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The use of animal‐based measures at slaughter for assessing the welfare of calves on farm: EFSA’s AHAW Network exercise

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Disclaimer: The views or positions expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent in legal terms the official position of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). EFSA assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or inaccuracies that may appear.

Abstract

The AHAW Network includes nationally appointed EU Member State organisations representatives with expertise in the fields of animal health and animal welfare. At the annual AHAW Network meeting held in June 2021, an exercise was held to collect information from Network members on the use of animal‐based measures (ABMs) at slaughter to assess the welfare of calves on farm. A questionnaire was sent prior to the meeting to collect basic information on the use of such ABMs in the various European countries. Among the information, the ease of use, and the relationship of the ABMs with one or more welfare consequences were collected. During the meeting, the exercise continued with discussion and further elaboration of the information submitted. Meeting participants were asked to express their opinion by voting on the method of scoring the ABMs, their ease of use, and which ABMs to prioritize. The exercise was held for the assessment of ABMs during ante‐mortem and post‐mortem inspections and, as a result of this exercise, informative lists of the promising ABMs to be used at slaughterhouses to monitor the welfare of calves in the farm were produced.