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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.


(Approved by the DCWC Executive Board; January, 2018.) 

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