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Use of welfare outcome information in three types of dairy farm inspection reports

  • Lin, Yi-Chun (School of Veterinary Sciences, University of Bristol) ;
  • Mullan, Siobhan (School of Veterinary Sciences, University of Bristol) ;
  • Main, David C.J. (School of Veterinary Sciences, University of Bristol)
  • Received : 2017.11.18
  • Accepted : 2018.03.19
  • Published : 2018.09.01

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the use of outcome-based observations within Assured Dairy Farm scheme (ADF), Soil Association Organic Standards (SA), and cross compliance (CC) farm assessment reports. Methods: A total of 449 ADF reports, 37 SA reports and 26 CC reports were analyzed and their objective comments categorized as either resource-based or outcome-based. Results: A mean of 61.0% of ADF questions were responded to with comments, in comparison to 25.0% of SA and, 21.0% of CC report questions. The SA and CC reports had significantly more outcome-based comments than the ADF (p<0.001). The assessors' tendency of choosing resource-based approach was revealed in the questionnaire results. Conclusion: Generally, the comments were comprehensive and contained professional judgements. Large numbers of comments provided in the ADF reports were mostly compliant and resource-based evidence, which serves as proof of assessment rather than aiding the certifying process. The inclusion of specific welfare outcome measures in the SA inspection likely increased the use of outcome-based comments in the reports, irrespective of whether the farm achieved compliance with a given standards. The CC scheme, on the other hand, focused on providing outcome-based evidence to justify noncompliant decisions.

Keywords

Animal Welfare;Cross Compliance Scheme;Farm Assurance Scheme;Outcome Measurement;Organic Standards;Dairy Cows

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