The impact of dairy farm management strategies on welfare


AWF Research Fund



Research Period


Area of study

Student Research


Investigator(s): Cherrill Bradford

Supervisor(s): Professor Robert Smith, Dr Rob Christley

The impact of dairy farm management strategies on welfare using morbidity rates, mortality rates and health records as indicators of welfare

The project will have access to a unique dataset of health and welfare indicators from the Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group (TSDG) This consists of 700 farms over 7 quarters (with an additional 100 farms with 4 quarters of data). The data will be explored for associations between farm management strategies and rates of morbidity, mortality and animal welfare outcome indicators of mobility, hock lesions, cleanliness score and disease treatment. This information will help to create a profile of farms with different levels of animal welfare which in turn will help retailers and animal welfare organisations to target educational campaigns.
This project will also look at seasonal trends in disease morbidity and mortality rates in order to highlight at-risk periods and allow farmers to concentrate their resources on observing and tackling disease at those times. Analysis will also be conducted to identify farm-level patterns of disease and mortality.