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The assessment and implementation of animal welfare: theory into practice

Author(s) : J. Webster

Summary :

This paper reviews the procedures and protocols necessary for the development of a practical programme for the assessment and implementation of animal welfare on farms and in other commercial situations. An effective programme must incorporate measures of both husbandry and welfare. Most current systems are based almost entirely on measures of husbandry provision, e.g. resources and management. However, what the public and the animals need are guarantees of satisfactory welfare and these guarantees must involve animalbased measurements of welfare outcomes. The development and testing of the Bristol Welfare Assurance Programme is described in outline and illustrated with detailed reference to the assessment of welfare in dairy cows. The final section describes how such a programme can be incorporated into the broader concept of quality assurance schemes that incorporate a proper concern for animal welfare into the reasonable needs of different societies for wholesome, affordable food.

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