INTERNATIONAL FOOD SAFETY CONSULTANCY
DR WILLEM MARSMAN
To Provide reassurance for customers in terms of the safety and high quality of milk produced.
1.1 Milk storage room (the dairy)
The dairy must:
be clean and tidy;
be clear of accumulated rubbish, any products or chemical substances not in constant use or feeding stuffs;
be separated from the milking parlour by a closeable door;
have doors and walls that are complete and undamaged with a washable finish;
have floors which are well drained, complete and undamaged;
have any ceilings, roof linings, girders and/or beams which are designed and maintained to minimise the accumulation of dirt and dust and any risk of creating space for vermin;
have windows which are well fitting, entire and weather-proof;
be secure and be locked at night or when unattended;
have lights with protective coverings to minimise the risk of contamination;
have hand washing and drying facilities;
be free from birds, vermin, cats and dogs;
have measures taken to control insects.
The dairy should:
be free from foul smells and airborne dust.
1.2 Milk Storage
The bulk tank (including external silos) and any ancillary equipment must be capable of cooling to the required temperature and:
be regularly and thoroughly cleaned including the ancillary fittings;
be externally clean with the lead kept routinely closed.
1.3 Milk Collection
The milk collection areas must be cleaned, as necessary, before each collection to ensure that the tanker hose is not externally soiled when in use.
The milk collection area should be a well-drained concrete or similar surface.
Unobstructed access should be provided to enable the safe collection of milk.
1.4 Milking Parlour
This includes conventional parlours, robotic parlours and movable milking bails)
The parlour must:
be clean and tidy and free from accumulated dung;
have floors and walls that are complete and undamaged with a washable finish;
have ducts, jars, clusters and pipework which are clean and properly maintained.
The parlour should:
be clear of products, chemical substances or other items not in constant use;
be free from airborne and accumulated dust;
have ceilings, roof linings, girders or beams designed and maintained to minimise the accumulation of dirt and dust and any risk of creating space for vermin;
be adequately lit;
have lights with protective coverings;
have measures in place to control birds, vermin, cats and dogs;
have measures in place to control insects.
1.5 Cow Cleanliness and Milk Inspection
Udders and teats must be clean and dry prior to milking;
clean water must be available throughout the parlour to clean dirty cows;
cows whose milk is unfit for human consumption, such as those having been treated with antibiotics or other medicines must be clearly identified and must be milked last or with a separate bucket or system ;
at the start of milking of each cow, the milk should be inspected prior to it going into the bulks storage.
1.6 General Hygiene
wear suitable, clean working clothes;
keep their hands and arms clean when milking;
cover cuts or wounds with an appropriate, water-proof dressing;
not be involved with the milking process if through illness they could contaminate raw milk;
not allowing smoking in the diary/parlour.
Manufacturers instructions must be following when using chemicals, pesticides or cleaning agents in the dairy and the milking parlour;
all cleaning and disinfection agents must be chosen and used in such a way as to ensure they do not have an adverse effect on the milk;
strongly scented or phenolic cleaning products must not be used in or close to the diary and the milking parlour (due to the risks of milk taints);
all vermin, bird and insect control methods or products must be approved for use;
all chemicals, other than those in routine use, and pesticides should be stored in a lockable area away from the dairy;
all relevant data sheets should be available for use.
A sufficient water supply of potable water must be available for milking operations and for cleaning equipment that comes into contact with milk.
1.9 Legal Registration
The farm must be registered with the appropriate enforcement authority.
Farmers should be aware of the suitability and condition of the cattle housing systems (for cows young stock and calves) to ensure that there is a comfortable environment and sufficient space for free movement without undue risk of injury).
2.1 All Housing
All housing Must:
be well ventilated to minimise dust and foul smells;
be well drained to assist cattle cleanliness and the maintenance of dry bedding;
be regularly scraped or cleaned out to remove manure as necessary;
be well lit to ensure that cattle can be visually inspected but, with a period of low lighting to encourage rest;
have floor surfaces, including entrances and exits from the parlour, which are constructed and maintained to minimise the risks of cows slipping;
have a non slatted laying areas for cows;
be maintained to safeguard against injury or distress to cattle;
allow animals the sound and view of other animals except in special circumstances such as when segregated for calving, treatment, illness or injury.
Cattle must not be closely confined for prolonged periods and when they are tied in cowsheds untethered exercise must be provided every day;
tracks and gateways must be maintained so that cattle can be moved with minimal risk of foot damage or injury;
any electrical installations must be inaccessible to cattle.
All housing should:
allow bulls to be able to see, hear and smell other cattle;
be designed to minimise draughts and exposure to extremes of temperature and weather;
polled and fully horned cattle should not be group together.
There must be at least one cubicle per cow unless there is adjacent, accessible and adequate loose housing.
There must be an adequate loafing area.
Cubicle housing must provide a dry and comfortable bed with clean, dry bedding and/or appropriate cow mats.
The design of the cubicle housing must allows cows to exhibit normal behaviour especially when lying, ruminated and rising.
Cubicle systems should be of a suitable size and design to suit the breed and size of cows.
2.3 Group Yards
The design of yards or loose housing systems must allow sufficient space for all cows to lie down
simultaneously, ruminate and rise without difficulty.
Bedding in loose housing must be clean, dry and of sufficient depth to ensure cow comfort, minimise the risks of a build up of harmful bacteria or contaminants or soiling of the skin.
2.4 Calving Facilities
Cows due to calve must be inspected at least twice a day.
When calving in calving boxed or designated areas, bedding must be clean to minimise the risk of infection to both cow and calf.
Calving areas must be equipped with good lighting.
Calving areas should be equipped with restraining facilities.
2.5 Farm Appearance
The farm as a whole should present an acceptable and tidy appearance to the general public.
It is important that all mechanical and electrical installations on the farm are adequately serviced to ensure that milk quality, hygiene, and herd health and welfare problems do not arise.
The milking machine must be tested according to the manufacturers recommendations, and:
Faults must be rectified accordingly and supported by service records;
teat cup liners must be changed on a regular basis to avoid injury to cows.
appropriate records must be kept;
all mechanical equipment e.g. automatic yard scrapers, calving aids, building ventilation or automated feeding equipment must be routinely checked and maintained;
electric fences, particularly in the collecting yard, must be routinely maintained and checked for malfunction to ensure that they cause only momentary discomfort and minimal risk to stock;
regular checks of the water temperature should be taken at the start and end of the wash cycle using a thermometer;
all electrical installations should be carried out by a competent electrician.
All feed and water provided for dairy cattle (including cows (lactating and dry), heifers (growing and in calf) and calves, must be of an appropriate quality for a properly balanced diet.
Feeding of all diary cattle must be in accordance with documented feed plan (reviewed at least twice a year) which must provide sufficient nutrients (e.g. energy, protein, and minerals) to meet the daily demands for maintenance and production, taking into account the age, weight and liveweight change and output of each category of animal as appropriate. The advice of a competent nutritionist is recommended.
Farmers must keep records of feedingstuffs used or stored (delivery documents or home mixing records including trading standards registration) In addition ensure that:
all feedingstuffs comply with legislation;
all dry feeds, including straights, blends and compounds are handled and stored in accordance with regulations/industry codes of practice etc
a record of each delivery is held including date of delivery, load/batch number and a list of ingredients;
a warranty/statement is obtained from your supplier(s) of feedingstuffs, including straight blends, compounds and bought in forage replacers showing that it is produced in accordance with current legislation.
Also you should ensure that:
All cattle have sufficient access to feeding trough space. Feed access should take into account weight and size of cows and the feeding system used. Undue competition should be avoided.
All cattle should have free access to sufficient fresh, clean drinking water, and:
at pasture or outdoors, water troughs must be provided unless there are sufficient natural water sources to ensure adequate daily access;
in-house water troughs must be suitably sited (it is recommended that they are set on a solid floor with free-draining access areas).
all practical steps should be taken to minimise water trough fouling,
all reasonable steps should be taken to minimise the risks of the water supply freezing.
4.3 Calf Nutrition
Calves must receive colostrum within six hours of birth;
pre-weaning, calves must be fed at least twice a day on a wholesome diet appropriate to their breed and weight.
In hot weather or when calves are ill, fresh drinking water must be available at all times.
5.1 The Herd Health Plan
A written health plan must be present on the farm and available for any farm staff who have responsibility for the health and welfare of the livestock.
The plan must comprise:
Protocols for routine foot-care, including responsibility for foot-care, examination and trimming.
Mastitis action plan to prevent and control mastitis in the herd, including treatment protocols an procedures for drying off.
Vaccination plan with details of any vaccines required to be used, target animals and any boosters required.
A parasite control plan that specifies strategies and worming programmes, including target animals and any medicines to be used.
An isolation and infectious disease control policy for the isolation of any stock with infectious disease or diseases potentially communicable to man.
A set of maintained records detailing the occurrence of specific health and welfare disorders which act as a monitor of health and welfare. The health records may be combined with other records such as medicine and movement records, and the method of recording is not specified.
The health records must be kept so as to meet the recording requirements of the scheme. This means that records must be available for the time of the last assessment or a minimum of one year. The records are to be used to monitor herd health, and will form the basis of the review of the health plan which must be performed at least annually.
In order that the prevalence of health conditions can be determined, it is important that accurate records are kept in accordance with the scheme requirements, including the duration of the condition. This is achieved by checking and recording the progress, resolution, or regression of major conditions such as mastitis and lameness every seven days.
The records will assist farmers in reviewing the health plan and formulating effective health control ensuring good welfare and efficient productivity.
The health records must show:
Trimmings and treatments.
Progress after 7 days.
Progress after 7 days.
Bulk milk somatic cell counts.
3) Fertility and reproductive disorders:
Abortions and premature calvings.
Fertility and infertility treatments.
Embryo transfer programmes.
The health records should show:
1) Metabolic disorders:
2) Calving problems:
Traumatic damage to cows during calving.
Recumbent cows (down for more than six hours after calving).
Retained foetal membranes.
3) Calf diseases:
Other calf diseases
4) Other diseases and conditions:
Casualties and deaths
The records need not be kept in a single location, and may be combined with other records if convenient. The method of recording and the system used should be appropriate to the farm and the circumstances. Diaries, calendars or computer systems should all be considered.
The health plan must be reviewed annually.
5.2 Isolation and Disease Control
Isolation facilities must be available for any animals affected with an infectious condition that may be of risk to people or other stock.
The isolation facility must be nominated in the health plan. The plan must specify disinfection protocol. The facility need not be a dedicated building and may be used for other purposes, but must:
Be a separate building or part of a building with separated air space from the main accommodation, and not allow any direct contact with any other animal.
Have internal walls, which must have a washable internal finish to a height of at least two meters, or washable gates separated by at least three meters form the nearest permeable surface.
Have appropriate restraining facilities and artificial lighting available if needed.
Have adequate access for animals and any veterinary attention.
Be available within three hours of any need.
Stockmen must be aware of their responsibilities for the safe and responsible storage, use and dispense of medicines. Details of all medicines used, including alternative therapies, must be recorded at the time of use. These records must include all treatments and medicines administered including those administered by a veterinary surgeon.
The following information must be recorded:
Identity of medicine or therapy;
Quantity of medicine or therapy;
Date of purchase;
Date of administration;
Name and address of supplier;
Identification of the animal or group of animals to which administered;
The number of animals treated;
Dates when meat and milk becomes fit for human consumption;
Name of person administering the medicine or therapy.
It is strongly recommended that the following details are also recorded:
Length of withdrawal periods for milk and meat;
Batch numbers of medicines used;
All medicines records must be retained for a period of three years. Records relating to the use of
Prescription Only Medicines (POM) must be retained for five years.
All medicines must be stored securely under lock and key. It is recommended that the storage be separate from the milking parlour and milk storage area. Only medicines for immediate use should be available in the parlour.
All medicines must be properly labelled in accordance with the legislative requirements, and used and stored according to the instructions.
The prescribing veterinary surgeon must inform the administrator or animal keeper of the appropriate withdrawal periods, and all withdrawal periods must be observed.
Only authorized medicines, or those under the specific direction of a veterinary surgeon must be used.
Sharps and any unused medicines must be disposed of safely and in accordance with instruction from the supplier.
5.4 Calves and Calf Husbandry
The tethering of calves is not permitted except for group housed calves whilst feeding, and for a maximum on one hour.
Housed calves must be inspected twice daily, and outdoor calves once daily
Calves must be able to see at least one other calf, unless not other calves are available
Calves must not be muzzled.
Calf pens should provide safe, clean and dry housing.
All calves over eight weeks old should be housed in groups.
Lactating cows must be milked on a regular basis.
Milking equipment should function so as not to cause pain, injury or discomfort
5.6 Cattle Appearance
All cattle including cows, heifers and calves should generally appear bright, alert and in good health.
5.7 Movements and Cattle Traceability
The farm must be registered.
To ensure that the person in overall charge of the dairy herd can demonstrate best stockmanship practices in the areas of animal health and welfare, food safety, human health and safety and the environment. Stockmen will be able to demonstrate that they have the knowledge and practical skills to care for animals in an environment that minimises stress and injury.
A designated person must have overall responsibility for the herd. The designated person has a duty to ensure that all staff with responsibility for cows have knowledge of and are aware of the requirements. This person, or the person deputized for him/her in times of prolonged absence (including relief milkers), must be able to manage dairy farm activities effectively and competently. He/she will be responsible for the record keeping requirements of the scheme.
Farmers and stockmen must follow good welfare practice which recognizes the FIVE FREEDOMS. These are as listed below:
- FREEDOM FROM HUNGER AND THIRST;
- FREEDOM FROM DISCOMFORT;
- FREEDOM FORM PAIN, INJURY OR DISEASE;
- FREEDOM TO PERFORM NORMAL PATTERNS OF BEHAVIOUR, AND
- FREEDOM FROM FEAR OR DISTRESS.
All livestock must be inspected at least once a day.
Competent persons must inspect lactating cows at least twice a day.
Stockmen must follow good welfare practice and must observe all relevant codes of practice.
Staff undertaking veterinary related tasks must recognize the Five Freedoms, in particular the potential to cause suffering. It is recommended that the advice of a veterinary surgeon is sought for training for specialist courses.
Staff carrying out veterinary related tasks should be able to demonstrate competency. This particularly applies where they are responsible for procedures that have the potential to cause suffering (e.g. debudding, castration, dehorning, and removal of supernumerary teats of a calf less than three months). A suitable and effective local anaesthetic must be used for all debudding and dehorning and for castration of animals over two months. Removal of supernumerary teats for calves over three months must be done by a veterinary surgeon. Tail docking, hot branding and amputations are prohibited.
Staff must observe the regulations concerning the transport of and/or slaughter on-farm of casualty animals, and in particular:
not cause or permit an animal to be transported in a way which causes or is likely to cause injury or unnecessary suffering to the animal;
only transport an unfit animal to the nearest place for veterinary treatment, or the nearest place available for slaughter if the animal is not likely to be subject to further unnecessary suffering;
if the animal is in severe pain that is uncontrollable, the animal must be slaughtered on farm without delay.
Whilst the welfare of cattle after leaving the farm may not be under the stockman's control, cattle markets, abbatoirs and hauliers should be selected with care. All parties should follow good welfare practice and observe all relevant legislation and codes of practice. This requirement includes the farmer, if he transports his own cattle. Appropriate movement/transport records should be kept.
A list of emergency contact telephone numbers must be displayed in a prominent position.
Contingency procedures must be in place and known to all stockmen to deal with any emergency which may endanger human or animal health, welfare or food safety.
Contingency procedures should be in place for the loss of water and electricity.
Provision should be made to avoid cattle being exposed to extreme weather and temperature over prolonged periods.