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Uniformity in animal welfare control

Research project
Active research
Project size
4 000 000
Project period
2021 - 2024
Project owner
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Short description

This four year project is multi-disciplinary and involves researchers from Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and School of Public Administration at the University of Gothenburg.

There are many opinions on official animal welfare (AW) control. One opinion shared by several stakeholders is that the inter-observer agreement between inspectors must be improved. Differences lead to injustice, poor legal security and distrust. The Central Competent Authority, CCA, tries to improve uniformity by developing standardized assessment protocols and guidelines; but this is not enough.

This study aims at developing methods on how to reach a higher degree of uniformity within AW control. Initially, an overview is made on how other official and private control fields have solved problems with uniformity.

Next, farmers and inspectors will answer a questionnaire concerning their view on uniformity. Different inspectors (Regional CAs) will then carry out inspections at the same cattle farms to identify common uniformity problems. The inspectors are then divided into groups where each group will be subjected to different uniformity training methods. Methods concerning bureaucratisation and professionalization, and a combination of these, will be developed and used.

Next, the inspectors will carry out inspections at the same farms again, to illustrate what effect the different methods have had. The inspectors and farmers will then share their experiences, in a systematic approach, concerning the different methods.

Finally, the results from the different subprojects will be analysed and recommendations on how uniformity can be improved in practice will be presented. 

Participants

Frida Lundmark Hedman (head of project)

Rebecka Westin

Lotta Berg

Emma Ek Österberg (GU)