Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 121879
Title Development of a decision support system to assess farm animal welfare
Author(s) Bracke, M.B.M.; Metz, J.H.M.; Spruijt, B.M.
Source Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica Section A-Animal Science 30 (2001). - ISSN 0906-4702 - p. 17 - 20.
Department(s) ATV Farm Technology
ID Lelystad, Institute for Animal Science and Health
Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering
Chair Ethology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2001
Abstract The progress of a project aimed at developing a decision support system (DSS) for overall welfare assessment is described. We chose the pregnant sow as a 'case' to develop the assessment method. First, we designed and tested a very simple prototype DSS in order to examine several basic ideas as to how welfare can be assessed on a scientific basis. In this prototype welfare assessment was based on the needs of animals. The second version of the DSS, which extended the approach taken in the first, included a wider range of housing systems and an improved knowledge base. It used a rigid formal procedure to construct the model, moving directly from scientific statements into if-then rules. However, this extended version resulted in counter-intuitive scores for the seven main housing systems for pregnant sows. In the third version of the DSS the complexity of the model was reduced, if-then rules being excluded. It was based on more general biological considerations (needs and sub-needs) and produced scores which accorded better with expert opinion. Weighting was managed in a simplified, but procedural way. For improved welfare assessment we suggest that the method of 'reflective equilibrium' should be used
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