Providing cross-species comparisons of animal welfare with a scientific basis

Animal welfare issues may involve different species and require decision-makers to compare welfare across species. Up to now applied ethologists have largely ignored questions involving cross-species comparisons. This paper discusses the question whether cross-species comparisons about animal welfare can be provided with a scientific basis, i.e., based on scientific arguments. The arguments pro and contra […]

Assessment of animal welfare through behavioural parameters in Iberian pigs in intensive and extensive conditions

Behaviour is a significant component of well-being and should be properly considered in a pig welfare assessment. However, interpretation of variations in behaviour is usually not straightforward, especially when dealing with animals housed and managed in a variety of systems. The fourth principle of the Welfare Quality® project, labelled “Appropriate behaviour”, was assessed on 21 […]

Economic evaluation of high welfare indoor farrowing systems for pigs

New livestock housing systems designed to improve animal welfare will only see large-scale commercial adoption if they improve profitability, or are at least cost neutral to the farm business. Economic evaluation of new system developments is therefore essential to determine their effect on cost of production and hence the extent of any market premium necessary […]

Alternative housing systems for fattening bulls under Austrian conditions with special respect to rubberised slatted floors

Previous studies have noted significant welfare problems in cattle housed on fully slatted floors. The aim of this study was to investigate the suitability of alternative housing systems under on-farm conditions. Health, behavioural and farm data of fattening bulls were collected on seven Austrian farms between January 2006 and April 2007. The housing systems studied […]

The welfare of growing pigs in five different production systems in France and Spain: assessment of health

This study was carried out to compare the health of growing pigs in five different production systems in France and Spain using measures provided by the Welfare Quality® protocol. A total of 11,647 pigs housed on 91 commercial farms were evaluated over a two-year period (2007-2009). Farms considered as conventional were close to the European […]

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 […]