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Ebooks on agriculture and the applied life sciences from CAB International

CABI Book Chapter

Improving animal welfare: a practical approach.

Book cover for Improving animal welfare: a practical approach.


The third edition of this book contains a total of 20 chapters (including 3 new chapters), including the implementation of an effective animal welfare programme; the importance of measurement to improve the welfare of livestock, poultry and fish; the social and ethical importance of agricultural animal welfare; the implementation of effective animal-based measurements for assessing animal welfare ...


Chapter 12 (Page no: 268)

Animal well-being on organic farms.

This chapter discusses the animal welfare requirements for organic farms; how to select genetic lines of animals that are suitable for organic farming; grazing more than one species on a pasture; understand the differences between EU, US and Canadian organic programmes and the importance of using natural medical treatments to reduce or eliminate antibiotics. Organic livestock rearing uses common sense that is also applicable to conventional farms. By providing the building blocks to health, via clean and dry bedding, well ventilated housing, genetic selection for disease resistance, choice of whether to be inside or outside, feeds appropriate to species' digestive processes, and managed pastureland, both the health and well-being of farm animals can be achieved. In such rearing systems illness is relatively rare, and when disease does occur, there are many naturally derived tools from which to choose rather than just administering antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. This can both stimulate and free a clinician from the false sense that only antibiotics must always be used to treat infections. If more clinicians used alternatives to antibiotics, there would be less antibiotic resistance in general, which is also good for human society. Many principles used in organic agriculture can also help improve biodiversity. Animals are allowed to perform their natural behaviours and they have direct outdoor contact with the land. Successful organic farming requires managers to look at the bigger picture of how their farming system interacts with the local environment. It is important to use breeds of livestock and poultry that are hardy and can resist disease. Some genetic lines of high-producing animals are not recommended for organic systems with lower inputs, although some individuals of high-producing breeds may still do well. Organic requirements such as grazing on pasture can improve animal welfare by reducing lameness, but excellent management is required to control disease and parasites.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 1) An introduction to implementing an effective animal welfare program. Author(s): Grandin, T.
Chapter: 2 (Page no: 19) The importance of measurement to improve the welfare of livestock, poultry, and fish. Author(s): Grandin, T.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 46) Why is agricultural animal welfare important? The social and ethical context. Author(s): Rollin, B.
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 60) Implementing effective animal-based measurements for assessing animal welfare on farms and slaughter plants. Author(s): Grandin, T.
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 84) How to improve livestock handling and reduce stress. Author(s): Grandin, T.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 113) Painful husbandry procedures in livestock and poultry. Author(s): Stafford, K. J. Mellor, D. J. Vogel, K.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 145) The importance of good stockmanship and its benefits to animals. Author(s): Rushen, J. Passillé, M. de
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 160) Animal behavior and emotions - on-farm considerations. Author(s): Edwards-Callaway, L. N. Widowski, T. M.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 181) Improving livestock, poultry, and fish welfare in slaughter plants with auditing programs and animal-based measures. Author(s): Temple, G.
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 210) Recommended on-farm euthanasia practices. Author(s): Woods, J. Shearer, J. K.
Chapter: 11 (Page no: 241) Welfare during transport of livestock and poultry. Author(s): Grandin, T.
Chapter: 13 (Page no: 284) A practical approach on sustainability for supply chain managers of meat, dairy, and other animal proteins. Author(s): Grandin, T.
Chapter: 14 (Page no: 300) The effect of economic factors on the welfare of livestock and poultry. Author(s): Grandin, T.
Chapter: 15 (Page no: 314) Improving animal care and welfare: practical approaches for achieving change. Author(s): Whay, H. R. Mullan, S. Main, D. C.
Chapter: 16 (Page no: 337) Successful technology transfer of behavioral and animal welfare research to the farm and slaughter plant. Author(s): Grandin, T.
Chapter: 17 (Page no: 351) Future of animal welfare - technological innovations for individualized animal care. Author(s): Kaur, U. Voyles, R. M. Donkin, S.
Chapter: 18 (Page no: 363) Technology designed to enhance poultry welfare. Author(s): Daigle, C.
Chapter: 19 (Page no: 376) Precision livestock farming and technology in swine welfare. Author(s): Benjamin, M. Yik, S.
Chapter: 20 (Page no: 385) Practical methods for improving the welfare of equids: horses, donkeys, and mules. Author(s): McLean, A. K. Heleski, C. R. Swanson, J. C.