Applications for methods of on-farm welfare assessment
Animal welfare assessment at group level is a scientific discipline that is rapidly developing. The interest in welfare assessment systems is based on an ethical concern for the welfare of farm animals. The scientific community plays an important role in delivering an appropriate repeatable,
valid and feasible framework for these assessments. Consideration of the potential applications of these techniques is important for deciding upon the requirements of specific assessment systems. This paper provides a brief overview of the different types of applications, which can be categorised
broadly into research, legislative requirements (non-voluntary), certification systems (voluntary) and advisory/management tools. These applications may have various goals: quantification of welfare, provision of welfare assurance or welfare management. Assessment systems vary in many characteristics,
such as whether they are animal- or resource-based, and whether they are based on single or integrated scores. Different applications will require different elements of these features.