A Charles Sturt University PhD student wants to hear from dairy farmers as part of research to understand the current barriers for dairy beef production.
Veronika Vicic from the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation is calling on farm managers and owners to complete a confidential, online survey that aims to understand the knowledge and attitudes towards the management of male calves in dairy systems.
"The survey will assess dairy producer opinions about the market acceptability of beef products from various dairy supply chains," Ms Vicic said.
"We also want to understand dairy producer well-being and core beliefs surrounding euthanasia of non-replacement male calves."
The survey is available online at Rearing non-replacement male dairy calves in Australia Survey (research.net).
It will take about 15 minutes to complete and it is recommended that people participate on a computer or tablet rather than a phone.
Ms Vicic said the information gathered will be used to understand how current practices might influence the development of dairy-beef supply chain.
"Australia is in the minority of developed countries internationally that still view the practice of slaughtering dairy bull calves as being more profitable than rearing them for meat production," Ms Vicic said.
"We want to understand the barriers to help the industry develop economically viable pathways to grow male calves to sizeable steers suitable for quality beef production."
The study is being conducted under the supervision of Associate Professor Jane Quinn and Dr Michael Campbell from the Charles Sturt School of Agricultural, Environmental and Veterinary Sciences and the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, an alliance between Charles Sturt and the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), and Professor Anthony Saliba from the School of Psychology.
The research is being funded by the Australian Research Training Program Scholarship awarded to Ms Vicic.
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