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Thursday, May 26 • 14:00 - 15:00
How can certification schemes promote 'good life' and improve health?

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Certification schemes that aim to provide an assurance on animal welfare have been developed in many countries. As part of a large collaborative project AssureWel, Bristol has been looking at methods to increase the potential welfare impact of schemes. As part of that work we have developed a set of four best practice principles that should help schemes deliver promotion of positive welfare (good life) and limit harms (minimise poor health outcomes). Firstly the scheme can operate a management system that co-ordinates scheme activities which actively promote improvement in animal welfare within participating farms. This management system should include the following generic steps: plan (establish the objectives including desired outcomes, scheme requirements and monitoring processes), do (implement scheme inspection systems and support structures), check (measure and monitor the process and results) and improve (take action to improve performance). Secondly the scheme should develop progressive resources and outcomes requirements that comply with relevant legislation, encourage the provision of opportunities valued by the animals, promote farm level continuous improvement in important welfare outcomes and require innovation not to compromise welfare goals. Thirdly the scheme should target its assessment and support resources on important welfare concerns. Activities should include assessment of relevant welfare requirements and outcomes, promoting interest amongst farmers in their management, ensuring technical advice is available and insisting on remedial action for those farmers with consistent poor outcomes. Finally by taking an evidence-based, participatory and transparent approach the scheme should also embrace external scrutiny and involvement. These principles certification schemes should help schemes adopt a systematic scheme level continuous improvement approach, as already used in quality and environmental certification schemes, to promote improvement at a farm level. These principles could also inform the development of an international agreed standard that could facilitate trade in higher animal welfare products

avatar for Professor David Main

Professor David Main

Professor of Animal Welfare, University of Bristol
David Main is a Head of Animal Welfare and Behaviour Group and Professor of Animal Welfare at the University of Bristol Veterinary School. His research interests include welfare assessment, intervention strategies to improve welfare and animal welfare education in farm and companion... Read More →

Thursday May 26, 2016 14:00 - 15:00 ACST
Room L3 Adelaide Convention Centre