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The Roles of Industry and Science, Including Genetic Selection, in Improving Animal Welfare Donald M. Broom Centre for Animal Welfare and Anthrozoology Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB 3 0 ES, U. K. dmb [email protected] ac. uk
Plan of talk. 1. 2. 3. Changing attitudes to animals - conclusions for industry. Some developments in assessing welfare - conclusions for scientists. Genetic selection as an example of an area where collaboration is needed. The welfare of an individual is its state as regards its attempts to cope with its environment. Welfare refers to live animals, including humans, and is a characteristic of an individual animal. Animal protection is something humans do. In recent years, public concern about animal welfare has grown rapidly.
Members of the European Parliament receive more letters on animal welfare than on any other subject. These concerns and actions in Europe are echoed in many other countries. Animal welfare research, national committees and laws are developing around the world. The O. I. E. is now playing a part in this. Multinational food companies are also having important effects.
Factors affecting the welfare of animals include: the attitudes of the people who care for, or otherwise interact with them, the conditions and procedures used to keep and manage them. These are affected by: laws, codes of practice and the knowledge and beliefs of the people, hence by education.
Attitudes to animals Altered by: tradition, knowledge about animals and their welfare, what other people say.
Organisations producing: recommendations, laws, codes of practice. * = relevant in Europe Council of Europe * European Union * Member states of E. U. * Food retail companies Food producing companies Animal protection societies, especially Freedom Foods*(RSPCA)
Council of Europe:  Standing Committee of the European Convention on the Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes.  Ad hoc committees on Conventions on slaughter, transport, laboratory animals, companion animals. The Recommendations are influential within all European countries but are also used by other countries when considering legislation.
E. U. laws are based on scientific information E. U. Scientific Veterinary Committee, Animal Welfare Section (1990 -1997) E. U. Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare (1997 -2003) European Food Safety Authority Scientific Panel on Animal Health and Welfare (2003 -present)
Some E. U. Directives and Regulations for example those relevant to cattle welfare 98/58 (20/7/98) Concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes. (1974) 74/577 Stunning before slaughter. (1993) On the protection of animals at the time of slaughter or killing. (1991 -2007) Laying down minimum standards for the protection of calves. (1990 - 2007) Concerning the protection of animals during transport.
Example of events leading to an E. U. Directive: the welfare of calves 1960 -present Public view that close confinement and inadequate diet lead to poor welfare e. g. Ruth Harrison 1964 Animal Machines. 1970 s and 1980 s Research results giving evidence for this from Andreae et al, Broom, Friend and Dellmeier, van Putten, Webster et al, Wierenga, and de Wilt. 1988 Recommendation concerning cattle from the Council of Europe 1989 Committee. 1990 s Further welfare research: effects of diet, confinement, space in groups, design of systems - Albright et al, Blum et al, Ketelaar de Lauwere, Le Neindre and Veissier, Müller and Schlichting, Trunkfield and Broom.
Example of events leading to an E. U. Directive: the welfare of calves 1990 Report to European Commission by group of scientists. 1991 Directive 91/629/EEC laying down minimum standards for the 1992 protection of calves. (Brief but specified space allowanceand required report 1993 from E. U. Scientific Veterinary Committee which Ministers would act on). 1994 -1995 requested. Public pressure for action, scientific report
Example of events leading to an E. U. Directive: the welfare of calves 1995 Report on the welfare of calves by E. U. Scientific Veterinary 1996 Committee, Animal Welfare Section. 1996 Proposal for legislation from European Commission staff and scientific report considered by Ministry staff from each member state. Revised proposal discussed by Ministers from each Member state. 1997 Directive 97/2/EC amending 91/629/EEC: phase in - 2006. 2005 EU Scientific Panel on Animal Health and Animal Welfare asked to 2006 prepare a report: 2006 produced.
No Directives whose effect is to improve animal welfare have been rescinded and there are no plans to do so. (For example that banning battery cages for hens. ) The public pressure is for there to be better welfare for animals. Conclusion: countries, or groups of countries need a committee of independent animal welfare scientists.
What do we need from animal welfare law? Most people would say that the law should prevent people from causing poor welfare in animals: i. e. pain, fear, other suffering, severe disease, distress caused by environments which do not meet the animals’ needs, or distress caused by the genetic selection used in breeding. Some might refer only to animals which humans keep. In reality, the way that a law might do this is principally by acting as a deterrent. People who disobey the law are punished and this becomes known. However, explicit or implicit in a law there will be a principle which guides the actions of those aware of the law. Laws should provide guidance, not just a mechanism to punish.
U. K. The Animal Welfare Law refers to animals kept by man for enjoyment, sport, companionship or farming purposes. It refers directly to animal welfare. It also refers to people having a duty of care to the animals covered.
The effectiveness of laws and codes depends on the attitudes of people to them and on the efficacy of enforcement. Some laws are readily enforceable. Slaughter…. . Transport…. . Housing of animals. Number of enforcement officers. Diligence and honesty of enforcement officers. Laws and codes are needed.
Codes of practice concerning animal welfare, demanded by consumers, are now used by many E. U. supermarket companies and by several fast food chains, including Mc. Donalds, Burger King etc. The greatest effects on the welfare of animals used for commercial reasons, like food production, come from retailers’ codes.
Farmers often sell their products to single purchasers who represent large retail chains or wholesale distribution companies. The increase in direct selling to supermarket and fast food chains has increased retailer power. They can set conditions for animal production and enforce these by inspection. The standards set by the chains are determined by what people will buy and by their reputation with the public. They are generally based on scientific evidence about animal welfare. Public image Bad publicity Letters from consumers Enforcement of standards Welfare of animals on farms
In the long term, education has a great effect on human attitudes. People with more knowledge of animal welfare science, and of the physiology, behaviour, and cognitive ability of animals are more likely to treat them in a way that ensures that their welfare is good. 20 years ago there were about six people teaching animal welfare in veterinary, agriculture, biology and psychology courses. Now there are hundreds. For example, 32 in Brazil. People in many countries know from books and television programmes that farm and companion animals are clever.
The attitudes of consumers to agricultural products are altered by their ideas about animal abilities and about the welfare of the animals. The reactions of consumers to believing that something is wrong: some to stop eating meat, some to eat some animal products but not others, some to write to retail organisations to tell them what the consumer will not buy.
What would be the cost to the meat industry of a 5% increase in vegetarianism? What would be the cost of 20% of consumers switching to another meat ? The cost of improving the image of an industry so that it could be said that the welfare of our animals is good, would be small in comparison with either of these. Use animal welfare science in order to be credible. Importance of national animal welfare committee: independent scientists. For the industry: be proactive.
Those involved in animal industries should be aware of public attitudes to the animals, changes in these and likely future changes in these. To be prepared and to maintain or improve the image of the industry, there should be staff and means of communication to facilitate keeping in touch with (1) new scientific developments in and (2) public attitudes to animal welfare and other factors affecting sustainability of industry practices. There should be good liaison with animal protection societies and scientists. In order to establish good laws and codes of practice, those in animal industry should encourage formulation using good quality scientific information. If an industry tries to block new laws, its image may be tarnished by doing so. Industry should fund independent research in animal welfare science.
Scientists should: be objective in their work, separating the science from the ethics; use good methodology for welfare assessment; attempt to develop new methodologies; publish their work whatever the result; and some scientists should ensure that new results become known in the relevant industries and government departments.
Both scientists and industry should aim to use genetic selection to reverse some recent trends and improve animal welfare. This can’t be done by either alone and is one of the biggest problems for farm animal, companion animal and laboratory animal welfare.
Production levels and animal welfare � Improved plant production: one of the two greatest achievements of the last century. Improved animal production: almost as great a success.
� Average energy corrected milk yield for Swedish dairy cows over time (from Oltenacu and Algers 2005).
Changes in dairy cows in Austria 1988 2007 Holstein Simmental 5500 4500 8200 6600 Mean number of parities in culled Holsteins Simmental 3. 6 3. 95 3. 3 3. 9 Mean number of calves 3. 59 3. 98 3. 26 3. 87 Mean yield per lactation (kg) Holsteins Simmental (data from Knaus 2009)
Examples of extent of welfare problems in dairy cows Leg and foot problems: 35 - 59 cases per 100 cows per annum Mastitis: 40 cases per 100 cows per annum Reason given for culling for 36. 5% of cows culled was failure to conceive
Positive correlations between milk production level and indicators of poor welfare Milk yield from 33, 732 lactation records: calving interval days to first service mastitis foot problems milk fever 0. 50 0. 43 0. 21 0. 29 0. 19 ± ± ± 0. 06 0. 08 0. 06 0. 11 0. 06 (from Pryce et al, 1997)
� Average calving interval and proportion of cows alive at 48 mo of age over time for Holstein cows in the Northeastern United States (from Oltenacu and Algers 2005).
Effects of bovine somatotrophin (BST) usage on dairy cow Welfare Increase in risk of clinical mastitis above risk in non-treated cows as demonstrated using meta-analyses or large data-sets: five studies 15 -45%, 23%, 25%, 42%, 79%. Foot disorders: large scale study with multiparous cows showed 2. 2 times more cows affected and 2. 1 times more days affected. Pregnancy rate dropped from 82% to 73% in multiparous cows and from 90% to 63% in primiparous cows. Multiple births substantially increased. Injection site: severe reactions in at least 4% of cows. (Report of E. U. Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare, adopted 10 th March 1999)
Conclusions Industry has to rapidly change policies relating to animal welfare and other aspects of sustainability. Scientists need to be aware of new developments and communicate. In many areas, for example in the impact of animal genetics on the welfare of the animals, cooperation between industry and scientists is essential.
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