ICAR/IDF Workshop: Animal-based indicators to promote welfare in dairy cows

09 June 2020
Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

Flyer: ICAR & IDF Workshop on animal welfare indicators

Venue: WTC-Expo in Leeuwarden, 8914 AT Leeuwarden in Room New York 2. More info

Registration: IDF Members willing to attend this workshop for free should contact msanchezmainar@fil-idf.org to check compliance with registration conditions.

Submission of abstracts until 15 March: https://www.icar2020.nl/abstracts/

Content and aim of the workshop:

Animal welfare is a topic that is becoming increasingly important to farmers, consumers and retailers. Sound assessment of welfare on dairy farms requires measures taken on the cows that reliably reflect the different aspects of animal welfare.

Research in recent years has created a large number of indicators of welfare. This research as well as the implementation of welfare indicators is spreading across the world, and it involves research institutes and universities, breeding organizations, and retailers using animal welfare to differentiate their product.

To promote synergies and joint use of animal based welfare indicators as well as to increase reliability and transparency harmonization of such parameters is beneficial. Can we move towards harmonization of welfare indicators for dairy cattle? As an organization that promotes standardization and harmonization in animal recording, ICAR is uniquely placed to attempt this task. This discussion will build on the IDF Guide to Good Animal Welfare in Dairy Production 2.0.

The aim of this workshop is to present background information on the need for animal welfare assessment, the implementation of welfare assessment protocols to assess animal welfare on farms, the potential sources and synergies in uses of the information. Examples of how harmonization of indicators has been achieved will also be presented.

In addition, the workshop will present the DISARM thematic network (Disseminating Innovative Solutions for Antibiotic Resistance Management), an EU initiative focused on communicating best practice cases on animal health and welfare to reduce the need for antimicrobials in livestock farming.

Beside the invited talks, presentation of “Animal welfare recording initiatives” with “focus on animal based indicators” from “different countries” are welcome. The workshop will conclude with a World Café where representatives of different stakeholders involved in welfare recording and use of welfare indicators are invited to express their view and contribute to further steps to be taken toward harmonization of animal welfare indicators worldwide.