The discerning consumer is showing a growing hunger for information around what they are purchasing for their families.
Within the Dairy Products Industry there can be considerable controversy centred around various animal handling practices, such as calf rearing, use of antibiotics, growth hormones, appetite stimulants and ‘commercial’ cattle handling in such a way to cause stress or harm to the animals, are amongst a few.
We are able to confirm that all of our farming practices are based on a very ethical and traditional model and that we are dairy farmers because we are passionate about raising healthy cows.
Our calves all remain with their mothers for a minimum of 48 hours so they receive a good feed of colostrum for a healthy immune system, before their Mums head off to be part of the dairy herd. We then hand rear all of our calves.
We have automatic calf feeding stations with daily volume limits so they don’t over drink and then make themselves sick. They can come and drink small amounts as frequently as they like and their milk is warmed up for them too.
We only use fresh cow’s milk to feed our babies via these stations from the cows of the morning milking (instead of re-constituted milk powder).
Our girl and boy calves are all given the same care. We generally rear our bobby (male) calves until a minimum of 3 months of age, at which time we either hold onto them or we on-sell them to another farmer rearing steers if space is a little short.
We are always mindful of having plenty of pasture available for our dairy herd which always get priority.
We have nothing to do with veal production, don’t support Halal practices and don’t practice tail docking.
For more information read our FAQ’s section here
At Bannister Downs we are keen to work with professional animal welfare groups for the further development of practices prioritising animal welfare specific to dairy. It is important to us that we make sure we are using world’s best practice as our benchmark on how we look after our herd and their calves.
We plan to make it possible for you to watch a ‘live feed’ of what is happening on the farm. It is our strong belief that this transparency is important and necessary for you as a customer.
We have full control over our own animal welfare practices and have the advantage of choosing our preferred dairy farmer suppliers, who are also practicing a high standard of animal welfare on their farms.