Testing an animal welfare assessment protocol for growing-rabbits reared for meat production based on the welfare quality approach
The objective of the present study is to present an animal welfare assessment protocol for growing‐rabbits for discussion after its implementation in 32 farms from Spain and Portugal. The protocol comprises the principles of Good Feeding, Good Housing, Good Health and Appropriate Behaviour of the Welfare Quality protocols and includes 36 welfare parameters. Overall, the protocol showed a good capacity for discrimination between farms, with scores ranging 44 to 82 points. The protocol seems reliable for the assessment of animal welfare after proper training of auditors. However, for the criteria social behaviour and other behaviours, further research is needed to ascertain if the methodology and times of observation used are appropriate. Some farms had high mortality rates with a low prevalence of health problems, while others had low mortality rates with high prevalence of health problems due to different managements of culling. The protocol should be improved, to impede farms with high mortality rates but a low prevalence of health issues the day of the audit from obtaining better scores than the second type of farms, by limiting the compensation in key measures. The main points to be solved in the growing‐rabbit farms were: to provide more space to the animals; register the number of animals culled accurately; change cervical dislocation for another killing method and provide the farmers training in animal welfare.
663/664 - Aliments i nutrició. Enologia. Olis. Greixos
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Botelho, Nadina, Madalena Vieira-Pinto, Pau Batchelli, Joaquim Pallisera, and Antoni Dalmau. 2020. "Testing An Animal Welfare Assessment Protocol For Growing-Rabbits Reared For Meat Production Based On The Welfare Quality Approach". Animals 10 (8): 1415. doi:10.3390/ani10081415.
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