We carried out a survey in a sample of mountain summer ranges located in the "Comunità Montana Valtellina di Sondrio", in order to point out their management characteristics and to highlight all aspects relevant to animal welfare. 1. GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS, PRODUCTION AND HOUSING. This husbandry system is still based on old traditions, although the general conditions have improved, due to recent restructuring of the farmers' huts and of the buildings for cheese making. Animals are kept at pasture for a longer period in lower areas, where grass quality and quantity are better for a longer time. When animals are kept at higher altitudes, they are often provided with some housing structure, while in the remaining cases they use housing structures only if they stay in the summer range for a longer period. Housing structures are usually quite old (head to head solution, with tethers, no water provision). Milk production is relatively low, especially considering the presence of high productive breeds. 2. MANAGEMENT, BEHAVIOUR AND SANITARY PARAMETERS. In most of the visited pastures, cattle come from different farms located at the bottom of the valleys; this may affect the social relationships among the animals and may cause an increase of the level of aggressiveness, thus inducing a social stress. The change from the feeding regimen at the bottom of the valleys to the feeding regimen at pasture does not occur gradually, and this may cause metabolic problems and, in some cases, it may be related to an increase of the incidence of podal lesions. In spite of the fact that cattle at pasture can move without restrictions, some animals still show abnormal lying down and getting up movements. Also tongue playing behaviour is still present in cows at pasture, even if its incidence is very low. In spite of the positive effects of mountain pastures on animal welfare and on environment conservation, this husbandry system presents some negative aspects which, in most cases, may be easily solved and that are sometimes related to the housing conditions at the bottom of the valleys, during the winter.
Il benessere della bovina da latte in alpeggio / S. Mattiello, C. Carugati, M. Verga, C. Carenzi. - In: EM. LINEA ECOLOGICA. - ISSN 1721-9450. - 36:2(2004), pp. 25-35.
|Titolo:||Il benessere della bovina da latte in alpeggio|
MATTIELLO, SILVANA (Primo)
VERGA, MARINA (Penultimo)
CARENZI, CORRADO (Ultimo)
|Parole Chiave:||welfare ; mountain animal husbandry ; dairy cattle ; summer range ; behaviour|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore AGR/19 - Zootecnica Speciale|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2004|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|