NOTE: Information Resources on the Care and Welfare of Dairy Cattle may be viewed by individual chapters via the table of contents below, or as one complete publication file dairy2.htm.

USDA logo
United States
Department of

ARS logo

NAL logo

AWIC logo
Animal Welfare
Information Center

Information Resources on the Care and Welfare of Dairy Cattle

1996 - 2002

AWIC Resource Series No. 16

August 2002

Updates Housing, Husbandry, and Welfare of Dairy Cattle, 1995

Compiled and edited by:

Cynthia P. Smith, M.S.
Animal Welfare Information Center
National Agricultural Library
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Published by:

U. S. Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Research Service
National Agricultural Library
Animal Welfare Information Center
Beltsville, Maryland 20705
Contact us:
Web site:

Published in cooperation with the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine

Policies and Links

Table of Contents

How to Use This Document

An Overview of Current Dairy Welfare Concerns from the North American Perspective
           Human-Animal Interaction
           Physical Environment
           Social Environment
           Health Issues
           Legislative Issues

Effects of Dairy Cattle Breeding and Production Methods on Animal Welfare
            Public Perception of the Dairy Industry
            The Concept of Animal Welfare
            The Welfare of Veal Calves
            The Welfare of Cows
                      Leg and Foot Problems
                      Reproductive Problems
                      Housing Systems and Welfare
                      Milk Yield and Welfare in Dairy Cows

            Behavior / Breeding / Feeding / General / Health / Housing
            Husbandry / Legislation / Reproduction / Slaughter / Transport



The editor gratefully acknowledges Dr. Julie Morrow of the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, for taking the time to write a thoughtful introduction to this publication. Thanks also to Dr. Broom from the University of Cambridge, Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, for permission to reprint his excellent review on breeding and production concerns relating to dairy welfare.

Special thanks to D'Anna Jensen for the cover design, final editing, formatting, and printing of this publication. Her role in guiding this publication to its final stages is greatly appreciated. Thanks also to Barbara Buchanan for her work in developing the web version of this publication.

How to Use This Document

This document contains two introductory articles written by experts in the farm animal welfare field from North America and Europe respectively. Each article ends with a list of references cited by the author. The second section of this publication consists of an extensive bibliography categorized into the following topics: behavior, breeding, feeding, health, housing, husbandry, legislation, reproduction, slaughter, and transport. Citations listed in this section may or may not overlap with articles cited by the introductory authors.

Citations were selected from searches conducted using a variety of agricultural, medical, and life science databases. Within a subject category citations are arranged alphabetically according to the last name of the primary author. Each citation is listed with a set of keywords that describe useful information about the entry. If a citation is listed from a publication available through the National Agricultural Library (NAL) a NAL call number has been included. Information on how to obtain copies of articles mentioned in the bibliography are available from the National Agricultural Library's Document Delivery Services Branch at This section provides information on how to request materials that are included in the collection of the National Agricultural Library (NAL). Please read carefully as there are certain restrictions on media and document types. All patrons are encouraged to explore local library resources first before contacting the National Agricultural Library.

The final section of this document contains an annotated listing of web links for internet sites that include information on the care and welfare of dairy cattle in their content. World Wide Web addresses are listed to access specialized databases, extension materials, and publications produced by a variety of non-profit organizations. Readers are cautioned as to the dynamic nature of the internet and the fact that addresses and content are subject to change.

USDA logo ARS logo NAL logo
The Animal Welfare Information Center, Contact us:
Updated January 2005