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Deliverable No 5.2: Handbook: RELACS-AHWP protocol

Walkenhorst, Michael; Tavares, Olivia and Experton, Catherine (2021) Deliverable No 5.2: Handbook: RELACS-AHWP protocol. Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, CH-Frick and ITAB - Institute for Organic Agriculture and Food, FR-Angers .

[thumbnail of walkenhorst-etal-2021-D5_2_v2_RELACS_AHWP_Handbook_public_w_annex_final.pdf] PDF - English


The indication “mastitis” is still one of the most important reasons for the antimicrobial input in European organic dairy herds. Animal health plans exist in several European countries. They are mainly based on checklists ending up in a written plan. However, such health plans don’t necessary lead to an improvement in the animal health situation on farms.
Based on the knowledge and experience of former projects, in particular the Core Organic ANIPLAN-Project, and based on the principles of health planning processes, a team of farming advisors as well as veterinary practitioners and on-farm researchers in preventive veterinary medicine developed an improved RELACS-Animal Health and Welfare protocol. The protocol will be useful for less experienced advisors in the organic dairy sector, as well.
Data about health and welfare of dairy cows play different but highly important roles within the advisory as well as the scientific part of the RELACS-AHWP Protocol. Data are needed for (self-)reflection of farmers, benchmarking between farms, for further advisory reasons, but also for the scientific (a) analysis of the development within each farm and (b) comparison between farms participating in the Farmer Field School (FFS) approach and non-participating control farms. Data collection has to be carried out in a highly precise manner and following the same protocol on each farm and at each point in time. The Dataset comprises five parts: (1) Overall data of farm structure, (II) Milk recording data, fertility data, (III) Health and Treatment data, (IV) Health and Welfare data and (V) Farmer Field School outcome data. The complete dataset will be collected three times during the project – (a) immediately prior to the first FFS, (b) one year after the first and (c) one year after the second FFS. The activities planned in WP5 resulting in DEL 5.2 fall under the Ethics Review requirements related to «Collection of data from humans» for the project and «Protection of personal data». The appropriate procedures to comply with the ethical requirements are described.
The advisory action within the RELACS AHWP protocol will be FFS, a specific form of facilitated farmer inter-collegial advisory. The ideal group size consist of 5 to 7 farmers including one host, 4-6 advising guest farmers and a facilitator per meeting. The facilitator will not give any advice, but is responsible of the preparation and organization of the meeting, the moderation during the meeting as well as the writing up and distribution of the minutes to all participants after the meeting. A meeting comprises a farm walk (including a demonstration of at least one “success case”) and a structured indoor discussion tackling two problems presented by the host farmer and subsequent inputs from all participants. Each problem topic is closed by a conclusive statement by the host farmer. Two farmer field schools per farm will be held during the project at a one-year interval.

EPrint Type:Report
Keywords:Animal Health and Welfare Planning, Mastitis, Farmer Field School, RELACS, Abacus, FiBL25054
Agrovoc keywords:
animal health
dairy cattle
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Dairy cattle
Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy > Systems research and participatory research
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Knowledge management > Education, extension and communication
Research affiliation: European Union > Horizon 2020 > RELACS
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Animal > Animal health
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Animal > Cattle
France > ITAB - Institut Technique en Agriculture Biologique
Horizon Europe or H2020 Grant Agreement Number:773431
Related Links:https://relacs-project.eu/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/RELACS_PA_01_AHWP_ITAB_final.pdf, https://organic-farmknowledge.org/de/tool/39772, https://www.fibl.org
Deposited By: Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau, FiBL
ID Code:43729
Deposited On:11 Feb 2022 11:09
Last Modified:11 Feb 2022 11:12
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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