Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology
https://jabbnet.com/article/doi/10.31893/2318-1265jabb.v5n4p132-138
Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology
Research Article Open Access

Implementation of the Welfare Quality® protocol in dairy farms raised on extensive, semi-intensive and intensive systems in Costa Rica

Adalinda Hernández, Sandra Estrada König, Juan Jose Romero Zúñiga, Carlos Salvador Galina, Charlotte Berg, Mariano Rojas Gonzales, Alice DiGiacinto Villalobos

Downloads: 0
Views: 282

Abstract

Most developing countries are situated in non-extreme climates; this characteristic facilitates outdoor farming the whole year around and animals are kept at pasture most of the day. This characteristic may influence the feasibility of some animal welfare assessment protocols developed for intensive systems. With the objective of testing the Welfare Quality® protocol for dairy cattle in Costa Rica, 60 farms in three different farming systems were assessed. The farms were visited only once to assess the observational part and workers were interviewed to obtain the information related to the management and health of the animals. Descriptive statistics for continuous variables was performed; a one-way Anova and a multiple Student’s t-test were applied for a comparison between groups of farms, in general and by each aspect. The farms were grouped according to the management system: Intensive, semi-intensive and extensive.  None of the groups reached an excellent welfare state in all three principles of the protocol (good feeding, good health and appropriate behaviour), and only the extensive group achieved an excellent welfare state in good housing. The principle of good health was the lower for the three systems and on average all farms were placed below a neutral welfare state. The protocol underlines differences between the farms studied. There might be a need for modifications of the assessment protocol directed towards specific features in extensive and semi-intensive farms. Indicators of well-being for this type of enterprises are in demand.

Keywords

animal welfare, Bos taurus, cattle, tropics

References

Andreasen SN, Wemelsfelder F, Sandøe P, Forkman B (2013) The correlation of Qualitative Behavior Assessments with Welfare Quality® protocol outcomes in on-farm welfare assessment of dairy cattle. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 143:9-17. 

Blokhuis HJ (2008) International cooperation in animal welfare: the Welfare Quality ® Project. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 50 (Suppl. 1):S10.

Botreau R, Veissier I, Butterworth A, Bracke MBM, Keeling LJ (2007) Definition of criteria for overall assessment of animal welfare. Animal Welfare 16:225–228. 

Dahlborn K, Åkerlind M, Gustafson G (1998) Water intake by dairy cows selected for high or low milk-fat percentage when fed two forage to concentrate ratios with hay or silage. Swedish Journal of agricultural Research 28:167–176. 

de Vries M, Bokkers EAM, van Schaik G, Botreau R, Engel B, Dijkstra T, de Boer IJM (2013) Evaluating results of the Welfare Quality multi-criteria evaluation model for classification of dairy cattle welfare at the herd level. Journal of Dairy Science 96:6264-6273.  

González-García E, Gourdine JL, Alexandre G, Archimède H, Vaarst M (2012) The complex nature of mixed farming systems requires multidimensional actions supported by integrative research and development efforts. Animal  6:763–777.

Fraser D (2008) Understanding animal welfare. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica  50 (Suppl 1):S1

Frisch JE, Vercoe JE (1984) An analysis of growth of different cattle genotypes reared in different environments. Journal of Agricultural Science 103:137–153. 

Hemsworth PH (2003) Human–animal interactions in livestock production. Applied Animal Behavioural Science 81:185–198. 

Knierim U, Winckler C (2009) On-farm welfare assessment in cattle: validity, reliability and feasibility issues and future perspectives with special regard to the Welfare Quality® approach. Animal Welfare 18:451-458.  

Meyer U, Everinghoff M, Gadeken D, Flachowsky G (2004) Investigations on the water intake of lactating dairy cows.  Livestock Production Science 90:117–121.

Millman ST (2013) Behavioral responses of cattle to pain and implications for diagnosis, management, and animal welfare. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Food Animal Practice 29:47-58.

Moynagh J (2000) EU Regulation and Consumer Demand for Animal Welfare. Ag BioForum 3:107-114.  

Nicholson CF, Blaket JRW, Urbina CI, Lee DR, Fox DG, Van Soest PJ (1994) Economic Comparison of Nutritional Management Strategies for Venezuelan Dual-Purpose Cattle Systems. Journal of Animal Science 72:1680-1696.

Petherick JC (2005) Animal welfare issues associated with extensive livestock production: The northern Australian beef cattle industry. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 92:211-234. 

Petherick JC, Holroyd RG, Doogan VJ, Venus BK (2002) Productivity, carcass and meat quality of lot-fed Bos indicus cross steers grouped according to temperament. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 42:389–398. 

Popescu S, Borda C, Diugan EA, Spinu M, Groza IS, Sandru CD (2013) Dairy cows welfare quality in tie-stall housing system with or without access to exercise. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 55:43.  

Raussi S (2003) Human–cattle interactions in group housing. Applied Animal Behaviour  Science 80:245–262. 

Stafford KJ, Mellor DJ (2005) Dehorning and disbudding distress and its alleviation in calves. The Veterinary Journal 169:337-349.

Vaccaro L, Vaccaro R, Verde O, Mejías H, Romero E (1993) Harmonizing type and environmental level in dual purpose cattle herds in Latin American. World Animal Review 77:15-20.

Voisinet BD, Grandin T, Tatum JD, O’Connor SF, Struthers JJ (1997) Feedlot cattle with calm temperaments have higher average daily gains than cattle with excitable temperaments. Journal of Animal Science 75:892–896. 

Welfare Quality® (2009) Welfare Quality® Assessment Protocol for Cattle. Welfare Quality® Consortium: Lelystad, The Netherlands Winks L (1984) Cattle Growth in the Dry Tropics of Australia, Australian Meat Research Committee review no. 45, Australian Meat Research Committee, Sydney, 43 pp.


Submitted date:
07/10/2017

Reviewed date:
09/07/2017

Accepted date:
09/07/2017

5f92de490e88258d24485d90 jabbnet Articles
Links & Downloads

J Anim Behav Biometeorol

Share this page
Page Sections