/ Homepage / News / Assessment Systems Tested on European farms
  1. 2008/04/16Assessment Systems Tested on European farms
    The full animal welfare assessment systems represent the most comprehensive version of the assessment system in terms of the number of animal-based measures included and the total time necessary to complete its application on-farm. The application and testing of these asssessment systems on-farm were carried out in Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain and the United Kingdom.


Assessment Systems Tested on European farms

 

The full animal welfare assessment systems represent the most comprehensive version of the assessment system in terms of the number of animal-based measures included and the total time necessary to complete its application on-farm.
The application and testing of these asssessment systems on-farm were carried out in  Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain and the United Kingdom.

 

Welfare Quality® full monitoring systems have been developed for 7 animal species/types: dairy cattle, beef cattle, veal calves, sows, fattening pigs, laying hens and broilers. The full monitoring systems represent the most comprehensive version of the monitoring system in terms of the number of animal-based measures included and the total time necessary to complete its application on-farm.
Prior to the start of on-farm testing, training sessions were held in 2007 with groups of scientists working on the same animal species and type. Training was successfully achieved with the use of both audiovisual materials in a laboratory setting as well as in practical sessions on farms or at slaughterhouses. The aim was to ensure that assessors and observers would obtain a similar level of training and expertise. After completion of the training, the application of full monitoring systems on-farm commenced in Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain and the United Kingdom. The planned numbers of farms are listed below, for each animal species and type, as well as the number of farms where observations have been completed until now.

Animals Species/type

Countries involved

Number of farms where
full assessment systems are
applied

 

 

Planned

Completed

Dairy cattle

Austria, Czech Republic,Germany, Italy.

90

90

Beef cattle

Austria, UK, Italy

85

85

Veal calves

France, Italy, Netherlands

224

84

Sows

Netherlands, UK

90

50

Fattening pigs

Spain, France

90

44

Laying hens

Netherlands, Sweden

73

73

Broilers

UK, France, Netherlands

90

90

Initially, 60 veal farms and 60 broiler farms were planned in Welfare Quality®. Sponsoring for two additional projects, by the French and Dutch veal industries as well as the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, has made it possible to increase the numbers of farmers for these species and also to carry out observations in the Netherlands.
At present, observations are completed in dairy cows, beef cattle, laying hens and broilers. Observations in sows are expected to be completed in June 2008. Observations in fattening pigs and veal calves are expected to be completed in October and December 2008, respectively.
The data collected on-farm will be statistically analyzed over the next 6 months. The analysis will be primarily focused on:
-
Identifying relationships between different animal-based measures as a step towards simplifying the full monitoring system.
-
Examining relationships between a simplified version of the monitoring system and the full system, which acts as a gold standard.
- Relationships between animal-based and resource-based/environment-based measures will be examined. This will allow for the identification of (resource- and environment-based) risk factors for animal welfare. More information: Kees van Reenen,
kees.vanreenen@wur.nl and Linda Keeling, linda.keeling@hmh.slu.se

More news