Compassion recently attended an Animal Welfare day hosted by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) which focussed on the future of the ‘5 Freedoms’ and the research which is currently being conducted onto each of them. Examples of the research included:
- Dealing with hunger in broiler breeders that are subjected to restricted feeding in order for them to grow more slowly
- Assessing the quality of sleep in dairy cows
- Exploring how to measure body temperatures in an automatic way in order to detect discomfort on farm and during transport
- How to build farms to ensure animals are provided with enough freedom to express natural behaviours (e.g. PIGSAFE for sows)
You can view a video of all the presentations here.
During the afternoon session, a panel discussion was held to discuss the future of the
‘5 Freedoms’, with the following panellists:
- Colin Macaldowie, Deputy Chief Vet, Scottish Government
- Cindy Milburn, IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)
- Pete Goddard, Wild Animal Welfare Committee
- Prof Alistair Lawrence, Chair
The discussion highlighted the importance of retailer and consumer perspectives in the evolution of animal welfare and that the ‘5 Freedoms’ are a good basis for understanding the key welfare issues in commercial food production.
It also emphasised the importance of further research for us to fully understand the ‘mind of animals’ – as sentient beings - such as Quality Behaviour Assessments being conducted by Professor Francoise Wemelsfelder
You can find more information about animal welfare and the ‘5 Freedoms’ here.
You can view a YouTube video from the SRUC Animal Welfare day here.