Scientist' assessment of the impact of housing and management on animal welfare

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    A total of 22 scientists contributed to a consensus-oriented conceptual framework for assessment of farm animal welfare, addressing priority issues in cattle, pigs, and chickens. They used the Delphi method, in which participants contributed anonymously through e-mail. The framework puts welfare in an evolutionary context. Welfare problems arise when animals are kept in environments to which they have difficulty adapting. For integrated welfare assessment, design criteria and welfare performance criteria must be used in which the former may be weighted based on the latter, which, in turn, may be weighted based on the aspects of intensity, duration, and incidence. The main performance criteria were pathological states, abnormal behaviors, and behavioral restrictions. Space, social conditions, and substrates were the main design criteria. Conventional housing systems generally ranked lower than alternative systems. In this article, we show that a broad consensus basis exists among welfare scientists concerning the assessment of farm animal welfare
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3-52
    JournalJournal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
    Publication statusPublished - 2001

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