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Identification of Suitable Animal Welfare Assessment Measures for Extensive Beef Systems in New Zealand

School of Veterinary Medicine, Massey University, Palmerston North 4471, New Zealand
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Agriculture 2019, 9(3), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9030066
Received: 17 January 2019 / Revised: 9 March 2019 / Accepted: 15 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethology and Animal Welfare)
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Abstract

Farm animal welfare assessment protocols use different measures depending on production systems and the purpose of the assessment. There is no standardized validated animal welfare protocol for the assessment of beef cattle farms in New Zealand, despite the importance of beef exports to the country. The aim of this study was therefore to identify welfare measures that would be suitable for an animal welfare assessment protocol for use in extensive pasture-based cow–calf beef cattle systems in New Zealand. The proposed animal welfare assessment measures were selected from the Welfare Quality protocol and the rangeland-based UC Davis Cow–Calf Health and Handling assessment protocol. Measures that were deemed impractical and/or unsuitable were excluded from the protocol. After testing the applicability of selected measures at one farm, additional measures that were deemed to be practical to undertake in New Zealand were identified and incorporated into the protocol. The intention was to identify animal welfare indicators that were assessable in the yard during a single farm visit, a questionnaire guided interview, and a farm resource assessment visit that evaluated cattle health and management. Further testing of the 50 measures that were identified as being appropriate will be undertaken on commercial beef farms to develop a practicable welfare protocol for extensive pasture-based beef systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: welfare assessment; extensive beef; New Zealand welfare assessment; extensive beef; New Zealand
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Kaurivi, Y.B.; Laven, R.; Hickson, R.; Stafford, K.; Parkinson, T. Identification of Suitable Animal Welfare Assessment Measures for Extensive Beef Systems in New Zealand. Agriculture 2019, 9, 66.

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