Farm hygiene practices are the set of measures necessary to achieve high production quality standards in compliance with animal and farm workers welfare and are the starting point to achieve adequate profitability.

The implementation of these standards allows to:
  • provide an environment suitable to the animal's needs,
  • reduce the risk of disease transmission,
  • exclude risks to the health of farm workers,
  • obtain high-quality milk.
It is a very broad field, ranging from the design of farm infrastructures to the daily routine of farm workers; the compliance with these standards involves all professionals who with different tasks contribute to the farming operation (dairy farmers, technicians, farm workers, official and private veterinarians).

Farm hygiene standards are codified within a vast collection of European and national laws that set the parameters necessary for proper livestock and livestock health management.

The practical application of all the necessary requirements is sometimes complex; of great help is the adoption of one of the many national guides on good dairy farming and milking practices (e.g., in Italy there is the Guide to Good Dairy Cow Farming Practices – SIVAR; the Guide to Good Hygiene Practice in Dairy Farms – AIA; the guide to Good Milking Practices) that simplify and standardise basic practices and may allow a lower incidence of disease, the rationalisation of farm staff and allow a better management and a lower consumption of pharmaceutical products and greater transparency between the dairy farm, customers, suppliers and the official health authorities.
UK trade data for the period Jan - Mar 2020 are provisional