In a recent study, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) found that farm size does not make a difference when it comes to bovine diseases. That finding by the EFSA Panel on Animal Health and Welfare comes after the scientific committee had completed an assessment of “dairy cow welfare in small-scale farming systems.” It looked at the impact of production diseases on cows and proposed a methodology for tracking the welfare of cows in various systems. were designed to address consumer expectations for food produced locally or regionally, or for maintaining certain animal welfare conditions. The EFSA panel defined small-scale farming as having herd sizes up to 75 cows, as well as specifics on workforce sources, input level, use of indigenous breeds, and certified production types. Groupings for small-scale farms and non-conventional farms were both identified by applying the criteria through an on-the-farm survey of 124 European farms. “Production disease impact on the individual animal’s welfare state does not depend on herd size or farming system,” the study abstract reports. The study was undertaken because the European Union Commission is looking at possible new “animal welfare friendly” guidelines for EU member states. “Sustainability, animal welfare, environmental and climate concerns and awareness of social responsibility towards the community have increased consumers’ interest in knowing how, where and by whom food is produced and handled on its way from the farm to the table,” according to EFSA. The EFSA panel looked at small-scale farming systems for dairy cows in Europe by breaking them down by category, cow welfare assessments, and finally, the impact on diseases. The 124 farms targeted for study were located in four EU countries — Austria, France, Italy and Spain. While EFSA found very little literature that addresses the risk factors or the consequences of diseases on small-scale farms, “However, it has to be noted that the impact of diseases on the individual animal’s welfare state does not depend on herd size or farming system.”