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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.
Cite this work

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. Domesticated birds
  12. Europe
  13. Farms
  14. Goats
  15. Law and legal issues
  16. Laws and regulations
  17. Legal aspects
  18. Legislation
  19. Livestock
  20. Livestock farming
  21. Living conditions
  22. Mammals
  23. Meat animals
  24. OECD countries
  25. peer-reviewed
  26. Poultry
  27. practices
  28. principles
  29. regulations
  30. rules
  31. Sheep
  32. standards
  33. Swine
  34. Wool producing animals
  1. peer-reviewed