Animal welfare considerations in small ruminant breeding specifications

Abstract
After satisfying their quantitative and qualitative needs as regards nutrition, consumers in developed countries are becoming more involved in the ethical aspects of food production, especially when it relates to animal products. Social demands for respecting animal welfare in housing systems are increasing rapidly, as is social awareness of human responsibility towards farm animals. Many studies have been conducted on animal welfare measurement in different production systems, but the available information for small ruminants remains insufficient. In this study, a 75 criteria-evaluation tool has been set up on the basis of the five freedoms concept. Animal welfare considerations have been analyzed in 25 documents, including labeling schemes, regulations, and recommendations from different European countries. The results show many differences between regular and organic small ruminant farming standards. Emergency measures are generally lacking. A weak representation of psychological aspects of animal welfare, especially by the current European legislation, is highlighted
Keywords animal welfare  small ruminants  indicators  regulations  specifications
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J. F. Hurnik & Hugh Lehman (1988). Ethics and Farm Animal Welfare. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 1 (4):305-318.
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