A set of common principles for active animal health and welfare planning in organic dairy farming has
been developed in the ANIPLAN project group of seven European countries. Health and welfare planning is a
farmer‐owned process of continuous development and improvement and may be practised in many different
ways. It should incorporate health promotion and disease handling, based on a strategy where assessment of
current status and risks forms the basis for evaluation, action and review. Besides this, it should be 1) farmspecific,
2) involve external person(s) and 3) external knowledge, 4) be based on organic principles, 5) be
written, and 6) acknowledge good aspects in addition to targeting the problem areas in order to stimulate the
learning process. Establishing farmer groups seems to be a beneficial way of stimulating a dynamic
development on the farms towards continuous improvement, as in this case with focus on animal health and
welfare planning. Various factors influence the process in different contexts, e.g. geographical, cultural,
traditional factors, and a proper analysis of the situation as well as the purpose of the group is necessary, and
can relevantly be negotiated and co‐developed with farmers as well as facilitators before being implemented.
Farmer groups based on farmer‐to‐farmer advice and co‐development need a facilitator who takes on the role
of facilitating the process and decodes him‐ or herself from being expert.