Abstract #366

# 366
The impact of tiestall facilities on dairy welfare and the broader dairy industry.
Kimberley M. Morrill*1, Emily Yeiser-Stepp5, Jamie Jonker5, Nigel B. Cook3, Albert De Vries2, Jason E. Lombard4, K. Fred Gingrich7, Steven Nolt6, 1Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 2University of Florida, Gainsville, FL, 3University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, 4APHIS-USDA, Fort Collins, CO, 5National Milk Producers Federation, Arlington, VA, 6Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA, 7American Association of Bovine Practitioners, Ashland, OH.

The roster of standard operating procedures and recommended practices on dairy farms is constantly evolving, shaped by new technology, science and practical experience. This evolution is increasingly driven by measurable animal welfare outcomes and societal pressures about what is acceptable by consumers. Consumer concerns and questions about management practices need to be addressed using science and ethics. Our objective is to discuss the concern of permanent tethering of lactating cattle, the demographic of dairy farms that utilize tie stall systems, best management practices (BMP) for tie stalls, how tie stalls compare with other housing options based upon animal welfare indicators as well as the economic and societal impact of transitioning away from tie stall facilities. In 2016, the dairy industry was presented with customer concern around tie stalls for lactating cattle and how they potentially limit freedom of movement. The National Dairy FARM Animal Care Program, administered by the National Milk Producers Federation, developed a task force to address the customer concern, as well as to develop BMP for tie stalls. A literature review was conducted to evaluate current tie stall design recommendations and reported rates of welfare indicators. Based on research available, tie stall facilities that implement BMP provide equal opportunities for sound welfare for lactating dairy cattle in comparison to those housed in other types of facilities. Reported disease incidence, mortality, BCS, hygiene and locomotion score of 1 are similar in tie stall and freestall systems. Tie stalls tend to have a greater percentage of cows with a hock and knee score (7.2 vs. 2.1%) and hygiene score of 3 as (17.3 vs 10%) compared with freestall facilities. More research is needed to evaluate the type and age of facility, environmental control, lameness rates, disease risk, udder health, and welfare of cows that are housed in tie stalls and compare these values to those obtained in other housing systems. Results of this literature review will be used to enhance BMP in the next revision of the animal care standards for the FARM Program, which are scheduled to be implemented on dairy farms in the United States starting in 2020.

Key Words: welfare, tiestall, facilities