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Self-evaluation of animal welfare by the farmer: a report of application on Austrian cattle farms

By E. Ofner, E. Schmid, E. Schrock, J. Troxler, A. Hausleitner

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It is not sufficient to merely publish regulations and strictly control them to improve the living conditions of farm animals. The farmer must receive precise information, understand the individual measures and be able to act with personal responsibility. A new animal welfare law has been in force in Austria since the 1st of January 2005. A system of self-evaluation is being developed for putting these new legal requirements into practice. The aim of this self-evaluation system is to enable every farmer to personally check his animal housing system against the given standards. This independent work motivates the farmer and makes him aware of animal welfare issues. This new strategy for the implementation of animal welfare law was originally developed, tested and found to be successful by the Federal Administration of the Austrian Province of Vorarlberg. Self-evaluation is to be carried out by means of specific checklists and manuals. Checklists and manuals are currently being drawn up for cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep and goats. The checklists and manuals will include all of the requirements of Austrian animal welfare legislation and will be formulated in easily understandable questions with 'yes' or 'no' answers. The manuals will describe the methods for assessing legal requirements on the farm as well as the conditions for compliance with legislation, and give advice on how to improve the state of animal welfare on the farm. This paper gives an example of the self-evaluation system for cattle farming.

Date 2007
Publication Title Animal Welfare
Volume 16
Issue 2
Pages 245-248
ISBN/ISSN 0962-7286
Language English
Author Address Department for Animal Husbandry, HBLFA Raumberg-Gumpenstein, Agricultural Research & Education Centre, 8952 Irdning, Austria.
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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal health and hygiene
  2. Animal housing
  3. Animal husbandry
  4. Animal production
  5. Animal rights
  6. Animal welfare
  7. Austria
  8. Birds
  9. Cattle
  10. Developed countries
  11. Europe
  12. Farms
  13. Goats
  14. Law and legal issues
  15. Laws and regulations
  16. Legal aspects
  17. Legislation
  18. Livestock
  19. Livestock farming
  20. Living conditions
  21. Mammals
  22. Meat animals
  23. OECD countries
  24. peer-reviewed
  25. Poultry
  26. practices
  27. principles
  28. regulations
  29. rules
  30. Sheep
  31. standards
  32. Swine
  33. Wool producing animals
  1. peer-reviewed