visit, the technician and the breeder established a progress plan together. The farms “ unclassified » have the obligation to set up this process within a certain period of time, at the risk of no longer being collected. “ The main negative points are the presence of somatic cells in the milk, the management of pain during disbudding, watering and high mortality “, enumerates Nadine Ballot. François Toch, dairy advisor at Sodiaal, is one of the 500 technicians trained to carry out the assessments. Of the 90 farms he visited, access to water often proved to be insufficient.
For Thierry Bertot, a farmer in Eure, the diagnosis carried out in July 2021 highlighted excess mortality due to slips on the concrete floor of the building. Class “ in progress , he has since implemented the action plan defined with his adviser: the concrete of his building has been rescarified and the carpets of the cubicles changed for better adhesion. The welfare of dairy herds will be assessed every three years as part of the Charter of Good Farming Practices.