Metrics provide the key to improved farm animal welfare
In this blog post for the Food Ethics Council, ffinlo Costain describes different ways of measuring farm animal welfare.
Some metrics consider direct outcomes, e.g. disease levels or displays of natural behaviours. Other metrics act as a proxy for welfare, e.g. an intact tail on a pig suggests that the farm is managed in a way such that the pigs are not stressed (tails are normally cut by the farmer if the animals bite each other due to boredom or stress).
Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.