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Animal welfare and new herding technologies for improvement

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

By: Dr. Zalmen Hankin // May 2022 Animal welfare is defined as the state of an individual animal in relation to its environment in which it lives. Lately this issue is receiving rising worldwide concern, while being one of the more important aspects in a broader holistic approach of raising animals. According to Fraser et al. (1997) the concept of animal welfare includes three main elements, including; the animal's normal biological functioning (which, among other things, means ensuring that the animal is healthy and well-nourished), its emotional state (which means the absence of negative emotions, such as pain and chronic fear), and its ability to express certain normal behaviors, while its objectives include, protecting health, preventing pain and distress, promoting comfort, and allowing animals to perform their natural behavior. In addition, animal welfare is considered an important attribute of an overall ‘food quality” concept.Animal welfare is presented by five freedom principles that were defined by Manteca et al. (2012), they include:

  1. Freedom from hunger and thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health.

  2. Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment, including shelter and comfortable resting areas.

  3. Freedom from pain, injury or livestock disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.

  4. Freedom to express their normal behavior by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animals’ own kind.

  5. Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.

drones for livestock management
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