Somatic cell count and an Animal Needs Index to evaluate animal welfare in dairy cattle on farms constructed to the standards of the Agriculture and Rural Development Support Institution

Author: Hasan Keskin & Mustafa Garip
Year: 2023
Issue: 4
Volume: 53
Page: 476 - 484

In this research, welfare measurements were made on 14 modern dairy cattle farms (Type 1) with similar enterprise scales and built without any support from any institution, and on eight modern dairy cattle farms (Type 2), which were built with the support of the Agriculture and Rural Development Support Institution (ARDSI), in the province of Konya, Turkey. Welfare levels of dairy cattle farms were measured using the Animal Needs Index (ANI) 35L/2000 method. Milk samples were taken from each of these enterprises and somatic cell counts were obtained. Collected data and calculated ANI scores were compared. While there was a substantial difference between the two enterprise types in terms of the scores obtained for stockmanship (welfare measurement) and the general ANI scores, there was no relationship between the enterprise types in terms of somatic cell count. According to the ANI 35L/2000 welfare measurement method, suitable welfare conditions were provided in these enterprises. However, when examining categories that determine the overall ANI welfare score, deficiencies in some welfare criteria such as flooring, stockmanship, and light–air conditions were noted.

Keywords: Agriculture and Rural Development Support Institution, ANI 35L/2000, animal welfare, dairy farm, somatic cell count
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