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  1. 2009/06/03Successful Welfare Quality Conference in Reggio Emilia
    Pig welfare: problems and solutions was the title of the conference organised by the CRPA and the Welfare Quality project on the 17th of April in Italy during the 50th edition of the International Pig Fair. The conference, aimed at presenting the results of the Welfare Quality project, has been attended by more than 120 pig farmers, technicians, veterinarians.
Animal welfare is a important topic within Europe and today is a highly relevant theme of EU policies. It is a key element for consumer protection and for the improvement of animal health, product quality and livestock farm profitability.

The conference organised by CRPA and the WelfareQuality project was introduced by Paolo Candotti of the National Reference Center for Animal Welfare in Brescia (Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale of Lombardia and Emilia-Romagna) He dedicated his presentation to the actual state of art of legislation in the field of animal welfare
During the conference two different animal welfare assessment systems have been presented, which can assist farmers to increase the level of welfare of pigs on their farm. First the animal welfare assessment system for pigs of the Welfare Quality project has been presented by Paolo Ferrari of CRPA. The measurements foreseen by the system have been illustrated in detail and in particular he stressed the advantages pig farmers can obtain with the system. Secondly Paolo Rossi entered into the details of the resource based animal welfare assessment scheme (IBA) developed by CRPA and the University of Florence which is focused on a better environment for pigs, which may allow higher levels of pig welfare.
Franco Torelli presented the outcomes of the subproject 4.4.2 of Welfare Quality dedicated to the farmers' responses to the assessment scheme. The work was based on the results of two focus group discussions of pig farmers of Northern Italy held in Reggio Emilia.
A specific focus was directed on the castration of piglets. Kees de Roest presented the results of an economic analysis dedicated to the different alternatives to the current practice of castration without anaesthesia. Castration with anaesthesia, immunocastration and the raising of entire males have been compared. This research was fundedn by the EU project PIGCAS.

Moderator of the conference was Giuseppe Diegoli of the Emilia-RomagnaRegion. ; Paolo Candotti of the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale of Lombardia and Emilia-Romagna regions, Paolo Ferrari, Franco Torelli, Paolo Rossi and Kees De Roest of the CRPA were the speakers. After a lively discussion the final conclusions of the conference have been drawn by Andrea Gavinelli of the Directorate-General for Health and Consumer Protectiont of the European Commission.
More information: Kees de roest, CRPA, Italy, k.de.roest@crpa.it
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