Every day tens of thousands of animal owners, thousands of veterinarians and hundreds of staff relevant organizations and research institutes contribute to a common goal; “Healthy animals, healthy products and healthy people”. In 2013 the use of medicines with vital effect on human and animal health was significantly reduced.
Nowadays, consumers are more and more concerned with how their milk is produced. They care about the safety of the products, animal welfare and sustainability of the production and demand a transparent and high quality production standard.
A higher milk production makes dairy cows more susceptible to diseases leading to the use of antibiotics. This led the Dutch government to set policies about the restricted use of antibiotics. The Dutch dairy sector is playing an important role in order to replace them with other, less harmful, innovative products. In addition to this, the Dutch farmers are successfully collaborating well-developed housing systems, good-quality concentrates and intensive grazing to achieve a high level of animal welfare. The philosophy is simple: happy cows produce more and better quality milk.
The density of intensive livestock in the Netherlands is very high. Health monitoring is essential. GD Animal Health is responsible for the monitoring of animal health in the Netherlands. Their multi-disciplinary laboratory, abundant veterinary expertise and extensive information network make them experts in the field.
Also, in the 1990s, the Dutch farmers developed the programs of veterinary herd health management (VHHM), which is integrating herd health, animal welfare, public health and food quality assurance.