Report Detail Page
A situation statement on research into animal welfare issues in Australia
1. Animal welfare is recognised in the current 5-year Research and Development Plan of the Meat Research Corporation (MRC) as an important factor in production efficiency and as one of the 'selected threats with likely implications for the red-meat industry'. This report was prepared at the Corporation's request.
2. Animal welfare is a complex subject. It touches' on many other disciplines, and is greatly influenced by its social setting. The report attempts to define .animal welfare and put it in perspective.
3. Welfare and production issues are usually complementary, and production performance is a key indicator of welfare status.
4. A high-quality animal welfare research base in Australia would add to our international standing in animal welfare matters and enhance meat e~ )rts.
5. Animal welfare should be addressed scientifically rather than intuitively. until basic research provides sufficient knowledge of the subject, there will not be a 'level playing field' for decision-making on animal use in Australia.
6. If projects are to qualify specifically as animal welfare research, they should have the investigation and alleviation of 'suffering' as their primary consideration.
7. Australia needs an improved database on animal welfare research and a system to define what is primarily animal welfare research and what is primarily production research. (Most of 62 projects examined in the survey of current animal welfare research had a strong orientation towards production goals. )
8. Transportation, feedlotting, mulesing/blowfly control in sheep and spaying and slaughtering of cattle all require further research. The preparation of critical reviews would help guide such research.
9. The potential value of field observations in animal welfare research will not be realised until such observations are recorded, collated and analysed in a systematic fashion. Institutions that already provide technical support to animal production could have a special role in this area.
10. There is a need for continuing education of extension personnel in animal welfare, and for the development of educational packages and programs.
11. MRC should take steps now to ensure that there is adequate planning'on animal welfare and the subject receives more comprehensive treatment in the next (1996) Research and Development Plan.
This page was last updated on 11/11/2014
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