Forum :: 13th Expert Forum on Farm Animal Well-being

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

13th Expert Forum on Farm Animal Well-being

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.



Take a look at our summary video of the event!


LECTURES

Emma Roe

Food and Animal Welfare

Emma Roe

University of Exeter, UK

Animal welfare offers a vital lens through which to explore the economies, culture and politics of food. From the practicalities and limitations of establishing a basic standard of care for livestock, to the ethics of selling welfare as a product in the supermarket, it is worth exploring how animal welfare is defined, advocated, assessed and implemented by farmers, veterinarians, distributors, and consumers.

Christopher H. Knight

Reflection on Computing Assisted Livestock Management and Cattle Well-being

Christopher H. Knight

BreatheScience, UK

Sensor technologies could revolutionise global dairy farming in a positive way. There are significant barriers but also benefits to animal wellbeing, profitability and sustainability that could result if the technologies are implemented to a significant extent.

Prof. Cathy Dwyer

How can we assess positive welfare in ruminants?

Prof. Cathy Dwyer

Animal Welfare SRUC, UK

Several indicators have been developed to assess farm animal welfare, and several specific protocols have been proposed for welfare evaluation. Most of the indicators, however, focus on the negative aspects of animal welfare (e.g., lameness, lesions, diseases, etc.). To guarantee high welfare standards, animals should also experience positive conditions that allow them to live a life that is really worth living.

Prof. Xavier Manteca

Which sensor technology for Cattle Welfare Assessment?

Prof. Xavier Manteca

School of Veterinary Science Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain

The assessment of the welfare of cows involves audits that are time-consuming and expensive, as welfare is a complex multidimensional phenomenon. Integration of valid and reliable precision livestock farming (PLF) technologies is needed to allow for real-time assessment of farm animal well-being. Data collected during on-farm monitoring has high potential to assess different aspects of cattle welfare, and currently available technologies can provide animalbased welfare information.

Dr. David Beggs

Do cows think grass tastes good?

Dr. David Beggs

University of Melbourne, Australia

In contrast to the intensive nature of dairy production, where cows may be housed in sheds or feedlots for large parts of their lives, most Australian dairy cattle spend at least part of the day grazing or foraging on pasture. When pictures of pretty scenes with cows eating grass are shown to consumers, they associate this with good animal welfare. However, beautiful scenery can be misleading, and there are animal welfare challenges associated with pasture-based farming, especially as herds increase in size.

Dr. Jennifer Van Os

What would a cow prefer?

Dr. Jennifer Van Os

University of Wisconsin-Madison Wisconsin, USA

Housing facilities, management and husbandry practices, and handling…there are many ways in which farmers can affect the welfare of the animals in their care. Some management systems are designed to be convenient for our human uses, but how do we make sure farm animals have the best lives possible? Studying the biology and behavior of dairy cows may help us better meet the animals’ needs while making farms more efficient and consumers less wary.

Prof. Marie Haskell

Can you see I´m in pain?

Prof. Marie Haskell

Animal Welfare Science SRUC, UK

Detection of emotional states through automatic decoding of facial expressions is an emerging area of investigation with potential applications in health care. The variation in facial expression can provide a clue for occurrence of pain and help when the patients cannot verbally describe or rate their level of pain. But how can this work with cows?

Dr. Maria Camila Ceballos

Human–animal interactions: effects, challenges and progress

Dr. Maria Camila Ceballos

University of Calgary, Canada

Interactions between animals and their human caretakers play a significant role in the overall welfare of both the livestock and their stewards. In modern farming systems, the quality of human-animal interactions can have a profound impact on the productivity and welfare of farm animals. It is influenced by the attitude and behaviour of stockpeople, as well as their technical skills, knowledge, job motivation, commitment and job satisfaction.

Dr. Elena de Torres

How stockpeople attitudes and behaviors can positively impact the welfare of cattle

Dr. Elena de Torres

Animal Universidad de La República de Uruguay

Stockpeople’s attitude towards their animals is directly associated with their behavior during handling and rough practices can negatively affect animal welfare, increasing animals’ fear towards humans. On the other hand, when the animals experience positive interactions with humans, they become less fearful, which, in turn, facilitates handling.

PROCEEDINGS

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