Public Release: 

Journal of Dairy Science offers collection on tail docking

Online collection provides a wealth of scientific knowledge regarding the practice of tail docking

Elsevier Health Sciences

Champaign, IL, March 1, 2016 - The recent announcement by the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) that, as of January 1, 2017, tail docking will not be permitted under the National Dairy FARM Program (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) has ignited debate over the practice. Opinions in favor of or in opposition to the NMPF decision are varied. Groups such as the American Association of Bovine Practitioners opposed tail docking for nearly two decades and California banned the act in 2009; however, the practice continues to be used on some farms.

As a service to all those who work with dairy cattle, the Journal of Dairy Science (JDS), the official journal of the American Dairy Science Association, has compiled a set of articles on the science of tail docking. The collection from JDS includes 10 articles published between 2000 and 2010. Topics addressed include pain, hygiene, and biological responses as they relate to tail docking. These articles are provided free of charge to assist those in the industry who wish to better inform their views on this topic.

"The practice of tail docking is being hotly debated in the dairy industry, in part because of new guidelines for milk producers. The Journal of Dairy Science is a leading source of scientific information on the health, behavior, and well-being of dairy cattle. To enable the dairy community to better understand the science addressing the practice of tail docking, we have assembled a collection of research articles on the subject and made these freely available to better inform discussion in the dairy community," Matt Lucy, editor-in-chief of JDS, said.

This special collection of JDS articles regarding tail docking will be hosted by Elsevier and is available online at Journal of Dairy Science is committed to publishing scientific research that helps inform industry and maintains special collections on topics that are of interest to the dairy community. For more information, please visit the journal website,


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