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The ANIPLAN project: Reflections on the research approaches, methods and challenges

Vaarst, Mette and Roderick, Stephen (2009) The ANIPLAN project: Reflections on the research approaches, methods and challenges. In: Vaarst, Mette and Roderick, Stephen (Eds.) CORE Organic project nr: 1903 - Aniplan. Workshop report - The process of researching animal health and welfare planning. Core Organic project Series, no. 1903-2. Aarhus Universitet - Faculty of Agricultural Sciences , Departement of Animal Health and Bioscience, pp. 23-27.

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Document available online at: http://aniplan.coreportal.org/gfx/ANIPLAN-proceedings-2-Norway.pdf


The objective of the ANIPLAN project is to ‘investigate active and well planned animal health and welfare promotion and disease prevention as a means of minimising medicine use in organic dairy herds’. The basic idea lying behind this objective is that the active development of plans at the farm level to improve herd health and welfare will enable individual farmers to practically achieve the organic principles with regard to the health and well-being of organically-farmed animals.
To fulfil the objective, the project needs to be carried out in close collaboration with farmers and conducted in real farm situations. This means that the research is being carried out in an environment which is not under control the control of researchers. This, in turn means that there are inevitable methodological issues which will arise during the course of the study. This paper describes some of the issues arising during the first part of the study i.e the setting up of the project and the first year of data collection.
One major challenge for the research team involved in this project is to identify research methods which can describe and document the planning process as well as the disease, production and medicine use on study farms. This documentation will enable the researchers as well as the end-users of the research to evaluate the approach and the effect of animal health and welfare planning on herds. This includes the process of animal health and welfare planning, which can be regarded as an iterative social and individual human development process. The transformative learning process (Vaarst, ibid.) leading to a change of perceptions and priorities of those involved should be expected before actual changes are implemented in the herds. Again, there are methodological issues to consider in this respect.

EPrint Type:Report chapter
Subjects: Food systems > Food security, food quality and human health
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Animal husbandry > Breeding and genetics
Animal husbandry > Feeding and growth
Research affiliation: European Union > CORE Organic > ANIPLAN
Denmark > ICROFS - International Centre for Research in Organic Food Systems
Related Links:http://aniplan.coreportal.org/gfx/ANIPLAN-proceedings-2-Norway.pdf
Deposited By: Holme, Ms. Mette
ID Code:15917
Deposited On:29 Jul 2009
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:39
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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