Meggle pays for animal consultation

One could call 2019 for ‘Year of animal welfare’ in Germany, as several dairies and farmer organisations have started the year with meetings to discuss how better animal welfare can be achieved and what extra costs it will bring the farmers.

The German dairy Meggle is intensifying its efforts in animal welfare with a new programme where farmers, who still rely on traditional tethering, are receiving independent advice on handling of their dairy cows. Meggle will cover the costs for this.

Independent experts from the LKV (board of trustees of the producer rings for animal processing in Bavaria) come to the farms of the dairy farmers, check the current cow situation and give the farmers suggestions for improvement. Also looked at are things such as the placement of the drinkers or the brightness in the stable.

The experts point out cost-effective and simple changes that will sustainably improve the welfare of the animals.

Although the proportion of dairy cows kept in a playpen is already relatively high among Meggle dairy farmers at just under 70%, there are still some farmers, who keep their cows in traditional stables.

“We just want to get the most out of the animal husbandry from the existing husbandry methods. We are responsible for almost 30,000 dairy cows, whose milk we process for our products,” says Franz Mayer, managing director of Meggle and responsible for the procurement of raw materials.

An on-site consultation lasts between four and five hours, and Meggle assumes the costs of about €300 per farm. Almost 200 farmers took advantage of the advisory option in 2018. Another 200 farmers will be able to take advantage of the offer this year.

The Wasserburg dairy has also developed a working group for animal welfare, where possibilities can be discussed.

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