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Dairy cows: sustainable development

High-production dairy cows play a key role in meeting the growing demand for milk and dairy products worldwide.

However, the intensification of farming and the growing pressure on the environment raise questions about sustainable practices on the part of the public.

In this context, it is essential to explore how high-production dairy farming can evolve towards sustainable development that respects animal welfare, environmental health and food safety.

A crucial aspect for the sustainable development of high-production dairy cows is the careful and effective management of agricultural practices. Manufacturers are increasingly adopting advanced agricultural techniques, such as precision farming and the use of balanced and customized feed for cows, in combination with functionalized complementary feed based on phytotherapy, to maximize productivity while reducing environmental impact.

The use of innovative technologies to monitor the well-being of cows, such as activity detection devices and health monitoring systems, can help manufacturers identify problems early and take preventive measures.

Furthermore, the adoption of animal-welfare farming practices is essential for the sustainable development of high-production dairy cows. Providing a comfortable environment for cows, such as farms with clean bedding and suitable grazing areas, can contribute to their physical and mental well-being. The promotion of preventive veterinary routines, access to quality food and water and responsible management of antibiotics are also crucial components for ensuring the health of cows.

In parallel, the environmental impact aspect should be addressed through targeted actions. Sewage management, efficient use of water resources and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions are just some of the measures that can be implemented to minimise the environmental impact of high-production dairy farming. Adopting sustainable practices such as renewable energy and reducing the use of chemical fertilisers can help create a more environmentally friendly production system.

Finally, transparency and consumer information are essential factors for the sustainable development of high-production dairy cows. Producers must provide clear information on farming practices, food safety and compliance with animal welfare standards. Furthermore, promoting the traceability of dairy products, through accurate labelling indicating the origin and mode of production, can help consumers make informed and sustainable decisions.

It is also important to promote research and the development of sustainable alternatives in the dairy sector. Emerging technologies, such as the production of synthetic milk or the cultivation of cells for the production of dairy products, are objectively dangerous and can undermine non PDO or unskilled production. In addition, the continued encouragement by the media on a greater diversification of food protein sources, with a particular focus on plant alternatives, represents a serious risk for the sector and could reduce dependence on high-production dairy cows.

Finally, close cooperation between governments, producers, research bodies and environmental organisations is essential to promote sustainable dairy farming. Through appropriate policies and regulations, economic incentives for sustainable practices and training programmes for producers, the adoption of environmentally and animal welfare-friendly approaches can be encouraged.

In conclusion, the sustainable development of high-production dairy cows requires a collective commitment to animal welfare, environmental protection and food safety. The adoption of advanced agricultural practices, careful management of animal welfare, attention to environmental impact and transparency towards consumers are key elements for a sustainable future in the dairy sector. Only through an integrated vision and a shared commitment can we ensure the production of high quality milk in harmony with the environment and animal welfare.

It is important to underline that sustainable dairy farming is not a single and definitive objective, but a continuous process of improvement that requires the collaboration of all the actors involved in the milk production chain, including farmers, feedingstuffs, nutritionists, researchers, consumers and regulatory authorities.

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