Invited review: Cessation of lactation: Effects on animal welfare

The forced cessation of milk production, or dry-off, is a routine management practice in dairy cattle, sheep, and goats. This practice initiates a dry period, during which the animal is not milked. Milking begins again after parturition. Most of the literature on the dry period has focused on how various drying-off strategies affect milk production […]

The effect of conspecific removal on behavioral and physiological responses of dairy cattle

Adverse social and welfare implications of mixing dairy cows or separating calves from their mothers have been documented previously. Here we investigated the behavioral and physiological responses of individuals remaining after conspecifics were removed. We conducted a series of 4 experiments incorporating a range of types of different dairy cattle groupings [experiment 1 (E1), 126 […]

Development of automatic surveillance of animal behaviour and welfare using image analysis and machine learned segmentation technique

In this paper the feasibility to extract the proportion of pigs located in different areas of a pig pen by advanced image analysis technique is explored and discussed for possible applications. For example, pigs generally locate themselves in the wet dunging area at high ambient temperatures in order to avoid heat stress, as wetting the […]

Invited review: Changes in the dairy industry affecting dairy cattle health and welfare

The dairy industry in the developed world has undergone profound changes over recent decades. In this paper, we present an overview of some of the most important recent changes in the dairy industry that affect health and welfare of dairy cows, as well as the science associated with these changes. Additionally, knowledge gaps are identified […]

Does animal welfare influence dairy farm efficiency? A two-stage approach

This article investigated how process-based animal welfare indicators (PAT) affected the technical efficiency of German dairy farms. A sample of 115 North-Rhine Westphalian dairy farms was used to estimate their technical efficiency with data envelopment analysis. A censored regression model was then applied to quantify the effects of PAT on technical efficiency. The results indicated […]

Development and application of a protocol to evaluate herd welfare in Dutch dairy farms

A protocol was developed and applied in a field survey to incorporate evaluation of herd welfare into the existing quality assurance program in Dutch dairy farming. Welfare was derived from the state of the biological needs of cows. Welfare targets and critical control points were selected according to HACCP principles, while restriction was to dairy […]

Application of the Welfare Quality protocol to dairy buffalo farms: Prevalence and reliability of selected measures

Within the general aim of developing a Welfare Quality system for monitoring dairy buffalo welfare, this study focused on prevalence and interobserver reliability of the animal-related variables to be included in the scheme. As most of the measures were developed for cattle, the study also aimed to verify their prevalence for buffaloes. Thirty animal-based measures […]

Behavioural assessment of pain in commercial turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) with foot pad dermatitis

Two experiments were conducted to investigate the differences in susceptibility to foot pad dermatitis (FPD) of two medium-heavy lines of turkeys, and whether FPD is painful, by detailed analysis of behaviour in birds with and without analgesic treatment (betamethasone).Turkeys housed on dry litter in the first experiment generally had more frequent bouts of different behaviours […]

Unloading or not unloading? Sheep welfare implication of rest stop at control post after a 29 h transport

In Europe, maximum journey time for transported sheep is set at 29 h (EC Regulation 1/2005), after which animals must be unloaded, fed and watered in control posts stopping for 24 h, as all other species, before continuing their journey. The industry considers these resting times too general, not taking into account the peculiar differences […]

Effects of space allowance in the waiting area on agonistic interactions and heart rate of high and low ranking horned dairy cows

One possible alternative to avoid the disbudding of calves is to keep the cows horned. This, however, requires adapted housing conditions. An important aspect to reduce agonistic interactions that may lead to injuries is to provide appropriate space allowances in all parts of the stable. This study investigated the influence of three different space allowances […]