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FARM Animal Care Program Version 4.0 Unveiled

The National Milk Producers Federation recently unveiled the FARM Animal Care Program Version 4.0. This latest evolution of FARM supports closer farmer-veterinarian relationships, requires continuing education for all employees and adds a new standard for pain management when disbudding animals.

Significant changes go into effect beginning January 1, 2020. They include:
1. If tail docking is found to have continued to occur, immediate action must be taken to cease the practice.
2. Standards that generate a Mandatory Corrective Action Plan – ranging from veterinarian engagement and herd health plan reviews, calf care, non-ambulatory animals, euthanasia and fitness to transport management practices, and disbudding prior to 8 weeks of age – will need to be addressed within nine months of an evaluation.

The FARM Animal Care Program is updated once every three years to ensure relevance to current industry best management practices and scientific research related to on-farm animal care. The program’s standards and audits strive to provide full transparency of animal care practices as an assurance to buyers and consumers throughout the dairy product supply chain.

Materials, including templates, FAQs, continuing education videos and other resource tools will be available to help producers meet the outlined standards. Find the latest version and other information at the FARM Program website.