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The Virtuous Bicycle: a delivery vehicle for improved farm animal welfare

By A. J. F. Webster

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This paper briefly reviews the development of monitoring procedures used for the assessment of husbandry and welfare within Farm Quality Assurance (QA) schemes. Most current protocols are based on measures of the resources, records and management provisions necessary to promote good husbandry. However, it is now generally accepted that monitoring protocols should be largely or wholly made up of direct, animal-based measurements of animal welfare. Whether based on provisions or outcomes, many current schemes lack impact, partly because they do not necessarily lead to effective action on-farm and partly through lack of public awareness or trust in the claimed benefits of the scheme. This paper proposes the concept of the 'Virtuous Bicycle' as a delivery vehicle for improvements in farm animal welfare through simultaneous operation of two virtuous cycles, one on-farm, involving assessment, action and review, the other at the retailer level, involving assurance and promotion, based on proof of compliance.

Date 2009
Publication Title Animal Welfare
Volume 18
Issue 2
Pages 141-147
ISBN/ISSN 0962-7286
Language English
Author Address Old Sock Cottage, Mudford Sock, Yeovil, Somerset BA22 8EA, UK.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal husbandry
  2. Animal rights
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Consumers
  5. Economics
  6. Husbandry
  7. monitoring
  8. peer-reviewed
  9. quality controls
  10. surveillance
  1. peer-reviewed