Animal Welfare + Quality: transparency in the Food Production Chain
The outcome of the Welfare Quality® project and a vision on animal welfare in the future and in an international perspective was discussed during a meeting on 8 and 9 October in Uppsala, Sweden.
Welfare Quality®, the largest integrated research project on animal welfare, will finalise its work by December this year. FVE was one of the Advisory Committee members, together with representatives of the farmers, retailers, certification agencies, NGO's etc. The project has led to the development of assessment schemes for the monitoring of animal welfare. The assessment schemes were based on 4 principles (good housing, good feeding, good health and appropriate behaviour) and 12 criteria, as much as possible measured by outcome-based measures. Schemes were developed for cattle, poultry and pigs (Assessment Protocols). In addition a system to calculate whether a farm would score “Excellent”, “Enhanced”, “Acceptable” or “Not classified” was established.
Governments, certification systems, retailers, and producers are already looking for ways to use the Welfare Quality® system to measure welfare. Veterinarians should be encouraged to take a role within the system as assessor or advisor, as they are best placed to embrace this role given their broad knowledge of animal welfare and animal health.
Linda Keeling (SE), one of the main project leaders of Welfare Quality®, will present the project to the FVE General Assembly in November. For more information please contact the FVE office: email@example.com