EU Food Safety Authority: tied barns are bad for cow welfare

The EU Food Safety Authority (EFSA) states in an advice to the European Commission that there is scientific evidence that tied barns are bad for cow welfare, depending on the length of the tethering period and method of tethering, the size of the stall and the hardness of the bedding. The permanent housing of cows in tied barns should therefore be banned in the EU. According to EFSA welfare problems apply also to freestall barns, as does overcrowding and slippery floors. Freestall barns should have a minimum of nine square meters of floor space per cow and a cubicle for each cow as well as outdoor run or grazing areas with shaded areas for hot days. EFSA sees also problems with hygiene for deep litter barns and bedded pack barns.

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