Impact of Climate Change on Animals


2 min read

What we've learned so far What's next How will this help farmers

We have not previously had a good understanding of how predicted changes to climate will affect cow health and welfare. DairyNZ is summarising existing knowledge on this topic and identifying research and development gaps. We’re also identifying potential strategies to reduce the impacts of climate change on cows while strengthening the sectors resilience to climate change.

What we’ve learned so far

We have identified the following high-level strategies that can help manage and reduce climate change impacts on cows:

  • ensure the effects of greenhouse gas mitigations on animal welfare are considered during their development
  • engage with the public and end users to ensure solutions to reduce climate change effects and weather variability are accepted by consumers and communities
  • identify and measure areas where improving animal health can contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from dairy production
  • ensure those supporting farmers to develop and manage their farm systems understand what good quality of life for dairy cows looks like
  • ensure effective surveillance of animal disease, monitoring of welfare outcomes and farm system performance in response to climate change and greenhouse gas mitigations

Impact of climate change

What's next

Continue to research climate change impacts and adaptation, especially farm system performance. We will use this information to influence policy development at a national level and implement research that contributes to positive outcomes for dairy farmers over the longer term.

How will this help farmers

This research is being shared with industry leaders, researchers, and policy developers to inform future policy as they shape the dairy sector response to climate change.

Dr Jenny Jago, Principal Scientist

Jenny is a part of the teams researching the animal welfare risks and opportunities in our farming systems, adapting to climate change, and the role of technology in supporting modern workplaces. Jenny has worked in research, strategy and investment roles at DairyNZ. She has also been a representative on International Dairy Federation committees for farm management, and animal health and welfare.

Research team
Last updated: Aug 2023
Tags related to “Impact of Climate Change on Animals”

Related content

Flexible Milking Project


3 min read

Forage Value Index


8 min read

Frontier Farms


6 min read

United States Mega Dairies


4 min read