En studie kring välfärdsindikatorer i mjölkproduktionen : förslag till hur Sigill Kvalitetssystem AB kan arbeta för en god djurvälfärd på certifierade gårdar
Abstract: In this final thesis a study about welfare indicators in the Swedish milk production has been carried out. The system Swedish Animal Welfare Monitoring Scheme developed by the Swedish Dairy Association has been used as a base and the EU project WELFARE QUALITY® has also been used as a source of information. Focus groups have been used as a qualitative investigating method. This included four focus groups, two with farm auditors from the two different dairies and two with dairy farmers. This method was chosen because in this way one can study how a conversation about a given subject takes form in a respectable way. You can also gain knowledge about people's experience and understand the underlying reasons behind the opinions. A literature study about welfare indicators in milk production, a study about the IP SIGILL certification system, and the trade organization Swedish Dairy Association have been carried out as a background and base to the qualitative studies. In the study the same four questions were discussed in each of the four focus groups: - How can you say that calves, young stock and cows have had good welfare? What are the most important things? - What will happen in the future? Which will be the biggest problems in milk production concerning animal welfare? - Is there anything in the stable, in the handling or management routines that you can control to secure a good animal welfare? If there is, what would that be? Could you instead/also look at the animals and/or complement with figures from for example "kokontrollen" (production data). In that case, what would that be?; what can be replaced/complemented and with what? - What do you think of Svensk Sigill's rules for certification when it comes to securing animals welfare on the farms? - Are they too strict? - Good as they are? - Too low requirements? - Should they be replaced? - And if so, with what? The results from this study indicate that there is room for stricter rules to improve the Swedish milk production regarding animal welfare. The welfare indicators that were discussed more closely; hoof and leg health, cleanness and mortality among calves and young stock are accepted both by farmers and farm auditors as areas that can be improved to reach a good or improved animal welfare. During the discussions some welfare indicators were stressed as important to be able to evaluate if the animals have a good welfare. Calm and confident cows was one of these indicators but the farmers do not trust the farm auditors to evaluate this in a correct way. The decision to use focus groups as a qualitative method in this study seemes to have been a good choice. In some cases earlier suspicions were verified and in other cases new problems and experiences were brought to the surface. Sigill Kvalitetssystem AB will be able to use this study when developing their certifying system IP SIGILL regarding animal welfare even in a longer time perspective.
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