Protocols for the assessment of welfare in sheep are not as well developed or validated as in other livestock species. However, it is possible to use a number of animal- and resource-based measures to indicate the standard of animal welfare in sheep flocks. This article considers the potential indices that can be implemented when assessing welfare in sheep, and reflects on what difference this might make to the animals themselves. In addition, it highlights how these might be tailored to individual production units in order to make them more relevant and, hence, maximise welfare.
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Further information Defra site on sheep welfare (includes Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Sheep). www.defra.gov.uk/food-farm/animals/sheep-goats/. Accessed November 14, 2011
European Union animal health and welfare site. http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/index_en.htm. Accessed October 5, 2011
GRANDIN, T. (2007) Livestock handling and transport, 3rd edn. CAB International
SCOPS – Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep. www.nationalsheep.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=287&Itemid=68. Accessed October 5, 2011
RSPCA Welfare Standards for Sheep (April 2010). www.rspca.org.uk/ImageLocator/LocateAsset?asset=document&assetId=1232719854371&mode=prd. Accessed October 5, 2011
Welfare Quality project website. www.welfarequality.net. Accessed November 14, 2011
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