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Increasing longevity of Swiss dairy cows: factors, future scenarios and strategy development

Title OriginalErhöhung der Nutzungsdauer schweizerischer Milchkühe: Einflussfaktoren, Zukunftsszenarien und Strategieentwicklung
Abstract

The longevity of dairy cows is relevant with regard to business economics, resource economics, climate change and animal welfare. In a five-year research and dialogue project in cooperation with research institutions, farmers, industry as well as further stakeholders and experts, the factors that currently lead or have previously led to a shorter productive life of dairy cows  shall be identified. Simultaneously, this understanding will be used to develop concrete and feasible strategies to significantly increase the longevity of Swiss dairy cows.

Factors influencing the longevity will be identified on the basis of herdbook data, analyses of the management of focus farms and socio-economic analyses. In order to predict the effects of an extended productive life, the shifts in the dairy and meat market will be modelled and the expected effects on climate gas emissions and resource use calculated.

The results will be discussed and reflected in 3 regional workshops within 4 regions. Agricultural working groups will then implement and evaluate these results.  

The strategy that will be developed in this transdisciplinary way is expected to gain wide acceptance and will serve as an instrument to agricultural practitioners, the industry and politics to significantly increase the longevity of dairy cows in Switzerland.

Financing/ Donor
  • Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG, main donour)
  • Swiss Cattle Breeders Association
  • Bio Suisse
  • IP-Suisse
  • Migros
  • Swiss Milk Producers
Project partners
  • Co-applicants: Agridea, Bern University of Applied Sciences, School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL
  • Further partners: Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG), Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO), Swiss Cattle Breeders Association (ASR), Bio Suisse, IP-Suisse, Calf Health Service, Migros, Cattle Health Service, Swiss Milk Producers, Swiss Animal Welfare, Swiss Association for Ruminant Health (SVW)
Project Advisory Board
  • Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG)
  • Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO)
  • Swiss Cattle Breeders Association (ASR)
  • Bio Suisse
  • IP-Suisse
  • Calf Health Service
  • Migros
  • Cattle Health Service
  • Swiss Milk Producers
  • Swiss Animal Welfare
  • Swiss Association for Ruminant Health (SVW)
FiBL project leader/ contact
FiBL project staff
Role of FiBL

Project coordination (animal sciences), mod-ule supervision (animal sciences, 2 modules, and socioeconomics, 2 modules).

FiBL project number 50114
Date modified 02.09.2020
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