Application of the Welfare Quality® protocol to assess growing pigs kept under intensive conditions in Spain

This study is a first step toward the validation of the Welfare Quality® protocol for assessing welfare of growing pigs kept on farms. The feasibility and sensitivity of the entire protocol was evaluated on 30 conventional farms in Spain, and a methodology to identify farms with particular welfare problems was proposed. A total of 64,496 […]

Implementing animal welfare assessments at farm and group level: introduction and overview


Animal welfare towards sustainability in pork meat production

Animal welfare is an important pillar of sustainability in meat production and is associated with other aspects of this concept, such as animal health, productivity, food safety, food quality and efficiency from a cost of production perspective. These interactions are present at all stages of the production cycle, from the beginning of the animals’ farm […]

Animal Welfare Considerations: Should Context Matter?

Much consideration of animal welfare issues, as well as the bulk of welfare legislation, is closely related to context, with clear distinction between defined responsibilities towards farm-, laboratory-, companion- and wild animals. It has however been recognised that such distinction leads to inconsistencies, in that it might lead to different welfare management practices for the […]

Assessment of welfare of Brazilian and Belgian broiler flocks using the Welfare Quality protocol

The Welfare Quality consortium has proposed a science-based protocol for assessing broiler chicken welfare on farms. Innovative features make the protocols particularly suited for comparative studies, such as the focus on animal-based welfare measures and an integration procedure for calculating an overall welfare status. These protocols reflect the scientific status up to 2009 but are […]

Test-retest reliability of the Welfare Quality® animal welfare assessment protocol for growing pigs

The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility and test-retest reliability of the Welfare Quality® Animal Welfare Assessment Protocol for Growing Pigs. Twenty-three German pig farms were visited repeatedly by the same trained observers; each farm being visited six times during two fattening periods. The entire protocol assessment was carried out during each […]

Abnormal behaviour with a focus on stereotypies – indicators of suffering and impaired welfare?

Abnormal behaviour is a potential indicator of pain, suffering and injury in captive animals. Especially stereotypies, i.e. repetitive invariant behavioural patterns without obvious function or goal, can be observed as a consequence of inadequate housing conditions. Hence, they are often considered indicators of impaired welfare. In context of the ongoing scientific debate on captive animal […]

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR AND WELL-BEING SYMPOSIUM: Optimizing outcome measures of welfare in dairy cattle assessment

In most countries producing milk, industry-or other stakeholder-driven initiatives are in place to improve welfare and overall dairy farming sustainability. Those initiatives typically include a system of verification of reaching targets and progress over time. Reliable indicators are a fundamental requirement to provide public assurance and allow improvement on farms. Assessing dairy cattle welfare through […]