Thursday 28 January 2021
Nine of Guernsey's 13 dairy farms have now received "RSPCA Farm Assured" status in recognition of the highest standards of dairy cattle welfare.
RSPCA Assured is the charity's ethical farm animal welfare and food labelling scheme. It is dedicated to ensuring farm livestock enjoy a high quality of life. It covers every aspect from feed and water, the environment animals live in, healthcare, and transport.
Guernsey Farmers Association President, Michael Bray, said:-
"It is important for islanders to know that the 'Guernseys' in our care are well looked after, and the RSPCA Assured scheme provides that reassurance as it is the highest standard a dairy farm can attain."
To achieve RSPCA Assured approval, the farms must demonstrate that their cows have access to the outdoors, and any buildings they use are well ventilated to ensure there is a lot of fresh air. They should also be provided with brushes to scratch on, and comfortable, clean beds, and the specific needs of calves have to be met. These standards must be well-documented and detailed records maintained. Assessors also carried out a visual inspection of all the cows and young stock.
Farmer Jim Naftel, of Les Fauconnaires Farm said:-
"As the only Guernsey Organic Farm, we are especially proud of the accreditation. Our immediate priority is the welfare of our herd and if our cows are healthy and happy it ultimately improves the quality and taste of our milk. The process was challenging to start with but the connection between welfare and production makes our farming practices more efficient and profitable."
Andrew Tabel, Managing Director of Guernsey Dairy believes that along with ensuring the highest levels of animal welfare, RSPCA compliance will endorse the island as a centre of farming excellence.
"The RSPCA Farm Assured scheme is widely regarded as being at the forefront of animal welfare standards. In achieving compliance, our customers can be reassured that the highest standards of animal welfare is being met which makes for happy, healthy and more productive cows."