The British dairy industry has seen much change in recent years. The number of dairy farms in the UK has declined dramatically over the last decade with producer numbers for England and Wales now standing at around 10,500. Over the same period the average herd size has increased from around 80 to 120 cows, with the national herd declining from 2.6 million to 1.8 million cows. Yet despite this decrease in cow numbers the average milk yield per cow remains on the increase.
More so than ever, dairy cow welfare is of fundamental importance to the industry. There is growing consumer concern about the origins of food and the welfare of the animals that produce it. However, this is not always reflected in their willingness to pay for it at the supermarket. This shift in public opinion has helped lead to changes in milk contracts and the introduction of practices like mobility scoring.
The long term economic prospects for the British dairy industry are good, despite recent pressures on the milk price. However the future of the British dairy industry can only be assured with consistently healthy cows. We at Shropshire Farm Vets are committed to being a key part of this future, helping our farmers maximise their productivity, whilst maintaining good cow health and welfare.
Click on the menu to the right for our dedicated dairy services pages.