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Developing criteria for the application of Directive 98/58 to welfare of dairy cows

There is no species-specific EU Directive on the welfare of dairy cows. However, the EU General Farm Animals Directive (Council Directive 98/58) applies to all farm animals. This includes broad but strong wording; it requires Member States “to make provision to ensure that the owners or keepers take all reasonable steps to ensure the welfare of animals under their care and to ensure that those animals are not caused any unnecessary pain, suffering or injury”. This presentation looks at how this Directive can be used to tackle the serious welfare problems experienced by dairy cows in the EU.