Primary tabs

    WelFarm is a country-wide initiative developed by XLVets New Zealand in conjunction with Fonterra. The goal of WelFarm is to develop a broad assessment of animal health, welfare and productivity parameters with two key aims:

    • They must be of value to the producer
    • They must give assurance to external stakeholders

    XLVets member clinics want to understand what is "normal" for the more progressive dairy farmers in terms of Body Condition Score, antibiotic use, heifers reared etc. These measures will be used to help determine what is good practice on our progressive farms.

    Measuring animal health parameters are of value to the farmer because they allow the farmer to drive meaningful productivity changes, e.g. Body Condition Score (BCS) and locomotion scoring identify groups of cows where changes in feeding or management or attention to treatment will be of value. Besides that, it provides a farmer valuable benchmarking data to compare him-/herself with peers.

    From an external stakeholder's perspective, the knowledge that farms under WelFarm are regularly being assessed and measured at a farm level, but also at a deeper level is important. Best practice use of antibiotis and incidence of disease are of importance to the wider industry.

    During the 2014/15 season XLVets member clinics ran the WelFarm project on over 150 farms nationally with a total animal count of 84,325 cows.