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IV. Information and Resources for Animal Welfare Programs

Regional Animal Welfare Strategy (RAWS) Priorities
Farmed Animals
Stray Dog Control

Working Animals/Equids
Animal Experimentation

Regional Animal Welfare Strategy (RAWS) Priorities

Farmed Animals

Business Benchmark on Farmed Animal Welfare (BBFAW)
The first global investor statement on farmed animal welfare. The BBFAW claims to be “the leading global measure of company performance on farm animal welfare”.

The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare 2015 Report includes benchmark questions and scoring, which reflect major aspects of good Animal Welfare practice. The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare 2016 Report is now available. 

The Summary of the Business Benchmark consultations includes the rationale for each of the questions asked, providing helpful background.

The BBFAW states that: “There is growing investor interest in the business risks and opportunities associated with farm animal welfare. However, investors’ ability to make robust comparisons between companies or to use farm animal welfare-related performance in their investment decisions is hampered by a lack of robust reporting by companies and a general absence of tools that enable investors to compare different companies on a consistent basis. The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare is designed to address these challenges.”

European Animal Welfare Platform
The European Animal Welfare Platform carried out EU wide consultations on various farmed animal welfare issues, bringing together different stakeholders in the food chain from across the EU - from farmers, processors, retailers, food producers and NGOs. The issues it prioritized were: Beef and Dairy, Poultry Meat and Eggs, Farmed Fish, Pork. Strategic documents were produced for these welfare issues, providing some background to the welfare problem, describing its impact and frequency of occurrence, and identify existing best practice for dealing with the problem. These can be found on its website.

Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return (FAIRR) Initiative
FAIRR is an initiative that aims to alert investors to the significant material impacts that farm animal welfare issues could have on their portfolio. On the Resources page, there is a series of tools, information booklets and research material on investment risk and opportunities relating to farm animal welfare and factory farming. These include case studies and guidance on considering farm animal welfare in investment decision-making

Welfare Quality®
The Welfare Quality® project was funded by the EU. It focused on integration of animal welfare in the food quality chain: from public concern to improved welfare and transparent quality. The project aimed to accommodate societal concerns and market demands, to develop reliable on-farm monitoring systems, product information systems, and practical species-specific strategies to improve animal welfare. Throughout this Integrated Project efforts were focused on three main species and their products: cattle (beef and dairy), pigs, and poultry (broiler chickens and laying hens).

Global Animal Partnership: 5-Step Animal Welfare Standards
This is a farmed animal welfare certification system, but it incorporates many aspects of good animal welfare practice. It contains multi-tiered animal welfare standards, specifically designed for farmed animal welfare certification. Each set of species-specific welfare standards—from Step 1 to Step 5+ - has its own requirements that must be met before a farm or ranch can receive a 5-Step certificate. The main emphasis of the standards is described as “looking at what the animals are showing us through their physical condition and behavior”. They currently contain standards on beef cattle, broiler chickens, pigs, turkeys. sheep, meat goats, bison and collection point and transport – but they have been awarded a sizeable grant to expand these.

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)

The EU has among the world’s highest standards of animal welfare. The European Commission has mandated EFSA to provide scientific advice on the welfare of a number of farm animal categories. EFSA’s activities in this area are carried out by the Panel on Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW). The Panel provides independent scientific advice to the European Commission, European Parliament and Member States on all aspects of animal health and animal welfare, chiefly for food producing animals. Its scientific opinions focus on helping risk managers identify methods to reduce unnecessary pain, distress and suffering for animals and to increase welfare where possible. The EFSA website contains reports on a wide range of welfare issues affecting animals, such as housing and husbandry systems, nutrition and feeding, transport and stunning and killing methods.

OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains

The OECD and the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) developed this guidance to help enterprises observe standards of responsible business conduct to ensure that their operations do not lead to adverse impacts and contribute to sustainable development. It includes animal welfare (see Page 26).

This tool should help in engagement with OECD member governments in other policy processes and especially with OECD country-based corporations for guidance on how to shape a model policy, how to carry out due diligence and how to mitigate and prevent risks – in all of which animal welfare should be fully integrated according to this document.

Animal Welfare Aspects of Good Agricultural Practice (GAP)

Good Agricultural Practice - Broiler Production.

Good Agricultural Practice – Pig Production
Including film, book, PowerPoint, Lecturers Notes.

Report on the Welfare of EU Dairy Cows
A report from Compassion in World Farming and Eurogroup for Animals which examines the health and welfare problems suffered by dairy cows in the European Union. It includes a strategy/suggestions for improving the welfare of dairy cow

The Welfare of Broiler Chickens in the European Union
This report uses scientific literature to detail the health and welfare issues caused by broiler breeding for fast growth, high stocking densities, lameness, heart disease, catching, transport and slaughter, plus broiler breeders. Includes conclusions on the welfare needs of broilers.

Case Study of Chinese Chicken Farming
The multiple benefits of farming traditional chicken for meat and eggs in China.

Welfare of Pigs in the European Union
Report on the welfare of pigs in the EU in relation to current legislation and enforcement. Includes recommendations on pig welfare.

Practical Alternatives to Sow Stalls
Case studies of good alternative housing systems for breeding sows in the France, Netherlands and UK.

Providing Enrichment for Pigs
Briefing examining ways of providing enrichment for pigs.

The Case Against the Veal Crate
A scientific report which includes alternatives to the veal crate.

Controlling Feather Pecking Without Beak Trimming
Report containing evidence from the scientific literature and practical experience on controlling feather pecking and cannibalism. 

Laying Hen Case Study: UK
Case study account of how beak trimming of laying hens in Columbian Blacktail hens is being phased out in the UK without an increase in feather pecking or cannibalism.

Laying Hens Case Study: Austria
Case study on the successful phasing out of beak trimming in Austria without increasing pecking injuries.

Practical Alternatives to Battery Cages for Laying Hens
Case studies of practical alternatives to the battery cage from Belgium, France, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)/Humane Society International (HSI)
HSUS has a library of subject area white papers on farmed animal issues. 

HSI also has an international library of subject area white papers.

HSUS also has an Institute for Science and Policy, which includes an Animal Studies Repository.

Good practice housing and care

Includes links to resource on housing and care of various species.

Welfare outcome assessment

AssureWel welfare outcome assessment for the major farm animal species

Humane Society International
Humane Society International animal welfare guidelines for smallholder livestock programs

World Animal Protection (formerly World Society for the Protection of Animals)
A case study of high welfare milk production in India

High steaks: a humane and sustainable ‘farm to fork’ beef system in the US (Case study)

Laying firm foundations: humane and large scale production of chickens and eggs in Brazil (Case study)

Animal welfare: adding value to the livestock and meat trade (Case study on livestock in Namibia)

Group Housing: Ways in which sows' welfare is improving productivity of Brazilian pig production (Case study)

Innovative pig farming: boosting yields and improving animal welfare in Colombia (Case study)

Creating greener pastures: Securing livelihoods with small-scale milk production in Kenya (Case study) 

Enhancing rural livelihoods and nutrition through higher welfare poultry production in India (Case study)

Group housing of sows: a Brazilian view on the use of electronic feeding systems (Case study)

The pig industry’s transition to group sow housing: economic and welfare assessments (Policy Briefing jointly prepared with agri benchmark and the Thünen Institute)

FAI Farms
General information

Cage free egg production in Brazil

Organic high welfare duck

Free Range Chicken Farming (South Africa)
Free Range Chicken Farming champions a sustainable alternative to poultry production in South Africa through advocacy, commercial linkages as well as practical information to South African poultry farmers. They also highlight certain initiatives, such as South African supermaket, Woolworths, who switched to completely free range eggs in their stores in 2004

ING Groep N.V. (“ING”)
ING Environmental and Social Risk Framework, includes Section 4.3. which covers Animal Welfare.

International Congress of Meat Science and Technology
Strategies to promote farm animal welfare in Latin America and their effects on carcass and meat quality traits



Animal Transport Guides
A project of the European Commission, DG Sante, Animal Transport Guides aims to improve animal welfare around transport. The project will develop Guides to Good and Better Practice for animals transported for slaughter, fattening and breeding and for cattle, horses, pigs, poultry and sheep transport. The project started in May 2015 and will finish by the end of 2018.

World Horse Welfare
World Horse Welfare provides a selection of horse welfare information and advice

In 2015 World Horse Welfare and Eurogroup for Animals have produced a comprehensive report – Removing the Blinkers - on the Health and Welfare of the Equidae in Europe.

Humane Slaughter Association
The HSA includes welfare during transport within its remit, and organizes workshops and conferences to enable exchange of ideas on best practice for live animal transport. 

It has produced a training package for those involved with the road transport of cattle, sheep and pigs (which includes driver’s pocketbook). This is called The Road Ahead - Livestock Welfare in Transit, and it has been translated into ten languages.

HSA’s Online Guides include:

  • Humane handling of livestock
  • Transport of livestock

HSA’s DVD Packages include:

  • The road ahead – livestock welfare in transit
  • Poultry welfare – taking responsibility
  • To market to market

Eurogroup for Animals and others
Practical Guidelines to Assess Fitness for Transport of Pigs

A consortium of organizations collaborated to produce this practical guidance to help all operators to decide on the suitability of a pig for transport.

Practical guidelines to assess fitness for transport of adult bovines: A stakeholders’ initiative
A consortium of organizations collaborated to produce this practical guidance to help all operators to decide on the suitability of an adult bovine for transport.

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Compassion in World Farming
The Modern Solution to the Exports of Calves

Final report of the Beyond Calf Exports Stakeholders Forum. Realistic and economically viable solutions that could reduce live exports of calves, and case studies.

World Veterinary Assocation (WVA)
Fact Sheet: Welfare of Food Animals During Transport

A one-page fact sheet outlining the problems with transport and how to improve transport conditions. 



Humane Slaughter Association
Humane Slaughter Resources

Printed publications, Online Guides, DVDs and conference/workshop reports.

HSA has a number of useful resources, including:

Printed Publications

These include guidance notes, technical notes and other publications on:

  • Cattle, sheep & goats, and pigs
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Other species

Online Guides

Online guides covering:

  • Electrical waterbath stunning of poultry
  • Practical slaughter of poultry
  • Captive-bolt stunning of livestock
  • Electrical stunning of red meat animals
  • Emergency slaughter
  • Humane killing of livestock using firearms
  • Humane harvesting of fish

Conference and Workshop Reports

Technical Posters

Stray Dog Control

International Companion Animal Management (ICAM)
The ICAM coalition has collected “best practice” on companion animal management. Its resources include: 

  • Humane Dog Population Management Guidance 
  • Are we making a difference? A Guide to Monitoring and Evaluating Dog Population Management Interventions
  • The welfare basis for euthanasia of dogs and cats and policy development
  • Humane cat population management guidance

CAROdog stands for: Companion Animals Responsible Ownership / Dog.

The CAROdog website is an online tool which contains comprehensive information aimed at supporting the development of a European overall strategy on responsible ownership of dogs. CAROdog also organizes workshops and conferences, and coordinates a European working group on Identification and Registration (I&R) of companion animals.


Aquaculture (including Killing)

Business Benchmark on Farmed Animal Welfare
Investor Briefing on Farmed Fish

Humane Slaughter Association
Humane Harvesting of Fish

Compassion in World Farming
Closed Waters: The Welfare of Farmed Fish

A collaborative report with the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA, now World Animal Protection). Includes conclusions/recommendations to address welfare issues.

RSPCA International
RSPCA Assured (previously Freedom Food)

RSPCA Australia
Approved Farming Scheme standards for farmed Atlantic Salmon

National Aquaculture Council (Australia)
Aquatic Animal Welfare Guidelines

International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM)
EU Aquaculture Expert Group, and IFOAM Norms for Production and Processing, which include Aquaculture Production Standards

Global Aquaculture Alliance
Best Aquaculture Practices

Aquaculture Standards

Animal Law, Vol. 20:119
Legislation to Protect the Welfare of Fish

Working Animals/Equids

The Brooke
Welfare Interpretation Manual, offering guidance to field-based staff assessing the welfare of working horses, donkeys and mules in developing countries.
Welfare Assessment, including the Standardised Equine Based Welfare Assessment Tool (SEBWAT)

World Horse Welfare
World Horse Welfare provides a selection of horse welfare information and advice.

The Donkey Sanctuary
The Donkey Sanctuary has a range of resources on donkey health and care, including a Donkey Care Handbook.

The management and welfare of working animals: identifying problems, seeking solutions and anticipating the future

Role, impact and welfare of working (traction and transport) animals

Canadian National Farm Animal Care Council
Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Equines

UK Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affaris
Code of Practice for the Welfare of Horses, Ponies, Donkeys and their Hybrids

World Veterinary Assocation (WVA)
Fact Sheet: Working Equid Welfare

Animal Experimentation

Good practice housing and care

Includes links to resource on housing and care of various species.

Includes resource on human killing of experimental animals.

InterNICHE is the International Network for Humane Education. It supports progressive science teaching and the replacement of animal experiments by working with teachers to introduce alternatives and with students to support freedom of conscience. Its website includes news, information, database access and downloads, and has been developed to meet the needs of teachers and trainers, students, ethics committees, alternatives producers and campaigners internationally. 

National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research
Information and resources on the application of the 3Rs principle.

International Society for Applied Ethology
Ethical Treatment of Animals in Applied Animal Behaviour Research

Johns Hopkins University Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT)
CAAT (the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing) has a number of resources on the £Rs and humane experimental techniques.

Altex is the official journal of CAAT (the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing), EUSAAT (the European Society for Alternatives to Animal Testing), t4, the Transatlantic Think Tank for Toxicology (Baltimore, Utrecht, Konstanz), and the Doerenkamp chairs in Germany, India, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and USA. It is devoted to the publication of research on the development and promotion of alternatives to animal experiments according to the 3Rs concept of Russell and Burch: Replace, Reduce, and Refine.

Universities Federation for Animal Welfare
The UFAW Handbook on the Care and Management of Laboratory and Other Research Animals

The Welfare of Animals Used in Research: Practice and Ethics

Environmental Enrichment for Captive Animals

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