Special Issue "The Future of Farm Animal Welfare 2016"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Farm Animals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Paul Koene

Animal Welfare, Wageningen Livestock Research, Wageningen University & Research, De Elst 1, 6708 WD Wageningen, The Netherlands
Website | E-Mail

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is a continuation of a previous issue on the future of the welfare of farm animals (edited by Prof. Marian Stamp Dawkins). The same challenging issues in the field of animal welfare demand our special attention, i.e., the developments of greater human consumption, greater efficiency in animal production, and new technologies for measuring the welfare and health of farm animals. Current and future concerns are: (1) welfare indicators of negative and putative indicators of positive affect, (2) validation of indicators, i.e., stereotypic behaviour, (3) specific issues for farmed species, i.e., feather pecking (chicken), castration (piglets), lameness (cows), and killing (fish), (4) newly farmed species (reptiles, insects, etc.), (5) welfare assessment in commercial and legislative settings, and (6) animal welfare in relation to broad issues as resilience, human population increase, land use, circular economy, and half-earth approaches.

Original manuscripts that address one of the above issues are invited for the current Special Issue, particularly those that describe (1) new technologies and analyses for assessing and measuring animal welfare on farm (for instance big data); (2) the impact of new technologies on animal welfare (for instance robots); and (3) examples of addressing the potential conflicts between land use, feeding humans, environmental protection, and animal welfare.

Dr. Paul Koene
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short 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 thoroughly refereed through a single-blind 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 monthly 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 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (4 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-4
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Other

Open AccessArticle Exploration Feeding and Higher Space Allocation Improve Welfare of Growing-Finishing Pigs
Animals 2017, 7(5), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani7050036
Received: 21 March 2017 / Revised: 22 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
PDF Full-text (1179 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Lack of environmental enrichment and high stocking densities in growing-finishing pigs can lead to adverse social behaviors directed to pen mates, resulting in skin lesions, lameness, and tail biting. The objective of the study was to improve animal welfare and prevent biting behavior
[...] Read more.
Lack of environmental enrichment and high stocking densities in growing-finishing pigs can lead to adverse social behaviors directed to pen mates, resulting in skin lesions, lameness, and tail biting. The objective of the study was to improve animal welfare and prevent biting behavior in an experiment with a 2 × 2 × 2 factorial design on exploration feeding, stocking density, and sex. We kept 550 pigs in 69 pens from 63 days to 171 days of life. Pigs were supplemented with or without exploration feeding, kept in groups of seven (1.0 m2/pig) or nine animals (0.8 m2/pig) and separated per sex. Exploration feeding provided small amounts of feed periodically on the solid floor. Skin lesion scores were significantly lower in pens with exploration feeding (p = 0.028, p < 0.001, p < 0.001 for front, middle, and hind body), in pens with high compared to low space allowance (p = 0.005, p = 0.006, p < 0.001 for front, middle and hind body), and in pens with females compared to males (p < 0.001, p = 0.005, p < 0.001 for front, middle and hind body). Males with exploration feeding had fewer front skin lesions than females with exploration feeding (p = 0.022). Pigs with 1.0 m2 compared to 0.8 m2 per pig had a higher daily gain of 27 g per pig per day (p = 0.04) and males compared to females had a higher daily gain of 39 g per pig per day (p = 0.01). These results indicate that exploration feeding might contribute to the development of a more welfare-friendly pig husbandry with intact tails in the near future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Farm Animal Welfare 2016)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Corporate Reporting on Farm Animal Welfare: An Evaluation of Global Food Companies’ Discourse and Disclosures on Farm Animal Welfare
Animals 2017, 7(3), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani7030017
Received: 29 October 2016 / Revised: 21 February 2017 / Accepted: 28 February 2017 / Published: 6 March 2017
PDF Full-text (4221 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The views that food companies hold about their responsibilities for animal welfare can strongly influence the lives and welfare of farm animals. If a company’s commitment is translated into action, it can be a major driver of animal welfare. The Business Benchmark on
[...] Read more.
The views that food companies hold about their responsibilities for animal welfare can strongly influence the lives and welfare of farm animals. If a company’s commitment is translated into action, it can be a major driver of animal welfare. The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) is an annual evaluation of farm animal welfare-related practices, reporting and performance of food companies. The framework evaluates how close, based on their disclosures, companies are to best practice in three areas: Management Commitment, Governance & Performance and Leadership & Innovation. The BBFAW analysed information published by 68 (2012) and 70 (2013) of the world’s largest food companies. Around 70% of companies acknowledged animal welfare as a business issue. Between 2012 and 2013, the mean BBFAW score increased significantly by 5% (p < 0.001, Wilcoxon Signed-Rank test). However, only 34% (2012) and 44% (2013) of companies published comprehensive animal welfare policies. This increase suggests that global food companies are increasingly aware that farm animal welfare is of interest to their stakeholders, but also that many companies have yet to acknowledge farm animal welfare as a business issue or to demonstrate their approach to farm animal welfare to stakeholders and society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Farm Animal Welfare 2016)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Impact of Stakeholders’ Roles within the Livestock Industry on Their Attitudes to Livestock Welfare in Southeast and East Asia
Animals 2017, 7(2), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani7020006
Received: 4 October 2016 / Revised: 6 January 2017 / Accepted: 20 January 2017 / Published: 25 January 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (218 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Stakeholders in the livestock industry are in a position to make critical choices that directly impact on animal welfare during slaughter and transport. Understanding the attitudes of stakeholders in livestock-importing countries, including factors that motivate the stakeholders to improve animal welfare, can lead
[...] Read more.
Stakeholders in the livestock industry are in a position to make critical choices that directly impact on animal welfare during slaughter and transport. Understanding the attitudes of stakeholders in livestock-importing countries, including factors that motivate the stakeholders to improve animal welfare, can lead to improved trade relations with exporting developed countries and improved animal welfare initiatives in the importing countries. Improving stakeholder attitudes to livestock welfare may help to facilitate the better welfare that is increasingly demanded by the public for livestock. Knowledge of the existing attitudes towards the welfare of livestock during transport and slaughter provides a starting point that may help to target efforts. This study aimed to investigate the animal welfare attitudes of livestock stakeholders (farmers, team leaders, veterinarians, business owners, business managers, and those working directly with animals) in selected countries in E and SE Asia (China, Thailand, Viet Nam, and Malaysia). The factors that motivated them to improve animal welfare (in particular their religion, knowledge levels, monetary gain, the availability of tools and resources, more pressing community issues, and the approval of their supervisor and peers) were assessed for their relationships to stakeholder role and ranked according to their importance. Stakeholder roles influenced attitudes to animal welfare during livestock transport and slaughter. Farmers were more motivated by their peers compared to other stakeholders. Business owners reported higher levels of motivation from monetary gain, while business managers were mainly motivated by what was prescribed by the company for which they worked. Veterinarians reported the highest levels of perceived approval for improving animal welfare, and all stakeholder groups were least likely to be encouraged to change by a ‘western’ international organization. This study demonstrates the differences in attitudes of the major livestock stakeholders towards their animals’ welfare during transport and slaughter, which advocacy organisations can use to tailor strategies more effectively to improve animal welfare. The results suggest that animal welfare initiatives are more likely to engage their target audience when tailored to specific stakeholder groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Farm Animal Welfare 2016)

Other

Jump to: Research

Open AccessOpinion Mutilating Procedures, Management Practices, and Housing Conditions That May Affect the Welfare of Farm Animals: Implications for Welfare Research
Animals 2017, 7(2), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani7020012
Received: 31 October 2016 / Revised: 15 February 2017 / Accepted: 15 February 2017 / Published: 21 February 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1935 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A number of mutilating procedures, such as dehorning in cattle and goats and beak trimming in laying hens, are common in farm animal husbandry systems in an attempt to prevent or solve problems, such as injuries from horns or feather pecking. These procedures
[...] Read more.
A number of mutilating procedures, such as dehorning in cattle and goats and beak trimming in laying hens, are common in farm animal husbandry systems in an attempt to prevent or solve problems, such as injuries from horns or feather pecking. These procedures and other practices, such as early maternal separation, overcrowding, and barren housing conditions, raise concerns about animal welfare. Efforts to ensure or improve animal welfare involve adapting the animal to its environment, i.e., by selective breeding (e.g., by selecting “robust” animals) adapting the environment to the animal (e.g., by developing social housing systems in which aggressive encounters are reduced to a minimum), or both. We propose adapting the environment to the animals by improving management practices and housing conditions, and by abandoning mutilating procedures. This approach requires the active involvement of all stakeholders: veterinarians and animal scientists, the industrial farming sector, the food processing and supply chain, and consumers of animal-derived products. Although scientific evidence about the welfare effects of current practices in farming such as mutilating procedures, management practices, and housing conditions is steadily growing, the gain in knowledge needs a boost through more scientific research. Considering the huge number of animals whose welfare is affected, all possible effort must be made to improve their welfare as quickly as possible in order to ban welfare-compromising procedures and practices as soon as possible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Farm Animal Welfare 2016)
Figures

Figure 1

Back to Top