Framework for dairy cattle

Entry level requirements

  1. Dairy cattle are sentient, feeling pain/suffering as well as joy/pleasure. Schemes should focus on reducing negative and increasing positive welfare towards a good life.

  2. Standards comply with EU Laws & Regulations.

  3. Standards ensure lifetime assurance, covering the entire lifetime of that animal (rear, farm, transport and slaughter).

  4. Standards are independently verified by a 3rd party once every calendar year. A robust, transparent certification process is in place with ongoing monitoring, feedback and improvement mechanism.

  5. Where criteria aren’t currently practical, programmes promote continuous improvement in other ways (Research, lobby government, work with industry) to facilitate systemic change towards outcome.

Reducing negative experiences

Increasing positive experiences

Dairy cattle good life opportunities


  • Choice of physical environment

  • Choice of thermal environment

  • Choice within the environment whilst minimising harm


  • Play and positive social interactions

  • Maintenance of the cow-calf bond


  • Positively enriched environment

  • Pasture choices

  • Food choices


  • Positive experiences with stock-keepers, including achievable and familiar routines and processes

  • Positive learning, resilience and social experiences within the herd

A healthy life

  • Stockperson’s knowledge of individual cow’s habits, preferences and personalities

  • Effective management of day-to-day health and welfare

  • Positive genetic selection for long-term health and welfare