Supplementary decisions and interpretations
Following the conclusive formal adoption of these criteria, the supplementary decisions and interpretations below have been drafted in conjunction with the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals. These decisions/interpretations have not yet been formally adopted and, in the event of exceptional circumstances, are subject to change before being included in the established BLL criteria. In anticipation thereof, certification will be carried out on the basis of these supplementary decisions and interpretations.
Amendments to criteria for Dairy cattle 3 stars
Various amendments have been implemented in the criteria for Dairy cattle 3 stars compared with the version published on 16-05-2022. Many of these amendments concern improvements to the text or clarifications and do not require any specific further explanation. The other amendments include:
- Corrections: errors in the previous version have been corrected.
- Additional measurement methods: Some additions have been made for the purpose of safeguarding the standards, or additional proof is permitted in order to comply with the criterion.
- Supplementary interpretation: Some interpretations have been specified or are more comprehensive in specific cases.
- Relaxation of dates: Some dates have been amended for the purpose of uniformity in the criteria for BLL Dairy cattle. Where dates have been amended this is a relaxation of the date only.
- Amendments to the content: Some amendments to the content have been made to include specific situations or scenarios. Where content has been amended this is a relaxation of the content only.
The document below shows an overview of the specific amendments for each criterion for the categories above.
3-star Better Life label for dairy cows adoption criteria
The criteria for the 3-star Better Life label for dairy cows were adopted on 24 February 2021.
The Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals has developed new 3-star criteria for dairy farms in collaboration with the Foundation for Nature Conservation and Environmental Protection and the Dutch Society for the Protection of Birds. The criteria set requirements for animal welfare, the environment, nature and biodiversity. Last year, these draft criteria for the 3-star Better Life label for dairy cows were submitted for consultation. The responses received have been assessed and the criteria have been adjusted on a number of points. The new criteria will come into effect on 24 May 2021.
Organic animal products have been allowed to carry the 3-star Better Life label since 2009. The new 3-star Better Life label criteria for dairy cows impose stricter requirements on, for example, animal welfare than the organic legislation. The Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals considers it important that organic dairy products with the 3-star Better Life label come from farms that guarantee a 3-star worthy level of animal welfare, environment, nature and biodiversity.
Organic dairy farms will have a transitional period of one year, enabling them to implement the new criteria at the farm. After the criteria are adopted on 24 February 2021, the farmers can use the one-year transitional period to make any adjustments to their farms. After the end of the transitional period on 24 February 2022, fresh daily organic dairy and cheese bearing the 3-star Better Life label must come from certified Better Life label 3-star dairy farms. In that case, the 3-star Better Life label will be retained on the packaging. For composite and processed products, which contain dairy as an ingredient, the existing criteria for processed products will continue to apply for the time being. It is expected that, in due course, these products will also have to meet the criteria of the 3-star Better Life label.
Registering with chain manager
Farms that want to qualify for the 3-star Better Life label for dairy cows can register with the Better Life label Foundation through a chain manager. This is also possible for non-organic farms that meet the criteria for 3 stars.
The Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals and the organic sectors want to find out what is needed to guarantee the highest level of animal welfare under the Better Life label. The Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals, the Foundation for Nature Conservation and Environmental Protection and the Dutch Society for the Protection of Birds are working together with the Eko Holland organic dairy chain to apply the 3-star Better Life label criteria to the farms.
Over the coming years, we will also be developing feasible multi-year plans with the other organic livestock sectors to jointly take further steps towards animal welfare. This process has already been implemented in specific terms for organic dairy farming only.
Information for dairy farms
- Measuring instructions: cubicle, eating place, feed fence, trough
- Fact sheet heat stress in dairy cows
- BLL examples of refresher courses dairy farming
- BLL approved ecological advisers
- BLL template Farm Nature Management Plan BLL Dairy cattle 1 star
- BLL template Farm Nature Management Plan BLL Dairy cattle 3 stars
- BLL Low-lying or High-lying region of the Netherlands
- BLL herb rich grassland, rewetting and fertilising
- BLL Planting native species farmyard
- BLL list of approved crop protection products for use on grassland and maize plots
- BLL Definition of Europe by geography
- Approved human-animal interaction course by Wageningen Academy
- Approved human-animal interaction course by CowSignals