There is no evidence that tail docking provides any benefit to the cow through improved udder health or hygiene, and the procedure appears to cause acute pain. Tail docking is banned in California, Ohio, Rhode Island, and New Jersey, and is prohibited in all programs detailed here.
- Tail docking is prohibited
- There can be no evidence of active tail docking, and no mature cattle can enter the herd with docked tails beginning January 2018
- This allows for the re-entry of heifers onto the farm that may have been tail docked beginning 2016
- Assess all calves and first lactation cows for evidence of freshly docked tails, using the numbers determined by the sample size calculator
National Dairy FARM Program
- Tail docking is to be phased out by January 1, 2017
- No new animals docked after this date can enter the herd
- Considered a Phase One Priority Area, or a minimum criterion for participation in the FARM ProgramTM
- Switch trimming is the recommended alternative
- Prohibited from being practiced on the dairy or on owned/purchased replacements
- Considered a critical criterion
- Switch trimming is allowed
There is currently no repeatability test for this measure.