41110069: Assessing welfare against progressive standards on continuously housed dairy herds in Britain

The Problem:

The most common allegations levelled at continuously housed farms are poor welfare and that animals cannot behave naturally. It is likely that consumers will continue to see this type of management, no matter how good, as unnatural. Therefore, it is necessary to establish high quality, independent, robust and reliable data as soon as possible to support these farms.


Aims and Objectives:

To develop and conduct welfare assessments using a progressive standard of evidence based metrics in order to benchmark a sample of UK continuously housed herds.



WP1: Develop the welfare assessment standards

Convene a stakeholder group who will define which welfare outcomes will form the welfare assessment standard including positive welfare based on having good scientific evidence.

WP2: Conduct on farm assessment and benchmark

Twenty farms will be recruited and visited so that a welfare assessment can be conducted.

WP3: Knowledge exchange and report writing

Welfare assessment protocol will be converted into tangible resources for farmers such as self-assessment protocol. A report will be submitted along with 4 case studies. A demonstration day will be hosted at the University of Nottingham.


Start Date       
December 2018   

Completion Date
May 2019

Lead Contractor
University of Nottingham

Other Delivery Partners
University of Bristol,
Royal Agricultural University

AHDB Dairy