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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2021-06-01 - 2026-05-31

The work programme of the third European Union Reference Centre for Animal Welfare (EURCAW-RE) considers the welfare of ruminants and equines and concerns the following animals: Ruminants (domestic animals of the family Bovidae such as bovine (including Bubalus and Bison species), ovine and caprine), other farmed ruminant species such as deer (e.g. Cervus elaphus); and equines (meaning domestic species of the Equidae family such as horses (Equus caballus), donkeys (Equus asinus) and their crossings). The Centre’s activities may also cover domestic camelids such as Llamas and Alpacas. The activities of EURCAW-RE concern production animals as well as animals kept for scientific purposes and for leisure. The Centre will address the entire life cycle including housing and management, transport, slaughter and killing (e.g. for disease control purposes). The role of Reference Centres for Animal Welfare is closely connected with the enforcement of EU animal welfare rules by developing and disseminating knowledge and tools to assist the NCAs in performing better official controls. The Centres also help stakeholders understand the rules, how to comply with these rules as well as the possible control methods to be used by National Competent Authorities. EURCAW-RE will provide the competent authorities with access to consistent technical data, research findings, new techniques and expertise necessary for the correct application of Union legislation applicable in the field of animal welfare. Furthermore, the activities of EURCAW-RE include the provision of scientific and technical expertise to relevant national scientific support networks or bodies through training courses for staff and dissemination of research findings and technical innovations. These missions lead to five activity categories defined in the work program. The main activities include 1) Identification of animal welfare indicators, methods for assessment and improvement, 2) Scientific and technical studies, 3) Training courses and, 4) Dissemination of research findings and innovations.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-01-01 - 2023-12-31

In the rearing and fattening of pigs, clinical problems, such as diarrhea or respiratory problems, but also behavioral disorders, such as tail or ear biting, can occur even with good management and well designed housing system. As a preventive measure to stabilize animal health, the addition of microorganisms, so-called "probiotics" is discussed as a "natural alternative" to antibiotic treatments. Within the framework of a prospective "multi-farm study" on three pig farms, it will be investigated (weaning to slaughter) whether these probiotics are effective in improving the following aspects of animal health (respiratory tract, diarrhea, microbiome), animal welfare (behavior, tail injuries) and productivity (feed conversion). At the same time, a qualitative survey as well as an exchange of experiences of the participating farmers will take place to ensure the transferability of the findings for practice
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-03-24 - 2023-09-23

Pig farming in Kosovo and Albania is important a source of income and due to its’ characteristics regarding relatively small farm size and management practises as a sustainable option towards self-sufficiency of pork. So far, a large variation within and across countries was documented. In order improve pig health and welfare, the aims of this project are to disseminate the “Handbook for Farmers” in Albanian and Serbian language - to improve health and welfare on in total 20 pig farms by selecting farm individual goals for improvement and relevant measures - to evaluate the effectiveness of this advisory action based on the “Handbook for farmers” and farmers’ opinion regarding content and communication approach - to exchange knowledge and train young researchers, veterinarians and farmers (in universities, on-farm, administration) During a trainingworkshop in Vienna on Welfare Assessment, the Handbook for farmers will be introduced. After recruitment of farms, workshops for farmers in Prishtina and Tirana will be organised. During two farm visits, farmers will identify 1-3 goals and measures to achieve those based on the Handbook. After a baseline welfare assessment, approximately 6 months later a second assessment will allow quantitative and qualitative evaluation of achievement of goals and implementation of measures.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations