Prudent use of antibiotics
All antibiotics must be used prudently with the aim to optimise therapeutic efficacy and minimise the risk of development of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics must not be used prophylactically. Where antibiotics are to be used, it must be for the treatment of known infections under veterinary advice.
The prudent use of antimicrobials, particularly those identified as critically important for the treatment of human disease, will help to ensure that antibiotics remain effective for disease treatment in the future.
Avoidance of growth promoting hormones
Growth promoting hormones (HGPs) must not be used.
Avoidance of recombinant bovine somatotrophin (rBST)
We do not support the use of recombinant bovine somatotrophin (rBST) to increase milk production.
Avoidance of close confinement
Close confinement of any animals in our supply chain must be avoided.
Pasture-based farming, where cows graze outside on grass, is the most common approach used in our supply chain. To qualify for our Grass and Pasture-Fed Standard, the cows on supplying farms must spend at least 90% of their time on pasture.
When housed, dairy cattle must have accommodation which is dry, well ventilated and draught free. Each cow must have sufficient space to lie down comfortably to achieve adequate resting time.
The practice of rearing animals using close confining individual calf/veal crates is not acceptable for animals supplying milk to Fonterra.
Tethering should be avoided wherever possible, and no animlas supplying Fonterra are to be permanently tethered. If dairy cattle must be tethered or tie stalled, they must, at a minimum, be able to lie down and stand up unimpeded.
Avoidance of permanent physical alterations
Routine tail shortening of dairy cows or calves is not permitted. Tails must not be docked unless significant medical conditions require this to occur. In this circumstance, docking must be performed under the supervision of a veterinarian.
Fonterra supports the move towards cattle born without horns (polled animals) but we recognise that this remains rare in dairy cattle. When polled animals are not available, disbudding before the horn is formed is preferred to the de-horning of older animals, or leaving cattle with horns. Horns can be a welfare risk for other animals and humans caring for the animals. De-horning or disbudding must be performed with appropriate concurrent pain relief.
Castration and shortening of the scrotum of dairy bull calves should be carried out at a young
age with techniques which minimise acute and long-term pain or discomfort. When castrating animals over the age of six months, appropriate concurrent pain relief must be used.
End of life care
All animals associated with our supply chain must be humanely slaughtered and this process should always include the use of pre-slaughter stunning, unless for religious or ritual purposes.
Limiting long distance transportation of live animals
Long distance transportation of live animals should be avoided wherever possible.
If a journey of more than 8 hours by road or rail is necessary, then appropriate measures need to be taken to ensure animals have adequate rest.
Recommended Best Practice:
a) All animals should be transported for the shortest possible time, especially animals which are young, pregnant, at peak lactation, or at the end of their production lives.
b) The duration of travel for young animals must not be longer than 12 hours.
c) Unnecessary transport should be avoided and if animals are to be killed, they should, if possible, be killed at the nearest facility.
Fonterra is opposed to the practice of using animals and/or their progeny which have been subject to genetic engineering or have been cloned.