In order to assess whether household farms may provide higher welfare standards than industrial enterprises, the Welfare Quality® scheme was used. It is based on 26 measures summarised in 12 criteria, 4 principles and a final score ranging from 0 to 100. Five household and five industrial enterprises were monitored. The former were characterised by indoor concrete floor, access to pasture, and a lower number of heads (mean±SD=27.75±22.15); the latter had indoor slatted floor, no access to pasture, and a higher number of heads (110.50±44.89).Comparisons between the two housing systems concerning welfare measures, criteria and principles were performed using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test. The distributions of final scores over the four Welfare Quality® categories (“excellent”, “enhanced”, “acceptable”, “not classified”) were assessed using the 2 test. Household farms showed values higher than industrial farms for the following criteria: ease of movement (Z=2.19, P<0.05), positive emotional state (Z=2.06, P<0.05), expression of other behaviours (Z=2.82, P<0.01) and absence of pain induced by management procedures (Z=3.48, P<0.001). These results can be attributed to the lack of pasture, the lower percentage exploration (Z=2.82, P<0.01) and the higher percentage of tail docked pigs (Z=-3.51, P<0.001) observed in industrial farms. Higher percentages of dirty animals (Z=-2.53, P<0.01), scouring (Z=-2.20, P<0.05) and mortality (Z=-2.04, P<0.05) were also observed in industrial farms. At principle level, household farms showed higher scores than industrial farms for “good housing” (Z=2.19, P<0.05), “good health” (Z=2.19, P<0.01) and “appropriate behaviour” (Z=1.93, P<0.05). As to final score, no farms were rated either “excellent” or “not classified”; albeit not significantly, household farms showed a higher percentage of scores “enhanced” (75%) as compared with industrial farms (50%). Therefore, the Welfare Quality® scheme was able to detect differences between farms despite of the low sample size; in addition, at least at principle level, household enterprises showed higher welfare scores than industrial farms.

Application of the Welfare Quality® protocol to small finishing pig farms

DE ROSA, GIUSEPPE;
2012

Abstract

In order to assess whether household farms may provide higher welfare standards than industrial enterprises, the Welfare Quality® scheme was used. It is based on 26 measures summarised in 12 criteria, 4 principles and a final score ranging from 0 to 100. Five household and five industrial enterprises were monitored. The former were characterised by indoor concrete floor, access to pasture, and a lower number of heads (mean±SD=27.75±22.15); the latter had indoor slatted floor, no access to pasture, and a higher number of heads (110.50±44.89).Comparisons between the two housing systems concerning welfare measures, criteria and principles were performed using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test. The distributions of final scores over the four Welfare Quality® categories (“excellent”, “enhanced”, “acceptable”, “not classified”) were assessed using the 2 test. Household farms showed values higher than industrial farms for the following criteria: ease of movement (Z=2.19, P<0.05), positive emotional state (Z=2.06, P<0.05), expression of other behaviours (Z=2.82, P<0.01) and absence of pain induced by management procedures (Z=3.48, P<0.001). These results can be attributed to the lack of pasture, the lower percentage exploration (Z=2.82, P<0.01) and the higher percentage of tail docked pigs (Z=-3.51, P<0.001) observed in industrial farms. Higher percentages of dirty animals (Z=-2.53, P<0.01), scouring (Z=-2.20, P<0.05) and mortality (Z=-2.04, P<0.05) were also observed in industrial farms. At principle level, household farms showed higher scores than industrial farms for “good housing” (Z=2.19, P<0.05), “good health” (Z=2.19, P<0.01) and “appropriate behaviour” (Z=1.93, P<0.05). As to final score, no farms were rated either “excellent” or “not classified”; albeit not significantly, household farms showed a higher percentage of scores “enhanced” (75%) as compared with industrial farms (50%). Therefore, the Welfare Quality® scheme was able to detect differences between farms despite of the low sample size; in addition, at least at principle level, household enterprises showed higher welfare scores than industrial farms.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/502827
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