High quality Control Posts
In order to evaluate the welfare change, due to the renovation of the control posts, two animal welfare assessment protocols have been developed within the project, which have been used in practice to evaluate the welfare of animals at unloading, during the resting time in the control post and at uploading when the animals were leaving again.
The assessments of animals have been carried out before the renovation took place and after the renovation activities were completed in order to compare the ex-ante with the ex-post condition. Researchers and veterinarians have been trained in the use of both protocols before carrying out the assessments, which required the translation of the protocols and the training material in English, French, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish.
There have been a series of improvements carried out in all control posts, which were specifically directed to improve the welfare of the animals during their stay in the control post such as:
For three welfare principles (good housing, health and appropriate behaviour) the assessments of cattle showed the following results:
These results clearly show that the renovation of the control posts has contributed to improve the welfare of cattle. The better internal climatic conditions due to the better ventilation equipment and the insulation of the roofs, the higher and better availability of drinking bowls and feed troughs and the improvement of the loading ramps all have been important interventions to achieve these results.
The assessments of pigs show the following results:
In summary, the renovation activities carried out in the project specifically focused on the improvement of animal welfare have a significant positive impact on the welfare of the animals (D 2.2 and D 2.3).
A detailed article about main results of new protocols is available in the Newsletter N. 1 of the "Development of EU wide animal transport certification system and renovation of control posts in the European Union".
Photos of the process: