Together with IRTA we have developed the WELFAIR Certification Scheme, the only one in the world that is based entirely on proven scientific protocols
As we have matured as a society, animal welfare is no longer a secondary concern but a relevant one. Therefore, the main companies related to the production of food of animal origin have started to move towards certification in this area, motivated by a growing proportion of consumers who are aware of this problem and value animal welfare when making responsible purchasing choices.
To address this need, NEIKER participated in the European project AWIN, whose objective was the development, integration and dissemination of animal welfare indicators, including pain, in species of commercial importance, with special emphasis on small ruminants, equids and turkeys. Through this research project, non-invasive protocols were developed to assess animal welfare.
For several years now, the scientific teams of IRTA and NEIKER have been exchanging experience and knowledge in the field of animal welfare. The NEIKER and IRTA research teams had developed protocols for the assessment of animal welfare in the framework of two European research projects, each covering different species. While NEIKER was working in the already mentioned AWIN project, IRTA had worked in the Welfare Quality project on protocols for cattle (milk and meat), pigs and poultry (broilers and laying hens). Both projects (Welfare Quality and AWIN) were based on the same principles of Animal Welfare, which are the five freedoms (Brambell, 1965).
Based on this knowledge, NEIKER and IRTA have collaborated in the creation of the WELFAIR Certification Scheme, the only one in the world that is based entirely on proven scientific protocols.
Experience and knowledge in animal welfare