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Welfare assessment of dairy cows housed in a tie-stall system

Marija Vučemilo
Kristina Matković orcid id ; Veterinary Faculty, University of Zagreb, Heinzelova 55, Zagreb, Croatia
Igor Štoković
Saša Kovačević
Marijan Benić

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page 62-67

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Welfare assessment methods and techniques developed as a result of great interest of scientific and consumer populations regarding the welfare of animals housed in farms. In view of the fact that welfare by definition includes both physical and mental health, the welfare quality assessment includes an extensive number of measures. Welfare assessment was performed in two stables in which cows are kept in tie-stall by using the specific method described in the Welfare Quality® Assessment Protocol for Cattle. The measures included body condition score, qualitative behaviour assessment and body hygiene. The welfare assessment confirmed the importance of quality housing for ensuring better performance from animals, thus also affecting their health and productivity. It also pointed out the necessity of freeing animals by providing them with the possibility of free movement, whereat they can exhibit their physiological behaviour. It is definitely important to continue research, expand the number of researched measures in order to confirm the most useful indicators for welfare assessment and to identify the factors that within the animals’ physical and social environment affect the increase of their welfare.


body condition score, qualitative behaviour assessment, body hygiene, living quality

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Article data in other languages: croatian

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