For both apps, a selection of welfare indicators to be included in the assessments was made based on a suitability analysis of indicators from existing welfare monitoring protocols (e.g. Welfare Quality© , Dierenwelzijnscan). The opinions of National Practitioner Groups (NPGs), including representatives of feed producers, consumer associations, retailers, veterinarians, processors and farmers, were taken into account in this decision process. NPGs from six and three countries were surveyed for EBENE® and PIGLOW®, respectively. Preference was given to animal-based indicators, all of which fit into one of the four welfare principles of the Welfare Quality© protocols, namely good feeding, good housing, good health and appropriate behaviour. A trade-off was made between the time investment by the farmers and the level of detail of the assessment, resulting in assessments that take approximately one hour to complete. The results of the apps include scores for all welfare indicators and anonymous benchmarking. The farmers also receive automated feedback for each welfare indicator that includes an explanation of and risk factors for related potential welfare problems. Separate welfare assessments are available for broilers and laying hens, and for fattening pigs and sows at different production stages. Additionally, both apps have the possibility to assess the depopulation process. The user-friendliness and feasibility of the apps was tested during on-farm trials in Belgium and France, after which minor adjustments were made to wording and specific questions.
The use of these tools for welfare self-assessments could sensitize farmers to the presence of potential welfare problems and the automated feedback could motivate and guide them to take corrective actions or seek additional advice of experts. A longitudinal study to assess the effect of the use of the apps on animal welfare and on the farmers’ opinions of the apps on commercial fattening pig and broiler farms is currently being conducted.
This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N°816172.
|Publicatiestatus||Gepubliceerd - 29-jun.-2021|
|Evenement||UFAW: Recent advances in animal welfare science VIII - Virtual|
Duur: 29-jun.-2021 → 30-jun.-2021
|Congres||UFAW: Recent advances in animal welfare science VIII|
|Periode||29/06/21 → 30/06/21|