Health and welfare of dairy cows in Serbia
AuthorsOstojić Andrić, Dušica
Petrović, Milan M.
Caro Petrović, Violeta
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Diseases and mortality of dairy cows are significant problems from the aspect of welfare as well as the economy of production. Monitoring and analysis of health and welfare conditions on farms are important prerequisites for their improvement. This paper presents an analysis of health and welfare condition on dairy farms in Republic of Serbia. The study was conducted on 16 commercial farms with total number of 4833 milking cows of Simmental and Holstein Friesian rase. The evaluation of health and welfare indicators was done according to Welfare Quality (R) Assessment Protocol for Cattle. Results obtained in this study showed that largest share of farms was estimated as enhanced (56.25%) and acceptable (43.75%) in terms of overall health state. The incidences for majority of the diseases below the set alert thresholds indicated no severe risk for dairy cows' welfare on examined farms. The exceptions were determined incidences of laminitis (37.65%), dystocia (4.18%) and mortality rate (6....70%) which nevertheless corresponds to their growing trend in the dairy farming. Although health of skin was evaluated as acceptable almost every fifth cow had at least a portion of the skin without hair while the presence of skin lesions was much less common (6.49%). With high share of dehorned cows in herd (78.9%) another serious welfare risk is the common practice of dehorning without aesthetics and/or analgesics implementation. Analyzing indicators of health and welfare on Serbian dairy farms it could be assumed that the most important risks derived from poor housing conditions and management omissions.
Keywords:dairy cows / welfare / health / diseases / injuries
Source:Scientific Papers-Series D-Animal Science, 2016, 59, 233-239
- Univ Agricultural Sciences & Veterinary Medicine Bucharest, Bucharest