This paper argues that the current drive towards greater use of animal-based measures for welfare assessment raises important issues for how farm visits by welfare assessors are performed. As social scientists, we employ a number of contemporary social science ideas to offer a new approach
to examining the practice and performance of farm animal assessment. We identify key findings from a recent study of contemporary farm assessment and speculate upon what some of the challenges of introducing animal-based measures may be. We conclude by arguing for a greater awareness of how
sets of knowledge are made, circulated, practiced and become an integral component of the procedures, practices and discourses around farm animal welfare assessment in farm assurance.