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Incorporation of conventional animal welfare assessment techniques into organic certification and farming

Leeb, Christine; Whay, Becky and Main, David (2004) Incorporation of conventional animal welfare assessment techniques into organic certification and farming. University of Bristol, School of Veterinary Science.

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Online at: http://www2.defra.gov.uk/research/Project_Data/More.asp?I=OF0314

Summary

Providing assurances to consumers on the adherence to certain animal welfare-related standards is an important element of organic and farm assurance schemes. This project has ensured that preliminary welfare assessment protocols developed in a conventional farm assurance system (RSPCA Freedom Food scheme) are available for incorporation into organic (& conventional) certification schemes. The final system (available at www.vetschool.bris.ac.uk/animalwelfare) is an assessment tool that can provide credible (repeatable, valid & feasible) evidence for assessment of compliance with welfare standards in organic and conventional farming systems.
For issues identified as causing potential concern the assessor is encouraged to conduct further investigations. This promotes a consistent thorough assessment of relevant resource standards, and where appropriate, management requirements concerning appropriate preventive and corrective action that should be contained within written health plans. Furthermore the assessment tool should enable certification bodies and relevant third parties to monitor the ability of schemes to deliver good welfare outcomes, which is useful for policymakers and consumers wishing to assess the welfare assurance associated with membership of a scheme. Finally it should provide a mechanism for assessing the farm’s own management of health and welfare parameters with their health planning systems which is now a requirement or recommendation of many welfare standards. This should enable farms to both identify their own strengths and weaknesses with respect to welfare and then to monitor any improvements resulting from husbandry changes. This is important as many of the welfare observations also have a significant influence on a farm’s profitability.


EPrint Type:Report
Type of Facility:Other
Keywords:livestock, animal welfare, standards, compliance, farm assurance, knowledge transfer, welfare benchmarking tool, inspection,
Subjects: Values, standards and certification
Knowledge management > Education, extension and communication > Technology transfer
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: UK > Other organizations
UK > Univ. Reading, VEERU
UK > Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Related Links:http://www.vetschool.bris.ac.uk/animalwelfare
Deposited By: Defra, R&D Organic Programme
ID Code:6613
Deposited On:27 Mar 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:32
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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