Working to improve farm animal welfare

WBVN sets out what is required for farm animals to live happy and healthy lives and works with the farming industry to encourage sustainable and achievable improvements in farm animal welfare.

What we aim to do

The network aims to develop practical strategies to improve farm animal welfare in the Western Balkans and Turkey by:

  • Delivering technical skills and knowledge to farmers and producers to improve animal welfare at all stages of the production process.
  • Focusing on quality not quantity helping small-scale producers
  • Recognising good animal welfare practices in traditional farming methods and supporting the development of improved husbandry techniques, animal health and production levels.

Workshops and training

Food and Veterinary Office inspection reports highlight the need for training to be given across the Balkan food chain and to vets working on farms in the region so this has been a focus for the network.

The WBVN poultry welfare training course, continues to grow in popularity. One course was attended by 80 participants from seven countries in the Western Balkans. The programme ran over four days and covered the poultry welfare officer and poultry welfare assessment, including a practical session on farms and abattoirs.

Work has expanded to include Turkey, in particular the Turkish poultry industry, which is the size of the UK industry producing 850 million birds. Two UK experts took part in the initial assessment of the poultry sector. Working with the Turkish Veterinary Association, there were two rounds of training for more than 80 participants from across Turkey.

The WBVN has also completed its Red Meat Training Programme, producing 39 regional trainers and seven national training programmes. Support was then given to trainees to deliver their own programmes for industry and veterinary professionals in Macedonia and Serbia.

Working with the European Commission

“Today, the farming of animals is no longer viewed simply as a means of food production but as fundamental to other key social goals, such as food safety and quality, safeguarding environmental protection, sustainability, and enhancing quality of life in rural areas. The European Commission considers it important to continue investing in research in animal welfare, which is why we value initiatives such as the WBVN. The veterinary profession and NGOs play an important role in supporting the enforcement of EU animal welfare legislation.”

Andrea Gavinelli, Head of Animal Welfare unit, Directorate General for Health and Consumers, European Commission.



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