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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2017-10-01 - 2020-09-30

Claw disorders and lameness are considered one of the most important welfare problems ion dairy cattle farming. The partners in this project acknowledge this problem and will build a cooperative partnership between farmers, claw trimmers, scientists, advisory services and veterinarians. The aims are: 1) Development of a standardized documentation and central electronic registration of findings from claw trimming as well as other selected animal welfare indicators in Austria, 2) development of a checklist addressing potential factors influencing animal welfare on farm, 3) deduction of recommendations for intervention measures, which will be provided to the farmers, 4) traing of claw trimmers and memebers of the milk recording scheme in assessing claw findings and animal welfare indicators as well as respective influencing factors.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2018-07-01 - 2019-06-30

The main aim of MaP_PiG is to establish a basis to describe and improve the situation of pig health and welfare in Kosovo and Albania together with farmers, which will be achieved by the following objectives: At the beginning, the Welfare Quality assessment protocol for pigs will be adapted to the specific conditions in Kosovo and Albania and these protocols will be used to assess pig health and welfare in family and commercial farms including feedback to farmers in form of benchmarking (comparison with similar farms from Kosovo and Albania). At the same time opportunities and potential barriers to welfare improvements will be investigated. Furthermore, farmers' opinion and attitudes towards pig health and welfare will be evaluated and their interest in advisory/communication strategies discussed (first visit). Farmers' view regarding intervention threshold will be gained during the feedback visit. As another important outcome of this project, knowledge exchange and training of young researchers will take place. This will specifically address veterinarians, advisors (in universities as well as in the field or administration) regarding assessment of pig health and welfare and improvement strategies. Different communication strategies are planned to encourage implementation of animal health and welfare improvements on commercial farms (e. g. handbooks, one to one advice and sfable schools). To ensure further dissemination of results, suitable material will be provided (e. g. handbooks for farmers) by adaptation and translation of existing material - e. g. ProPIG handbook and Albanian Brochure for Pig health.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2018-04-01 - 2021-03-31

Integrating two or more animal species with crop production or agroforestry on a farm potentially provides many benefits including more efficient pasture use and parasite management. However, organic mixed livestock farms (OMLF) tend to specialize or display limited integration between farm components. This limited integration may reduce the practical benefits of OMLF. Therefore, we aim to (i) characterize OMLF in Europe, especially their level of integration between farm components, (ii) assess their sustainability and robustness to adverse events, (iii) compare their performances with those of specialized farms, (iv) integrate the knowledge developed on OMLF into models that can simulate their performances against climatic and economic variability, (v) conduct farm-level experiments to generate knowledge about OMLF (to feed into the models) and (vi) co-design with farmers more sustainable and robust OMLF. We will survey OMLF to collect technical and socio-economic data. Then we will enlarge existing concepts and methods to assess the level of integration between farm components and apply these methods to surveyed OMLF. We will also develop an indicator system for integrated assessment of OMLF and apply it to connect the sustainability and robustness of surveyed OMLF with their level of integration among farm components. In parallel we will conduct farm-level experimentation of organic specialized and mixed livestock situations for the comparison of specific aspects of animal husbandry (e.g. pasture use, animal health). We will extend farm simulation models to OMLF and analyze the benefits and drawbacks of livestock diversity. Using these models, we will develop and implement participatory methods to co-design with farmers sustainable and robust OMLF. To inform practice and policy-making, we will communicate our results to shed light on the potentialities of OMLF and the way to manage it sustainably or the way to reach it starting from a specialized farm.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations