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ANIMAL-BASED welfare measures are effective and should be used wherever possible when assessing the welfare of dairy cows and pigs. So says recently published scientific advice from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
The advice was developed by EFSA's Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW) panel after a request from the European Commission for an independent, scientific view on animal-based welfare measures for farm animals. The panel's opinions on the use of such measures in dairy cows and pigs are the first in a series that will eventually cover all farm species. The opinions are also intended to support the implementation of the EU's Animal Welfare Strategy for 2012–2015 (VR, January 28, 2012, vol 170, pp 86, 87).
Publishing the two opinions on January 25, EFSA noted that the use of animal-based measures for the assessment of animal welfare is relatively new. ‘Legislation related to the protection of animals usually focuses on the assessment of different factors that can impact on welfare rather than on the animal's response to these factors,’ it said. The AHAW panel examined the effectiveness of assessing the responses of an animal to …