Handling challenges of implementing the animal welfare assessment protocol WelFur-Mink on a large scale

PhD defence, Tuesday 20 November 2018. Anna Feldberg Marsbøll.

2018.11.20 | Olivia Elsebeth Belling-Nami

Anna Feldberg Marsbøll. Photo: Jens Bach

WelFur-Mink is an on-farm animal welfare assessment protocol for farmed mink. This protocol is used to certify mink farms in Europe, and only pelts from farms with an assessed welfare above a defined minimum will be sold at the European and North American auction houses.

During her studies, Anna Feldberg Marsbøll addressed central challenges regarding the validity, reliability and feasibility of the WelFur-Mink assessment protocol. These challenges became apparent when the protocol was tested and were in regards to the sampling of mink for the on-farm assessment of welfare and the robustness of the protocol to date of assessment as well as the timing within the day of the assessment.

This PhD study illustrates how large-scale implementation of an animal welfare assessment protocol may require that the validity, reliability and feasibility of the protocol are re-evaluated and balanced. The findings of the study directly contribute to ensure a feasible and correct assessment of welfare on mink farms in Europe.

The PhD degree was completed at the research group Epidemiology and Management, Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, Denmark.

This résumé was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Tuesday 20 November 2018 at 12.00.
Place: 8814 - 3050, Meeting room 2, AU-Foulum, Blichers Allé 20, 8830 Tjele.
Title of PhD thesis: On-farm animal welfare assessments – handling challenges of implementing the WelFur-Mink protocol on a large scale
Contact information: Anna Feldberg Marsbøll, e-mail: anna.marsboll@anis.au.dk, tel.: +45 22669533.
Members of the assessment committee:
Jaakko Mononen, Principal Scientist, Production systems, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Finland.
Antonio Velarde Calvo, Head of the Animal Welfare programme, Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology (IRTA), Spain.
Mette S. Herskin (chair), Senior Researcher, Department of Animal Science - Behaviour and Stressbiology, Aarhus University, Denmark.
Main supervisor:
Steen H. Møller, Senior Researcher, Department of Animal Science - Epidemiology and Management, Aarhus University, Denmark.
Tine Rousing, Senior Researcher, Department of Animal Science - Epidemiology and Management, Aarhus University, Denmark.
Language: The PhD thesis will be defended in English.

The defence is public.
The dissertation is available for reading at the Graduate School of Science and Technology/GSST, Ny Munkegade 120, building 1520 and 1521, 8000 Aarhus C.

PhD defence
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Olivia Elsebeth Belling-Nami

Revised 12.11.2018