Animal welfare is not just about dairy farmers doing the right thing

“If not appropriately handled, animal welfare concerns could threaten the long-term viability of several livestock industries. Even though the industries operate within their legislated requirements, there is a real risk they could lose public acceptance.”

This excerpt reportedly from a brief by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Department for the incoming Minister Ludwig makes sense. Farmers don’t have a monopoly on caring about animals and everyone has a right to feel comfortable that the food they’re eating is ethical. At the moment, much of that is based on trust that we farmers will do the right thing but when that trust is sufficiently shaken, Aussies will understandably demand that we are made to do the right thing.

In the wake of the Indonesian cruelty revelations, who could blame urban Australians for asking more questions about animal welfare, whether at the abattoir on the farm? Rather than being defensive about farming practices, I think it’s time to open the “farm gates” and show everyone what really goes on so they can judge how we are doing for themselves.

4 thoughts on “Animal welfare is not just about dairy farmers doing the right thing

  1. There are many agendas surrounding farming and animal welfare. I truly believe education is part of the key. We rely on farmers – they are the key to our survival! In a world where so many people have no idea where their food comes from, there is so much scope for misinformation. Being reactionary will not fix problems, but having open and honest conversations
    between consumers and those in Primary Industries sure goes a long way.


  2. Hi Marian

    Apologies if you have addressed this question elsewhere. I have only recently come across your blog and so haven’t been able to go through all your posts as yet (have enjoyed what I’ve read thus far however!).

    You obviously take great care in looking after your animals and while you do this by choice, I was wondering whether or not there are requirements imposed on all Devondale farmers, as a cooperative, for the treatment of their animals? More specifically; are cows required to have access to pasture and grazing land? Do any bobby calves get sent overseas? And, I know your produce is milk, but I was wondering whether you knew whether or not the butter produced by Devondale was done so on Australian soil?

    Sorry for the bombardment of questions, I just couldn’t find much information on the mgc website.

    Any help or links to information would be great!

    Thank you



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