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Safeguarding and improving animal welfare Harry Blokhuis Department of Animal Environment and Health Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

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Presentation on theme: "Safeguarding and improving animal welfare Harry Blokhuis Department of Animal Environment and Health Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences."— Presentation transcript:

1 Safeguarding and improving animal welfare Harry Blokhuis Department of Animal Environment and Health Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

2 Safeguarding and improving animal welfare - Why? Who/what are the drivers in the food chain? - Components in safeguarding and improving welfare - Points for discussion

3 Public concerns Farmers Retail Consumers Legislators Safeguard and improve Animal Welfare ’Drivers’ in the food chain

4 Drivers in the food chain Public concerns

5 To inform general public Unni Kjaernes, Mara Miele and Joek Roex (eds) (2007) How important is farm animal welfare for you?

6 Many public concerns get scientific support (c.f. EFSA scientific reports) E.g.- barren environment - high stocking densities - lighting conditions - air quality - transport - mutilations Public concerns

7 Top concerns in Member States (SPECIAL EUROBAROMETER 354 (2010) Food-related risks) Public concerns

8 To inform general public Would you like to be more informed about the conditions under which animals are farmed in your country? (SPECIAL EUROBAROMETER 354 (2010) Food-related risks) Public concerns

9 Drivers in the food chain Public concerns Retail

10 In quality food chains and markets, animal welfare is increasingly an important attribute of an overall conception of food quality: business opportunity

11 A large part of animal products (60% of 300) surveyed in the 10 most popular retailing outlets of each of the six EU countries (UK, Italy, NO, France, NL, SW) were communicating to consumers some aspects of farm animals’ lives or the production methods adopted. Half of the surveyed products were carrying welfare claims that were not supported by any specific welfare-friendly production standard. In all cases they were bundled with other quality specifications (e.g. better taste, higher safety, environmental friendliness, and so forth). Retail

12 In quality food chains and markets, animal welfare is increasingly an important attribute of an overall conception of food quality: business opportunity Quality insurance, certification and consumer information Harmonisation of welfare assessment

13 Drivers in the food chain Public concerns Retail Consumers

14 54% of respondents have difficulties finding proper information on the animal welfare standards applied in producing food EU special barometer on attitudes of EU citizens (March 2007) Consumers

15 animal welfare is not at the forefront of consumers when shopping for food

16 Drivers in the food chain Public concerns Retail Consumers Farmers

17 - Farmers want to take good care of their animals - They recognise the link between good welfare and good economics -welfare – production costs -welfare – market demands

18 Comparison of observed lameness and farmers’ estimation (%) Šárová et al., 2011 Farmers Farm managers underestimate lameness prevalence

19 Tools to support animal welfare management on farm Farmers Needs:

20 Tools to support animal welfare management on farm Since animal welfare is more and more considered as a quality aspect, farmers need a way to demonstrate this quality Farmers Needs:

21 Tools to support animal welfare management on farm Since animal welfare is more and more considered as a quality aspect, farmers need a way to demonstrate this quality Level playing field (in EU and global) Farmers Needs:

22 Drivers in the food chain Public concern Retail Consumers Farmers Legislators

23 ’Translate’ public concerns in legislation (’science based’) Legislators

24 ’Translate’ public concerns in legislation (’science based’) Compliance Legislators

25 ’Translate’ public concerns in legislation (’science based’) Compliance Harmonisation/level playing field (EU) Legislators

26 ’Drivers’ in the food chain

27 1.Assess animal welfare Components in safeguarding and improving welfare

28 Welfare assessment Until now: Mainly resource based

29 Resource based EU Council Directive 1999/74/EC Enriched cages From 1 January 2002: cm 2 /hen (600 plus) - nest - litter - 15 cm perch per hen - 12 cm feedtrough per hen - 2 nipple drinkers per cage - claw-shortening devices

30 Welfare assessment Until now: Mainly resource based ’Conceptual difficulties’

31 Welfare assessment Until now: Mainly resource based ’Conceptual difficulties’ ?

32 Welfare assessment Until now: Mainly resource based ’Conceptual difficulties’ ?

33 Welfare assessment Until now: Mainly resource based ’Conceptual difficulties’ ?/

34 Welfare assessment Animal based indicators

35 Welfare assessment Animal based indicators

36 The Welfare Quality ® System

37 Animal based measures

38

39

40 Welfare Quality assessment protocols

41 Resource based or outcome based??? Welfare assessment

42 Resource based or outcome based??? A clever combination but outcome parameters should be included Welfare assessment

43 1.Assess animal welfare 2.Feedback and improve Components in safeguarding and improving welfare

44 Feedback and improve

45 1.Assess animal welfare 2.Feedback and improve 3.Legislate Components in safeguarding and improving welfare

46 – Some problems: Too many details  complicated and inflexible May have different effects under different conditions Compliance – Possible improvements Ban systems/practices clearly detrimental to welfare Harmonise assessment measures and control practices Require on-farm welfare management systems Include role of private schemes Legislation

47 Legislate

48 1.Assess animal welfare 2.Feedback and improve 3.Legislate 4.Communicate Components in safeguarding and improving welfare

49 Communicate

50 Points for discussion – Welfare assessment measures and information need to be harmonised – Legislation and private schemes should complement each other – Certification schemes should include a welfare improvement component

51 Thank you for your attention!


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