In a recent letter the Dutch minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Henk Staghouwer, has informed the parliament that the report of Eyes on Animals, ‘The welfare of male goat-kids’, has been used to make policy. He writes that several recommendations have already been put into practice:
- The I&R (Identification & Registration) requirements have become stricter. Mortality of goat-kids can now be more easily monitored and enforced.
- Dairy goat farmers are required to pay a little money to a platform that is developed to improve the welfare of dairy goats and their kids and to make farms more sustainable.
- Most provinces are now allowing dairy goat farmers to build an extra space where goat-kids can be fattened. Previously this was not allowed due to a ‘construction freeze’ for goat-farmers.
- Dairy goat farmers are motivated to enrich their barns so goats and their kids can express more natural behavior. This is accomplished via initiatives by the industry itself.
The minister has informed the parliament that there is an increase of dairy-goat farmers keeping the kids at the farm. This means less kids are brought to slaughter at a very young age. The minister also writes that he shares our motivation to improve the welfare of goat-kids and wants to contribute where he can. Soon we will be invited for a consultation.