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Europe's Vets Hold Successful Welfare Workshop

20 May 2010

SERBIA - A TAIEX workshop in Belgrade in March covered the practical aspects of assessing welfare quality on the farm.

A TAIEX workshop on 'Animal Welfare: from cure to prevention', jointly organised by the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE), the Serbian Ministry of Agriculture and the Serbian Veterinary Chamber was held on 24 to 25 March in Belgrade, Serbia.

The workshop was attended by more than 100 participants, including official veterinarians, practitioners and academics from Serbia and its neighbouring countries (Albania, Bosnia- Herzegovina, Croatia, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Turkey).

The programme included presentations on animal welfare strategies of the European Union, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). After the general session, chaired by Walter Winding, practical sessions were held on farm.

Three experts explained the Welfare Quality Project assessment tools in practice on poultry farms (Andy Butterworth, Bristol University), cattle farms (Christoph Winckler, Vienna University) and pig holdings (Antonio Velarde, IRTA Spain). These practical sessions were greatly welcomed by the participants for their interactive character and allowed to demonstrate how the welfare quality (WQ) assessment scheme works on the farm. WQ assessment is output-based rather than input-based and showed that even with little means, good animal welfare can be achieved.

The second day was an opportunity to share information about preventive and educational programs in animal welfare. Andrew Voas (Scottish Government Veterinary Advisor) explained how the Animal Welfare Management programme will help cattle, sheep and goat farmers to adopt and improve high standards of animal welfare over a five-year programme.

Professor David Morton (Bristol University) gave a presentation entitled 'Why, for who, how, when and by whom?' on animal welfare education. As the public pays for the education of veterinarians and for animal disease control, vets have a privileged legal position in society, stressed Professor Morton. This gives the veterinary profession the responsibility to provide and ensure a good education in animal welfare science, ethics and law, as expected from them by the public, he said.

The next workshop FVE will organise with TAIEX (on veterinary legislation) will be held in Kiev, Ukraine on 2-3 November 2010.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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