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Changes to Real Welfare Assessment Protocols

by 5m Editor
23 September 2013, at 5:12am

UK - A Real Welfare Protocol Review Group, consisting of producers, vets and members of the industry, was formed on 9 September 2013.

The Group’s remit was to review BPEX’s Real Welfare Protocol and make recommendations to make the process more practical. The recommendations the Group made were put to the Red Tractor Technical Advisory Committee on the 19th September in order for them to agree that these recommendations would not de-value the Real Welfare assessments.

The recommendations were unanimously agreed and will take effect immediately. They are as follows:

  • Environmental enrichment: This portion of the protocol will be suspended until the end of February 2014, pending a redesign carried out by BPEX and the Review Group.
  • Body lesions and tail marks: It was agreed that measuring severe cases of both body lesions and tail marks was proving to be both practical and useful. Measuring minor marks, however, is proving very troublesome and time consuming. Therefore, the group will consider the value of the extra information, compared with the trouble and cost of this measurement.
  • Sampling procedure for Real Welfare assessments: BPEX and the review group will review the sampling procedure by the end of February 2014 to ensure it is practical.

The Real Welfare Protocol Review Group and the Real Welfare Steering Group - the group that worked on the implementation of Real Welfare into the Red Tractor scheme - will meet in October to continue this review.