International Agricultural Science Congress, Van, Türkiye, 9 - 11 Mayıs 2018, ss.118
Animal welfare and animal-friendly production are increasingly important because of consumer demands for food safety. Therefore, public awareness on animal welfare has increased steadily and the question of how we can determine animal welfare has become important. Increased awareness on animal welfare has revealed the need to determine the welfare at farm level for various livestock. Welfare assessment protocols are defined as the procedures and requirements for the overall assessment of welfare. Animal welfare assessment protocols should have valid, reliable, sensitive and feasible indicators. It should also combine measures for overall flock assessments and for the assessment of individual animals. On-farm welfare monitoring protocols for cattle, pigs and poultry have been developed through specific working groups; however, these protocols are not applicable to sheep and goats. Due to this lack, new protocols have been derived from scientifically approved welfare protocols for cattle to assess small ruminant welfare at farm level. On-farm welfare monitoring protocols for small ruminants have been developed by various researchers, consisting of a combination of animal-based and resource or management-based parameters. These protocols have been mainly based on animal-related parameters such as health or behavior. The development of welfare monitoring protocols for application on-farm will contribute significantly to the improvement of quality standards in the management of small ruminant animals. This paper reviews the development of on-farm welfare assessment protocols for small ruminants.