Systems for evaluation of welfare on dairy farms

Erminio Trevisi, Angela Krueger, Jenifer Cruickshank, Massimo Bionaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Animal welfare is an essential component of dairy production and several systems exist to evaluate the welfare of dairy cows. Here, we review and compare three well-known systems that operate at farm level from around the world (FARM, Welfare Quality®, and The Code of Welfare) and discuss their advantages and limitations. Despite having some commonalities, the programs evaluate different elements. We also briefly review an emerging system (Integrated Diagnostic Welfare System) that might address some of the shortcomings of the existing systems, especially the possibility of automating the evaluation of animal well-being and identifying any cause of poor welfare. None of the aforementioned systems has been fully validated for their ability to assess animal welfare using independent measurements. The future holds increased attention around the well-being of dairy cows and increased use of sensing technologies. There is an urgent need for dairy welfare evaluation systems that are scientifically validated, holistic, and that can take advantage of the use of sensing technologies to continuously monitor animal welfare.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-19
Number of pages7
JournalTHE JOURNAL OF DAIRY RESEARCH
Volume87
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Animal well-being
  • dairy cattle
  • welfare evaluation system

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