Qualitative assessment of animal behaviour as an on-farm welfare-monitoring tool

F Wemelsfelder*, AB Lawrence

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is a growing need to monitor the health and welfare of farm animals, and to develop methods which do so efficiently and reliably. A crucial problem with current methods is the integration of separate measurements taken during farm visits into accurate judgements of an animal's overall welfare state. This paper proposes that the qualitative assessment of animal behaviour may serve as an integrative methodology which could guide the interpretation of other, more detailed welfare measurements. Recent research has demonstrated qualitative behaviour assessment to be reliable and repeatable under controlled experimental conditions. The paper concludes with a discussion of ways in which this method may be adapted for practical on-farm use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-25
Number of pages5
JournalActa Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section A - Animal Science
Publication statusPublished - 2001
EventInternational Workshop on Assessment of Animal Welfare at Farm or Group Level - COPENHAGEN, Denmark
Duration: 27 Aug 199928 Aug 1999


  • animal welfare
  • on-farm monitoring
  • free-choice profiling
  • generalised procrustes analysis


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