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Examination of the impact and effectiveness of herd health and welfare assessment in im-proving animal welfare on organic dairy farms, using qualitative interviews.

Burke, Dr J and Roderick, Dr S (2006) Examination of the impact and effectiveness of herd health and welfare assessment in im-proving animal welfare on organic dairy farms, using qualitative interviews. Paper at: Joint Organic Congress, Odense, Denmark, May 30-31, 2006.

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Summary

During winter 2002-03, 15 organic dairy farms in SW England participated in a herd health and welfare assessment and benchmarking study. A second assessment was carried out on 14 of the original 15 farms and on 14 new farms during winter 2003-04. The effectiveness of the herd health and welfare as-sessments and benchmarking in delivering animal health and welfare improvements was investigated by means of qualitative research interviews. The inter-views were conducted between August and November 2004. The average length of interview was one hour and fifteen minutes. Five common themes were iden-tified and headed ‘Sensitivities and misgivings’; ‘Ac-ceptability of scoring methodology and indicators assessed’; ‘Raised awareness and motivation to im-prove’; ‘Veterinary support and herd health planning’ and ‘Value of assessment and benchmarking’. It was apparent that farmers, who took part voluntarily in the study, took the results of the herd health and welfare assessments very seriously and were clearly motivated by the process. The main focus for change was related to housing issues. The main constraints to welfare improvement were a shortage of finance to affect change beyond relatively simple alterations and a lack of information on the identification of changes likely to improve animal welfare in given situations.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: International Conferences > 2006: Joint Organic Congress > Theme 8: Animal health and disease handling
UK > Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Deposited By: Moss, Ms Rachel
ID Code:7559
Deposited On:09 May 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:32
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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