HERD HEALTH AND WELFARE AT MÜLLER UK & IRELAND
We place a very high priority on ensuring that farmers who supply us maintain cows in conditions which promote and support their health and welfare. We support our supplying farmers in going above and beyond to ensure their cows are well cared for, healthy and happy.
Our animal welfare policy is based on the five ‘freedoms’.
1. Freedom from hunger and thirst
2. Freedom from discomfort
3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease
4. Freedom to express normal behaviour
5. Freedom from fear and distress
All our Müller Direct farms must comply fully with our Müller standards and the Red Tractor Dairy assurance schemes, and are independently assessed every year against a wide range of health and welfare measures.
Cow health and wellbeing
We purchase milk from over 1,300 dairy farms throughout Britain, who have different farm sizes and production systems.
We believe that happy and healthy cows produce better milk, so whether they’re inside or outside, good stockmanship is the critical factor for animal health and welfare. Every care is taken to keep them content and comfortable.
- Cows have clean, dry and well-vented free stall barns with space to eat and sleep, and some even have waterbeds and enrichment brushes to give themselves a good scratch!
- All cows have plenty of ‘loafing space’ for exercise and social bonding
- Rubber matting is used to protect cows’ feet
- Many cows wear activity monitors to measure their health and wellbeing
- Cows’ diets are carefully managed by professional animal nutritionists, and feed is sustainably sourced, where possible – although homegrown foraging is encouraged!
- The use of antibiotics is stringently monitored on every farm, and are only administered to animals that need them
- Any cows receiving treatment are well cared for and, where the milk is unsuitable for consumption, it is prevented from entering the supply chain
We also run annual workshops for farmers on ways they can enhance their cows’ health, happiness and welfare.
The future of welfare
With animal welfare at the top of our agenda, we’re exploring ways which technology can play a role in making cows even happier and healthier. Many of our farmers are using technologies such as location trackers and cow activity monitors to ensure their animals’ conditions are tip top. Some are also trying out robotic milking systems, which gives cows more freedom as they can be milked at any time during the day or night.
All Müller Direct farms are Red Tractor assured, and as part of the Advantage Programme, all Müller Direct farms are assessed each year by a third party to ensure high standards of animal care
We’ve increased the use of technology to monitor the health and welfare of cows, including location trackers and activity monitors
No cows in our supplying farms are tethered or tail docked
We’re helping our supplying farmers reduce their antibiotic use year on year, meeting RUMA targets