Facilitation of assessment of technical measures and its potential for implementation of the Broiler Directive (2007/43/EC)

Andrew Butterworth, Gemma Richards, Erik Vranken

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

Abstract

The Broiler Directive (2007/43/EC) is unique amongst current EU Directives which address Animal Welfare in that it uses outcome data, collected at abattoirs and on farms, to monitor onfarm broiler welfare and vary the maximum permitted stocking density on farm. In this paper we describe the process by which manually assessed animal outcome measures for broiler chickens have started to be used alongside automated on-farm measurements of climate, feed intake and animal growth and camera and sound based automated precision livestock farming (PLF) methods (eYeNamic) in our pilot studies. We describe how the data collected from this process (both human assessor based and automated farm measures) have enabled the start of a process of ‘joint validation’ which it is anticipated will lead to advances in automated measurement of environmental and animal parameters, some of which may be potentially fed into the statutory requirement for on-going assessment under the Broiler Directive 2007/43/EC. The pilot study has identified the key components for assessment of the ‘baseline standard’ for animal-based measures against automated on-farm measures, and this information is summarised in the paper. For example, foot-pad dermatitis, hock burn, walking ability (Gait Score), avoidance distance touch tests and response to the stockman are identified as some of the measures of medium to high priority in terms of high potential for automated measurement, and also relating well to the requirements both of the Broiler Directive, but also as management information which is of commercial use to broiler production companies. On the other hand, breast lesions, cellulitis, emaciation, joint lesions, scratches and wing fractures were identified as difficult or impossible to assess on farm, but suitable for measurement in the slaughterhouse.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPrecision Livestock Farming Applications
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
Pages171-182
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-8686-815-5
ISBN (Print)978-90-8686-268-9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2015

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