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WELFARE QUALITY - Integration of Animal Welfare in the Food Quality Chain: From Public Concern to Improved Welfare and Transparent Quality


The primary objective of the 'Food Quality and Safety' Priority is to improve the health and well-being of European citizens through ensuring a higher quality of food. In a 'fork to farm' approach it recognises that consumer perception of food quality is n ot only determined by overall nature and safety but also by the welfare status of the animal from which it was produced. Thus, animal welfare is part of an overall 'food quality concept'.

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Within WELFARE QUALITY, leading European groups with the most appropr iate specialist expertise are integrated to build on European research strengths and to realise important societal and policy objectives in this Priority Area. Our research program is designed to develop pan-European standards for on-farm welfare assessmen t and product information systems as well as practical strategies for improving animal welfare. Considerable effort is focused on analysing and addressing perceptions and concerns of principal stakeholders and providing appropriate feedback. Educational and media initiatives, web-based platforms etc will further enhance societal involvement. Transparency of the product quality chain requires visibility of production processes and an understanding of how they affect welfare; the key is to link husbandry practices to informed animal product consumption. This demands reliable on-farm welfare monitoring systems enabling assessment of welfare status and the standardised conversion of welfare measures into accessible and understandable information, thereby add ressing concerns and allowing clear marketing and profiling of products. Development of innovative, species-specific, practical strategies for improving animal welfare will minimise the occurrence of harmful behavioural and physiological states, improve human-animal relationships, and provide animals with safe and stimulating environments. Finally, implementation and dissemination of the newly developed welfare monitoring and product information #'

<P>For more information about this project, please visit the <a href="…; target="_blank">European Commission Food Quality and Safety in Europe</a> or the <a href=" " target="_blank">WELFARE QUALITY </a> Web sites.

Blokhuis, Harry
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