Special Issue "The Future of Farm Animal Welfare"
A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2013)
Prof. Dr. Marian Stamp Dawkins
Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK
Interests: Animal Welfare, Poultry Welfare, Broiler Chickens, Automated Assessment, Animal Consciousness, Bird Vision, Commercial Research
The welfare of farm animals is facing a challenging future. On the one hand, the need to feed a rising human population has led to calls for greater “efficiency” in animal production, potentially putting animal welfare at risk. On the other hand, new technology is providing opportunities for monitoring the health and well-being of farm animals that could improve their welfare in an unprecedented way.
Original manuscripts that address either or both of these issues are invited for this special issue, particularly those that describe (1) new technologies for assessing and measuring animal welfare, (2) the impact of new technologies on animal welfare, both positive and negative (3) means of addressing the potential conflicts between animal welfare, environmental protection and feeding humans.
Prof. Dr. Marian Stamp Dawkins
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF. English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.
- animal welfare
- automated assessment of welfare
- sustainable farming
Animals 2013, 3(2), 401-415; doi:10.3390/ani3020401
Received: 25 March 2013; in revised form: 13 May 2013 / Accepted: 14 May 2013 / Published: 15 May 2013| Download PDF Full-text (99 KB) | Download XML Full-text
Review: Modelling Farm Animal Welfare
Animals 2013, 3(2), 416-441; doi:10.3390/ani3020416
Received: 22 March 2013; in revised form: 14 May 2013 / Accepted: 14 May 2013 / Published: 16 May 2013| Download PDF Full-text (135 KB) | Download XML Full-text
Review: Exploration of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis to Improve Animal Welfare by Means of Genetic Selection: Lessons from the South African Merino
Animals 2013, 3(2), 442-474; doi:10.3390/ani3020442
Received: 28 February 2013; in revised form: 6 May 2013 / Accepted: 13 May 2013 / Published: 17 May 2013| Download PDF Full-text (232 KB) | Download XML Full-text
Article: The Prospect of Market-Driven Improvements in Animal Welfare: Lessons from the Case of Grass Milk in Denmark
Animals 2013, 3(2), 499-512; doi:10.3390/ani3020499
Received: 16 April 2013; in revised form: 28 May 2013 / Accepted: 29 May 2013 / Published: 4 June 2013| Download PDF Full-text (93 KB) | Download XML Full-text
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
Type of Paper: Article
Title: Towards Livestock Production in the 21st Century: A Perfect Storm Averted?
Authors: 1 Christopher M. Wathes, Heather Maggs, Madeleine L. Campbell and Henry Buller
Affiliation: 1 The Royal Veterinary College, University of London, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL9 7TA, UK; E-Mail: email@example.com; 2 Department of Geography, University of Exeter, Amory Building, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4RJ, UK
Abstract: There is a school of thought that future demand for meat and other products of farm animals is unsustainable for several reasons, including greenhouse gas emissions, especially from ruminants; standards of farm animal health and welfare, especially when farm animals are kept intensively; efficiency of conversion by livestock of solar energy into (human) food, particularly by pigs and poultry; water availability and usage for all types of agricultural production, including livestock; and human health and consumption of meat, eggs and milk. Demand for meat is forecast to rise as a result of global population growth and increasing affluence. These issues buttress Sir John Beddington’s impending “perfect storm” of food shortages, scarce water and insufficient energy: this will coincide with a global population of about 9 billion people in approximately 2030. This paper examines global demand for meat, eggs and milk and the associated issues of animal ethics; the role of the agricultural engineer; and sustainable intensification. In the UK, we suggest that though non-ruminant farming may become unsustainable, ruminant agriculture will continue to prosper because cows, sheep and goats utilize grass and other herbage that cannot be consumed directly by humans, especially on land that is unsuitable for other purposes. However, the demand for meat and other livestock-based food in BRIC countries is often for pork, eggs and chicken from grain-fed pigs and poultry. The consequences of Beddington’s perfect storm are beginning to be incorporated in long-term business planning by retailers and others. Nevertheless, marketing sustainable animal produce will require considerable innovation and flair in public and private policies if marketing messages are to be optimised and consumer behaviour modified.
Type of Paper: Article
Title: Animals as Key to Solve Sustainability Conflicts in Animal Husbandry Systems
Authors: H.J.E. (Ellen) van Weeghel 1,2,* and Peter W.G. Groot Koerkamp 1,2
Affiliation: 1 Wageningen UR Livestock Research, P.O. box 65, 8200 AB Lelystad, The Netherlands; 2 Wageningen University, Farm Technology Group, P.O. box 317, 6700 AH Wageningen, The Netherlands; E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: Modern animal husbandry systems face the challenge to make a transition towards more sustainable production. Currently there are problems on all three domains of sustainability: people, planet and profit. It seems only possible to be good or ‘less bad’ on one sustainability domain at the time. Taking social, economic and environmental sustainability simultaneously into account is seen as a hard to achieve ideal. According to the current paradigm conflicts between the different sustainability aspects, such as animal welfare and health, human welfare and health and environment, are inevitable. When the different challenges are addressed and solved separately, we experience almost always that the solution will contradict and lead to negative consequences on other sustainability goals. A structural change of current animal husbandry systems is needed to avoid these sustainability conflicts. We hypothesize that by applying a structured and holistic design methodology, that stimulates a different way of thinking and doing design, the dominating sustainability conflicts between humans, animals and the environment can be circumvented. The objective of this research is to apply a new design methodology, produce knowledge, deliver improved technology and generate experience to develop new husbandry systems for sustainable animal-based food production.
Type of Paper: Article
Title: Social Networks and Welfare in Future Farm Animal Management and Automation
Authors: Paul Koene 1,* and Bert Ipema 2
Affiliation: 1 Animal Welfare and 2 Farm Systems Wageningen UR Livestock Research, P.O. Box 65, 8200 AB Lelystad, The Netherlands; E-Mail: email@example.com
Abstract: Hale proposed that certain wild animal characteristics favored domestication. Indeed, domestic animals tend to be large, non-selective feeders occupying open habitats. They are socially organized non-territorial species, typically occurring in relatively large groups in their natural environments. Such grouping of animals has costs and benefits. A strong social network is needed to maintain the group and cope with many challenges from their environment. In captivity such networks may or may not exist, dependent on actual group size and living conditions. From an evolutionary point of view it may be of advantage to keep animals in the groups with the social networks they are adapted for. Data on the social networks of farm animal species are mostly lacking and are needed to recognize the importance of a network for farm animal species. In addition, deviations of the social networks of animals as for instance an individual that associates increasingly less with a network may give indications of potential problems of health or welfare. Social Network Analysis (SNA) allows to characterize subgroups, transfer of information and individual actions and preferences. Social networks are currently often investigated for several reasons of which social welfare of animals is a promising one. Nearest neighbor distances of farm animal are an indication of density, but also of the social grouping of animal. In many cases as in broilers or laying hens groups are so large that nearest neighbors are probably unknown individuals, making the existence of a real social network doubtful. However, in many cases social networks might be important for fitness, survival and welfare. In chicken simple networks may exist when densities are not too high. We describe small social networks in chicken, horses and veal calves to illustrate the increasing importance of measuring the social network of farm animals. Validation of distance measurements between identified individuals with behavioral observations is shown. We further emphasize the automatic measurement of location and/or interindividual distances for management purposes using data on veal calves. We conclude that social networks are important for the welfare on farm animal species and that automatic recording and follow-up management actions are feasible in the near future.
Last update: 11 April 2013