Veterinarians from the German authorities have called for more focus on animal health during the breeding of livestock. At the moment, total attention is given to productivity, which is worrisome, according to them.
The German national organisation for state veterinarians (BBT) has voiced this opinion, which was accepted at an international congress last week in Bad Staffel, Germany.
The BBT criticised sow breeding with the sole purpose of creating larger litters. “This leads to reduced birth weights and a larger amount of piglets dying after birth.”
The turkey industry was also targeted. “Turkeys often cannot carry their own weight. Skeleton deformations are therefore a daily phenomenon.”
The veterinarians also criticised dairy production. They wrote: “On average, a dairy cow produces over 7,000 kg per year. At the same time, the period of use for dairy cows has been shortened dramatically due to several health problems.”
The veterinarians are sorry that they are hardly involved in the breeding process, which causes animal health knowledge to be overlooked. “These days, veterinarians need to spend attention to animal health problems, caused by one-sided breeding programmes,” BBT president Dr Martin Hartmann wrote in the statement.
• German national organisation for state veterinarians (BBT)