Monitoring animal welfare is valuable to detect particular welfare problems requiring attention and to evaluate effects of management adaptations or trends in time. Therefore, the PIGLOW mobile application has been developed to allow farmers to self-assess the welfare of their fattening pigs and sows reared in organic and low-input outdoor production systems.
The tool primarily includes animal-based indicators (e.g. related to body condition, injuries, free range use). Additionally, key questions on management, housing and production parameters are included for customized/tailored benchmarking. After online submission of a completed scan, the farmer will receive instant automated feedback. This feedback report includes potential risk factors for identified problems, comparison with past scanning results to illustrate evolution in time, and anonymous benchmarking with comparable farms (as soon as enough data is available in the data base).
By scanning welfare periodically, farmers’ awareness is raised about how to assess animal welfare and how they compare to other farmers, points of attention can be addressed (in consultation with the veterinarian / adviser), and effects of measures taken can be monitored over time.