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New tool to help producers assess the economics of animal welfare practices

A new tool being developed by the Western College of Veterinary Medicine will help pork producers and veterinarians assess the economics of their animal welfare practices.

The Western College of Veterinary Medicine is conducting a study under which pork producers and veterinarians are being interviewed about management decisions that influence animal welfare and how that relates to business sustainability.

Dr. Yolande Seddon, an Associate Professor Swine Welfare and Behavior with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and the NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Swine Welfare, says information gathered through this survey will be used to create a tool to support decision-making related to animal welfare.

“What prompted this work was to help the global swine industry review the bigger picture on interactions between animal welfare, environmental emissions, and business sustainability, and profitability and market access and how they fit together in a business sustainability model,” Dr. Seddon said.

“The outcome of this work is that we aim to produce a tool that will support on-farm decision-making surrounding decisions that will influence animal welfare but also with the knowledge of how it interacts with business profitability and environmental emissions and therefore overall business sustainability goals that could influence market access.

Seddon said there have been calls within the industry to respond to some of the challenges of animal welfare and how improvements can be made

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