Med. Weter. 76 (12), 675-683, 2020

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Effects of health disorders, genetic modifications and new technologies on the welfare of dairy cattle
The purpose of this review was to present the effect of selection of cows for increased milk and meat yields on the animal welfare status in advanced cattle production systems during the last two decades. Numerous health problems are due to housing systems characterized by the lack of pastures and runs, litterless floors, animal congestion limiting cows’ movement, feeding on roughage, social conflicts and bad management. The most frequent causes of culling are lameness, mastitis and reproductive disorders in dairy and beef cattle, which reduce cows’ longevity and result in economic losses in animal husbandry. In addition, lameness and mastitis cause severe pain, exposing cows to suffering and thus reducing their welfare, which is currently unacceptable to consumers. Animal welfare in cattle production should be ensured not only for legal and ethical reasons, but also because it is essential for the good health of the animals, making it possible to limit the use of antibiotics, which are a threat to food safety and public health.
Keywords: welfare, health, genetic, housing system, dairy cows