Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Animal Welfare Can Now Be "Objectively" Measured

Date:
June 6, 2001
Source:
Netherlands Organization For Scientific Research
Summary:
Analysing the well-being of farm animals such as pigs is no longer merely a matter of opinion. Researchers at the Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering (IMAG), one of the research institutes of Wageningen University and Research Centre, have succeeded in producing a model allowing them to give a score to the well-being of pigs.

Analysing the well-being of farm animals such as pigs is no longer merely a matter of opinion. Researchers at the Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering (IMAG), one of the research institutes of Wageningen University and Research Centre, have succeeded in producing a model allowing them to give a score to the well-being of pigs. The project is part of NWO’s Priority Programme dealing with the well-being of animals used in food production. The study was supervised by the Netherlands Technology Foundation (STW) and partly financed by the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals.

The new model calculates a score for the well-being of the animals by inputting data on their accommodation, such as the space they have and the size of the group, and on the way they are managed. The researchers were trying to find the best way to determine the well-being of the animals by giving a proper scientific score. They based their analysis on the satisfaction or frustration of the animals’ biological needs, such as for food and water, social contact between individuals, peace and quiet in the shed, freedom of movement and bodily care (for example whether the animals were able to wallow in mud), and the opportunities they had to rummage and root around. The better these provisions and conditions, the higher the score on a well-being scale from 0 to 10.

The researchers then distinguished between various aspects of the housing that influence the well-being of the animals. They looked at such things as the need for the animals to be able to move, isolating the factor ‘space per sty’, because a lack of space can lead to increased aggression in pigs, which in nature range over large areas. Using this kind of scientific insight allowed the researchers to assign a weighting to the attributes for well-being in the model.

In order to compare the scientifically determined scores with the experience of animal welfare experts, the team had the experts assign a score to a number of management and accommodation systems for pregnant sows. The scores assigned were as follows: tethered sows: 0.0; individual feeding cubicles: 0.7; groups with feeding cubicles: 3.0; groups with graduated supply of feed in a trough: 3.7; concentrated feed stations: 3.0; fields with huts: 7.1; and family sties: 8.3.

A comparison of the scores given by the experts and those assigned by the model showed that the model based on separate well-being scores is just as good at evaluating the welfare of the animals as the average expert.

The well-being model can be used to evaluate existing pig farms, for example in determining policy and in making ethical decisions regarding animal welfare. It can also be used to design new accommodation and management systems. The results of the project imply that to achieve genuine improvements in animal welfare, substantial improvements in their accommodation and management will be necessary.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Netherlands Organization For Scientific Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Netherlands Organization For Scientific Research. "Animal Welfare Can Now Be "Objectively" Measured." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 June 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010605072051.htm>.
Netherlands Organization For Scientific Research. (2001, June 6). Animal Welfare Can Now Be "Objectively" Measured. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010605072051.htm
Netherlands Organization For Scientific Research. "Animal Welfare Can Now Be "Objectively" Measured." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010605072051.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 24, 2014) Smoothies are a great way to get in lots of healthy ingredients, plus they taste great! Howdini has a trick for making the perfect single-size smoothie that will save you time on cleanup too! All you need is a blender and a mason jar. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins