At an industry conference this week, well-known animal-welfare expert Temple Grandin chided the dairy industry for having too many lame cows.

"The dairy industry's gotta get the lameness fixed," she told those attending the 2011 Meat Conference in Dallas. She went on to say that lameness is the No. 1 priority in the dairy industry right now from an animal-welfare standpoint. 

"All dairies need to start auditing the following things in animal welfare: Percentage of lame cows? We need to get it to 5 percent," down from 30 percent in some of the worst cases, she is quoted as saying in the Dallas Morning News.

Grandin also discussed body condition, cleanliness and clean stalls.

Grandin said Dallas-based Dean Foods Co., the nation's largest fluid milk processor, and other dairy producers should improve audits of their suppliers to decrease the number of lame, dirty, skinny dairy cows.

Dean Foods spokeswoman Liliana Esposito said the company is in early stages of implementing the FARM program, a program developed by Grandin and the National Milk Producers Federation demonstrating best-use practices and uniform standards for animal welfare.

Source: Dallas Morning News