Farm animal well-being Farm animal well-being

Because farm animal
well-being works.

Porto (Portugal)

14th Expert Forum on Farm Animal Well-being, Porto (Portugal), 2024

13th Expert Forum on Farm Animal Well-being, Edinburgh (Scotland), 2022

13th Expert Forum on Farm Animal Well-being, Edinburgh (Scotland), 2022

Connections between animals and their human caretakers play a significant role in the overall welfare of both the livestock and their stewards. For people caring for cattle, it is important to understand how their everyday interactions can affect the health, welfare and performance of the animals.

In June 2022, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health will hold the 13th edition of its International Expert Forum on Farm Animal Well-Being in Edinburgh, UK. Over the years, this Forum has become a recognised discussion platform which facilitates communication and transfer of knowledge between veterinarians and animal scientists from around the world. The diversity of backgrounds encourages a multidisciplinary exchange of ideas.

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12th Expert Forum on Farm Animal Well-being, Prague (Czech Republic), 2019

In June 2019, over 100 welfare specialists and vet practitioners from 17 countries participated in the 12th Boehringer Ingelheim Expert Forum on Farm Animal Well-Being in Prague, Czech Republic. This edition focused on how welfare can be improved across the supply chain to better meet public expectations and specifically asked: ‘Do consumers and citizens want the same thing?’


11th Expert Forum on Farm Animal Well-being, Sydney (Australia), 2018

Over 100 delegates from 10 countries participated in the 11th Boehringer Ingelheim Expert Forum on Farm Animal Well-Being, held in Australia for the first time. Understanding what truly constitutes well-being and then ensuring it is properly measured is key to driving improvements in well-being of farm livestock, according to the international group of experts who met in Sydney.

The focus of this year’s event was the intersection between animal well-being and international trade; the discussion centred not only on how to recognise and measure well-being, but also on how this relates to introducing standards in a global market where appetite and capacity for change is highly variable.


10th Expert Forum on Farm Animal Well-being, Rome (Italy), 2017

At the 10th anniversary Boehringer Ingelheim Expert Forum on Farm Animal Well-Being in Rome on June 8 and 9, the company has invited a multinational, multidisciplinary group to share ideas on promoting better standards of welfare for livestock all around the world. Over the past decade, this series of conferences has repeatedly shown that paying attention to animal welfare is the right thing to do - and that it can also offer significant economic benefits. This 10th annual meeting offers a timely opportunity to review the progress made over the past decade in our understanding of how to improve the lives of farm livestock - and look forward to where these scientific advances will take us next.


9th Expert Forum on Farm Animal Well-being, Montreal (Canada), 2016

Improving animal welfare is a priority within the dairy and beef industries, however, it is important for producers to recognize that it may not always be possible to realize an economic benefit from these actions. “Sometimes the economic outcome of an animal welfare measurement is redundant because it is just the right thing to do,” said Dr. Tye Perrett, Managing Partner with Feedlot Health Management Services, speaking at the 9th Boehringer Ingelheim Expert Forum on Farm Animal Well-being. “If it is the right thing to do, just do it. Use economics to drive other decisions.” This concept, and other strategies for better welfare that improve animal health and farm economics, were the focus of the expert forum held in Montreal, Canada in June 2016. More than 80 international delegates heard presentations by North American and European experts and veterinary researchers on a range of topics including the role of big data in improving animal welfare on dairy farms, social license in agriculture, and animal welfare audits.


8th Expert Forum on Farm Animal Well-being, Niagara-on-the-Lake (Canada), 2015

While the dairy and beef industries focus on calves meeting key health measurements, animal behaviour and veterinary research suggests that farmers and veterinarians should consider the well-being of the calves a basic component of health. This and other factors impacting calf health were the focus of the 8th Boehringer Ingelheim Expert Forum on Farm Animal Well-being held in Ontario, Canada in June 2015. The Forum brought together dairy and beef calf researchers, practitioners and other industry professionals to present new information on how to better manage the early stages of a calf’s life, especially from a calf’s perspective. Speakers also talked about new ways of measuring and mitigating pain, sustainable agriculture, consumer attitudes towards farming, and approaches to communicate learnings to farmers.


7th Expert Forum on Farm Animal Well-being, Madrid (Spain), 2014

Pain was listed as a top concern for cow welfare by veterinarians across nations – whether caused by lameness, mastitis or other disease. This came out of the animated group discussions led by farm animal welfare specialists Nina von Keyserlingk and Daniel Weary (University of British Columbia, Canada) during the Boehringer Ingelheim Expert Forum on Farm Animal Well-being, held in Madrid on 13 June. Stress and behavioural restriction, whether due to inadequate housing, overstocking or management, were also listed as high priority concerns.
Veterinarians should take the lead in raising awareness and education, participants suggested. The identification of so-called “win-win” situations – on-farm welfare problems that could be easily improved and that would lead to increased productivity – were mentioned as a way to convince farmers. The theme of this year’s Forum, attended by over 70 practitioners from 18 countries, was ‘Pain and stress around parturition: the impact on mothers and their offspring’.