Merck Animal Health launched the Dairy C.A.R.E. ™ Initiative to support dairy producers in their efforts to provide quality animal care 24/7 – and help unite the dairy industry around animal care best practices. Designed to complement the National Dairy FARM Program, Dairy C.A.R.E. ™ provides resources on animal husbandry best practices, maintaining sound policies, hiring the right people, and making sure they’re properly trained. It includes a comprehensive resource guide, Dairy Care365 training videos, and customizable templates for animal care and handling policies and standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Merck also offers free, hands-on Dairy C.A.R.E. ™ Workshops to producers and their veterinarians. Workshop attendees develop an animal care commitment statement; customize SOPs for their specific operations; review the Dairy Care365 animal handling training videos for use with employees; discuss employee monitoring and measuring progress; review creation of a preparedness plan; create an emergency response team; develop key messages; and discuss engaging beyond the farm gate to develop community relationships.
All producers who attend a Dairy C.A.R.E. ™ Workshop and submit four deliverables to Merck Animal Health – including an animal care commitment statement, SOPs for handling the non-ambulatory cow and euthanasia, and a crisis response team list – are registered in the Dairy Care365 program. Once registered, a dairy farmer can call the producer helpline for professional communications support at no cost.