In recent years the focus for animal welfare internationally has shifted from simply aiming to reduce negative experiences, to recognising the importance of increasing positive experiences.
In line with this shift in focus, Fonterra now references the Five Domains as well as the Five Freedoms when describing our animal welfare approach.
The Five Domains recognise that both positive and negative experiences in each of the four physical domains (nutrition, environment, health, behaviour) contribute to the overall mental state of an animal.
Here at Fonterra we strive to provide positive experiences for our cows in all four physical domains. We want our cows to be:
Positive experiences in each of the four physical domains enhance the overall fifth domain – the mental state and wellbeing of our cows.
We work with our farmers to meet globally recognised standards as set by the World Organisation for Animal Health, as well as various voluntary codes under current Australian state and territory Acts.
We implement practices that provide positive experiences as described by the Five Domains and eliminate practices that contravene the Five Freedoms.
Our responsibility to animal welfare extends to wherever we operate in the world and we are committed to ensuring that good welfare outcomes are consistently delivered by all dairy farmers that supply us with milk.
We share our knowledge of best practice with other countries and assess the welfare of animals as part of our on-going quality assessments in all markets.
We exert our influence on our supply chain to deliver continuous improvement and ultimately, if farmers don’t meet our minimum requirements, they can’t supply milk to us.
Our farmers in Australia are members and funder of industry organisation Dairy Australia.
We work with Dairy Australia to provide extensive animal welfare advice, training and support material.