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DCWC Principles of Animal Welfare

DCWC Principles of Animal Welfare

The Dairy Cattle Welfare Council recognizes the welfare of dairy animals is a primary responsibility of farm owners, managers, employees, veterinarians, nutritionists and all other people who work or are involved with a dairy. Animal welfare is informed by science, practiced by ethical treatment of animals in all situations, and characterized by lives that are worth living for all animals on a farm.  This includes providing for the physiologic needs of animals which include housing, nutrition, disease and injury prevention as well as for their mental/emotional well-being. Such provisions include but are not limited to:

  • Nutrition, including water, for normal growth and physiology and prevention of nutritionally associated diseases
  • Clean and dry housing, that includes opportunity for social interaction with other cows/calves, exercise and mental stimulation
  • Thermal comfort provided to all animals at all times
  • Disease and injury prevention and prompt recognition of disease with appropriate treatments, including nursing care
  • Positive human-animal interactions, compassionate and understanding of the animal’s emotional needs, and minimization of fear and distress

The DCWC is committed to these principles.


(Position Statement adopted by the DCWC Executive Board; January, 2018)