Welfare Quality®: Successful workshop in Spain

On the 24th of March 2009 a Welfare Quality® programme for stakeholders was held in Spain. The dedicated meeting `Integración del bienestar animal en la cadena alimentaria: evaluación en granja e información al consumidor´ was organised during the IMAGA2009 exhibition in Zaragoza.
Tuesday 28 April 2009 (9 years 10 months 22 days ago)
The background, objectives and research programme of Welfare Quality® were presented, as well as two examples of the research results on ´Practical Strategies to Improve Welfare on Farm´. The Welfare Quality® assessment system on farm and at slaughter was carefully explained resulting in an inspired discussion about the four principles and 12 criteria of ´Good Farm Animal Welfare´.

Antonio Velarde described the research carried out to assess the validity, repeatability and feasibility of the selected measures. Subsequently, the Welfare Quality® assessment system developed for dairy and beef cattle, veal calves, sows, fattening pigs, laying hens and broilers was presented. The workshop finished with a fruitful discussion about the possible applications and implementation of the assessment system, with special emphasis on its implementation for advisory and certification purposes. The attendees found the assessment system a valid tool to assess welfare and they agreed with the need to use animal-based measures.

During the discussion, an issue was raised about labelling animal welfare-friendly products; it was questioned whether consumers would understand this kind of labelling. Another concern expressed that, considering the current global crisis, it might not be a good time to include added value to products (resulting in price increase). The organisers of the workshop were Antonio Velarde and Antoni Dalmau from IRTA and Xavier Manteca from UAB.

During the remainder of 2009, Welfare Quality® will be presented at several shows and fairs:
- Interfood in Sweden in May;
- Agraria in Austria in September;
- EuroTier in Germany in September; and
- Sommet élevage in France in October.
These events are targeted at farmers and animal breeding organisations, the food industry, retailers, and all are open to the general public.


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