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de Jong I.C.,Wageningen UR Livestock Research | Hindle V.A.,Wageningen UR Livestock Research | Butterworth A.,University of Bristol | Engel B.,Biometris | And 5 more authors.
Animal | Year: 2015

Welfare Quality® (WQ) assessment protocols place the emphasis on animal-based measures as an indicator for animal welfare. Stakeholders, however, emphasize that a reduction in the time taken to complete the protocol is essential to improve practical applicability. We studied the potential for reduction in time to complete the WQ broiler assessment protocol and present some modifications to the protocol correcting a few errors in the original calculations. Data was used from 180 flocks assessed on-farm and 150 flocks assessed at the slaughter plant. Correlations between variables were calculated, and where correlation was moderate, meaningful and promising (in terms of time reduction), simplification was considered using one variable predicted from another variable. Correlation analysis revealed a promising correlation between severe hock burn and gait scores on-farm. Therefore, prediction of gait scores using hock burn scores was studied further as a possible simplification strategy (strategy 1). Measurements of footpad dermatitis, hock burn, cleanliness and gait score on-farm correlated moderately to highly with slaughter plant measurements of footpad dermatitis and/or hock burn, supporting substitution of on-farm measurements with slaughter plant data. A simplification analysis was performed using footpad dermatitis, hock burn, cleanliness and gait scores measured on-farm predicted from slaughter plant measurements of footpad dermatitis and hock burn (strategy 2). Simplification strategies were compared with the full assessment protocol. Close agreement was found between the full protocol and both simplification strategies although large confidence intervals were found for specificity of the simplified models. It is concluded that the proposed simplification strategies are encouraging; strategy 1 can reduce the time to complete the on-farm assessment by ~1 h (25% to 33% reduction) and strategy 2 can reduce on-farm assessment time by ~2 h (50% to 67% reduction). Both simplification strategies should, however, be validated further, and tested on farms with a wide distribution across the different welfare categories of WQ. © The Animal Consortium 2015 Source


Ingenbleek P.T.M.,Wageningen University | Harvey D.,Northumbria University | Ilieski V.,University of Macedonia | Immink V.M.,Wageningen University | And 2 more authors.
Animals | Year: 2013

This article takes a future focus on the direction in which social forces develop the market for animal-friendly products in Europe. On the basis of qualitative data gathered in the context of the European Econ Welfare project, the differences across eight European countries are studied. The findings suggest that, given international trade barriers that prevent an improvement of animal welfare through legislation, many stakeholders believe that the market is the most viable direction to improve farm animal welfare. Economic productivity of the chain remains, however, an issue that on a fundamental level conflicts with the objective to improve animal welfare. With the help of a deeper conceptual understanding of willingness to pay for animal welfare, the paper finds that the European market for animal-friendly products is still largely fragmented and that the differences between European countries are considerable. A more animal-friendly future that is achieved through the market will therefore need substantial policy attention from stakeholders in society. © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Source


Dale B.E.,Michigan State University | Sibilla F.,Italian Biogas Council Techno Scientific Advisory board | Fabbri C.,Research Center for Animal Production | Pezzaglia M.,Efficiencyknow srl | And 5 more authors.
Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining | Year: 2016

A group of over 600 Italian farmers organized as the Italian Biogas Consortium are redesigning their own farming systems to produce food and bioenergy in a nationwide farm-level movement called Biogasdoneright™. This Feature demonstrates how it is possible to simultaneously increase the economic viability and stability of agriculture by reducing farm input costs and enabling farmers to produce food and fuel more sustainably. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source

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