Prof. George Stilwell from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Lisbon conducted a demonstration to provide the participants with knowledge about the Welfare Quality evaluation system. For that purpose, field sheets were prepared and an animal evaluation exercise based on the protocol defined by Welfare Quality was performed. This demonstration took place at H. dos Currais e Simalhas farm (a Feedlot operation), in Évora, for a group of 38 persons from which 24 were beef farmers.
The key point was to understand the importance of this evaluation for the animals and the impact that the level of welfare of the animals may have on the farm outcome. This represents an added value for farmers as animals in good welfare conditions means reduced costs and increased production efficiency, as well as being an ethical and responsible attitude.
Material from the demonstration (as seen in the picture) can be downloaded below!
Basically, there were no major obstacles in implementing this innovation on the farm. The identification of possible animal welfare problems by the participants proved to be easy to apply for people used to working with cattle.
The monitoring through the application of the Welfare Quality protocol allows, through operator training, to identify problems early and correctly. No additional costs have been identified, other than the need to train the operator. Having a trained operator will allow for example the early identification of animals with health problems, and call for veterinary assistance, which will allow for a reduction in costs due to intervention at the right time.
Participating farmers stated, that they would definitely recommend this innovation to another farmer. For the reasons already identified, this tool allows to improve production efficiency and get better results from your farm.
- Link to the research innovation demonstrated: https://hub.bovine-eu.net/simple-labour-saving-tools-to-measure-and-communicate-high-animal-welfare-standards-on-beef-farms/online-training-animal-welfare-indicators-for-fattening-cattle