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KVASU and University Bristol will pursue for detailed studies to ascertain best practice in smallholder dairy production in optimizing production and welfare.


  Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University and University of Bristol, UK will pursue for detailed studies to ascertain best practice in smallholder dairy production in optimizing production and welfare. Says T.P.Sethumadhavan, Director of Entrepreneurship, KVASU. The project review meeting of the research project between KVASU and University of Bristol funded by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, UK suggested for farmer friendly projects in the area of livestock production which can reduce cost of production and increase productivity.
Dr. John Tarlton, Professor of Regenerative medicine at the University of Bristol, and Principle Investigator of the BBSRC grant funding the workshop, described the future potential of the collaboration between the KVASU and the University of Bristol. Studies proposed included a data analysis project using information collected from dairy co-operatives in Kerala to form the basis of detailed studies to ascertain best practice in smallholder dairy production in optimizing production and welfare. The lessons learned would be extended to countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Information would also be gathered on antibacterial drug usage, and the development of antimicrobial resistance, a serious and urgent problem with global impact. The plan is also to extend the current study on dairy cattle welfare to develop a comprehensive welfare risk assessment that can be used by farmers to better understand the welfare and health of their dairy herd, and to develop, with the farmer’s involvement, solutions to the most pressing issues of cattle welfare. Professor Tarlton suggested that future collaboration on diary welfare and sustainability will continue to be beneficial to Bristol and KVASU, and to progress scientific research in the area of sustainable livestock production. Moreover he suggested that the demands of global food security require that more food is produced using less resources, but that this needs to be in the context of improved livestock welfare. Indeed, high welfare should be considered a prerequisite for optimal production. The Bristol University KVASU partnership is aiming to establish standard protocols for surveillance of health, welfare and risk assessment in cattle production in India.

Professor David Barrett of the University of Bristol suggested that the suitability of European dairy genetics in India and suggested that over time larger more mechanized farms would increase efficiency of production in Kerala. He also suggested that better nutrition and allowing cattle more freedom to express normal behavior would result in higher milk yields and improved welfare. He said this could be achieved in existing farms if cows were tied for less time and had access to adlibitum forage and water. Director of International Co-operation Dr.K.P.Sreekumar chaired the session.

 

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