Critical control points in the delivery of improved animal welfare

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This paper describes the implementation and simultaneous promotion of an action plan designed to ensure animal welfare standards on-farm that exceed the requirements for acceptability in law. The approach is based on two action cycles, the producer and retailer cycles, The producer cycle, involving welfare audit and the implementation of an action plan for welfare has four stages: self-assessment; independent audit; creation of an action plan based on identification of principal hazards and critical control points; review; and revision of the action plan depending upon assessment of outcomes. The retailer cycle is designed to set quality standards for animal welfare, demonstrate compliance, promote proven high welfare products and reward producers. The paper reviews some incentives and constraints to action for both farmers and retailers and presents encouraging examples of the extent to which both producers and retailers have responded to increased public demand for high welfare products.
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