Holstein Canada

Animal Care Overview


Animal Care Icon  Animal Care

The Animal Care module of the proAction Initiative coordinated by Dairy Farmers of Canada is based on the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Dairy Cattle, and the program highlights 5 categories of criteria, including:

  1. Housing
  2. Feed and water
  3. Animal health
  4. Handling and shipping of animals
  5. Staff training and communication

As part of the Animal Care module, producers will need to show the following:

  1. Evidence that they meet the requirements outlined in the 20-question questionnaire
  2. Up-to-date Standard Operating Produces (SOPs) for:
    • a) Colostrum management and calf feeding
    • b) Animal health practices and branding
    • c) Euthanasia
    • d) Shipping cattle
  3. Up to date Corrective Action Plan (CAP) for downed cows
  4. Tail Docking Log (for medical tail docking)
  5. Cattle Assessment (done every 2 years)
    • a) Summary Sheet
    • b) Detailed Record

Starting October 2016, Holstein Canada will begin to provide proAction Cattle Assessments, while Animal Care module validations will begin in September 2017, with the exception of provinces British Columbia and Manitoba where validations are already underway. The requirements of the Animal Care module will be validated at the same time as Food Safety requirements on each producer’s validation/anniversary date. As part of the Animal Care module, producers will be required to have an assessment of animal-based measures evaluated on a sample of their cattle (i.e. the Cattle Assessment) every two years.

Holstein Canada’s Role

DFC has contracted Holstein Canada to provide Cattle Assessments for the first two years of the program. This two-year timeframe will allow for peer benchmarking on animal-based measures to identify Cattle Assessment targets. The Cattle Assessment addresses producer requirement #15-.a from the producer self-evaluation questionnaire found in DFC’s Animal Care Workbook and Manual. DFC is responsible for training the Holstein Canada staff to provide the service as outlined by DFC. For a full online copy of this manual please see the DFC website resources page.

# Producer Requirements Code of Practice
Animal-based Measures
15. Do you evaluate the milking herd for Body Condition Score; hock, knee and neck; and lameness, and:
  • a) Keep records of the results?
  • b) Take corrective action if the herd scores are in the yellow or red zones?
2.1, 2.2, 1.4, 3.5, 4.9

Holstein Canada will start providing Cattle Assessments in British Columbia in October 2016.

  • Report IconAssessors will:
    • Complete Cattle Assessments on-farm
    • Provide a report, required by the farm for the up-coming Animal Care validation, including:
      • a) Cattle Assessment Summary Sheet
      • b) Cattle Assessment Detailed Record
      • *Please note producers will also receive a report that compares their farms’ results to their peers. However, the data for these national benchmarks will not be available until late 2017. When enough information has been gathered for zone thresholds (Green, Yellow and Red), producers will then receive that additional report, which will illustrate if they have achieved a good result (Green zone) or if they need to consider corrective actions (Yellow zone) or develop a written corrective action plan (Red zone) to improve. Producers who have their Animal Assessments completed prior to the setting of benchmarks can expect to receive this report from their Provincial Coordinator at a later date.
  • Assessors IconAnimal assessments must be conducted:
    • Every two years
    • Within the 24 months prior to validation date for the first report, and then within 12 rolling months of the validation date for second or subsequent reports.