Type: Book

Understanding the behaviour and improving the welfare of dairy cattle


Dr Marcia Endres is Professor of Dairy Cattle Production at the University of Minnesota, USA. She is past-President of the Dairy Cattle Welfare Council as well as Chair of the International Precision Dairy Farming Organisation. Professor Endres is internationally renowned for her research on dairy cattle welfare and the use of precision farming technology in the dairy sector.



Publication date:

23 February 2021

Length of book:

274 pages

ISBN-13: 9781786764591

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The welfare of farmed animals such as cattle is an increasing concern for consumers and regulatory agencies. This book explores the science behind our understanding of dairy cow behaviour and ways to improve their welfare.

Understanding the behaviour and improving the welfare of dairy cattle summarises this wealth of recent research and reviews dairy cattle behaviour in areas such as cognition, learning, pain and stress. The collection features authoritative assessments by leading experts on developments in welfare indicators, monitoring and certification, as well as approaches to improve welfare practices of calves, heifers and transition cows at different stages of production including housing, transport and slaughter.

With its distinguished author team and wide-ranging coverage, Understanding the behaviour and improving the welfare of dairy cattle will be a standard reference for university and other researchers in dairy and veterinary science as well as ethology. It will also be a key reference for government and other agencies involved in regulating and monitoring farm animal welfare, as well as dairy farmers and companies processing milk and other dairy products.

What others are saying...

"The various parts of this volume address effectively the different components required to understand the behaviour and improve the welfare of dairy cattle. The expertise of the contributing authors guarantees a significant contribution to this important area."
Prof. Harry Blokhuis, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Table of contents

1.Dairy cattle welfare and other aspects of sustainability: Donald M. Broom, University of Cambridge, UK;

Part 1 Understanding behaviour
2.Advances in understanding cognition and learning in cattle: Maria Vilain Rørvang, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden; and Christian Nawroth, Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology, Germany;
3.Advances in understanding pain and stress in cows: Kenneth M. D. Rutherford and Marie J. Haskell, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), UK;

Part 2 Welfare indicators and monitoring
4.Developing effective welfare measures for cattle: Ute Knierim, University of Kassel, Germany; Christoph Winckler, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Austria; and Luc Mounier and Isabelle Veissier, Université Clermont Auvergne, INRAE, VetAgro Sup, France;
5.Advances in precision livestock farming techniques for monitoring dairy cattle welfare: Henk Hogeveen and Mariska van der Voort, Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands;
6.Developing effective training and certification schemes for improving on-farm dairy cattle welfare: Antoni Dalmau and Antonio Velarde, IRTA, Spain;

Part 3 Improving welfare practices
7.Developments in housing of cattle to promote health and welfare: Nigel B. Cook, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA;
8.Advances in understanding behavioral needs and improving the welfare of calves and heifers: Emily Miller-Cushon, University of Florida, USA; and Jennifer Van Os, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA;
9.Advances in understanding the needs and improving the welfare of transition dairy cows: Julia Lomb, University of British Columbia, Canada; and Kathryn L. Proudfoot, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada;
10.Optimizing welfare in transport and slaughter of cattle: Jan Shearer, Iowa State University, USA;