DEVELOPMENT OF TOOLS FOR FARMERS TO SELF-ASSESS THE WELFARE OF POULTRY AND PIGS IN ORGANIC AND OUTDOOR SYSTEMS

Evelien Graat, Mirjan Thys, Laura Warin, Valérie Courboulay, Marie-Christine Meunier-Salaün, Mathilde Stomp, Hélène Leruste, Vanessa Guesdon, Anne Collin, T Bas Rodenburg, Frank Tuyttens, Charlotte Vanden Hole

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan congresGepubliceerd abstractpeer review

Uittreksel

A goal of the PPILOW project is to develop and evaluate tools for animal welfare self-assessments by poultry and pig farmers of organic and outdoor systems. To accomplish this goal, two smartphone applications are being modified or developed in eight different languages. The EBENE® app, which was primarily developed for conventional poultry farms, was adapted to be more suitable for outdoor farming systems and the PIGLOW® app for outdoor pig farms was newly developed.
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.
Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 29-jun-2021
EvenementUFAW: Recent advances in animal welfare science VIII - Virtual
Duur: 29-jun-202130-jun-2021

Congres

CongresUFAW: Recent advances in animal welfare science VIII
Periode29/06/2130/06/21

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