USDA To Research Dairy Practices of Animal Health and Welfare Management

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) is joining forces with the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to conduct a national dairy study in January 2014. NASS will survey dairy farmers in 17 states, including California, about their animal health and welfare management practices.

“Animal health is one of the most important issues our dairy farmers face today,” said Vic Tolomeo, director of the NASS Pacific Regional Office. “By responding to the survey, California dairy farmers will help determine trends in animal health care and best practices to ensure proper animal health.”

The two federal agencies will reach out to nearly 3,500 producers nationwide, including approximately 400 in California, to obtain the most accurate data. Farmers with fewer than 30 cows will receive a brief survey in the mail. NASS interviewers will visit farms with 30 or more cows to personally gather information from the operators.

USDA’s veterinary services representatives will visit with operators who are eligible and who choose to continue in this study. Some operators will also have the opportunity to participate in a year-long calf-monitoring study. Once the study is completed, participating operators will receive customized reports describing their animal welfare measures, as well as additional reports and information sheets.

NASS provides accurate, timely and useful statistics in service to U.S. agriculture.

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