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 496232
Title Farmers taking responsibility for herd health development—stable schools in research and advisory activities as a tool for dairy health and welfare planning in Europe
Author(s) Ivemeyer, Silvia; Bell, Nick J.; Brinkmann, Jan; Cimer, Kornel; Gratzer, Elisabeth; Leeb, Christine; March, Solveig; Mejdell, Cecilie; Roderick, Stephen; Smolders, Gidi; Walkenhorst, Michael; Winckler, Christoph; Vaarst, Mette
Source Organic Agriculture 5 (2015)2. - ISSN 1879-4238 - p. 135 - 141.
Department(s) LR - Animal Behaviour & Welfare
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2015
Keyword(s) Animal welfare - Farmer field schools - Herd health - Intervention - Knowledge exchange - Stable schools

Achieving and maintaining a high herd health and welfare status is an important aim in organic livestock farming. The varying farming systems across and within countries call for models that are relevant for different farming types and that can be integrated into local practice. In stable schools, farmers take responsibility for health and welfare planning by identifying issues, setting goals, and acting to improve the health situation based on farm-specific data, e.g. milk production. This paper reviews the results from intervention studies that used a modified ‘farmer field school’ approach for animal health and welfare planning, providing an overview of ongoing activities and their implementation into advisory situations in selected European countries. Studies on stable schools as an intervention tool showed improvements regarding the specific project aim on the majority of the participating farms. Farmers and facilitators were convinced of the approach and benefits for dairy herds. Farmers’ attitude and attention towards their herds and their ownership of the process appear to be crucial success factors for herd health and welfare situations. In some European countries, this method has been implemented in advisory practice, and in other regions, there are relevant and promising opportunities.

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