18 May 2000
Welfare alert over unwanted progeny

By FWi staff

LIVESTOCK farmers should accept that they must find ways to reduce the number of unwanted progeny, warned the governments animal welfare advisers.

The Farm Animal Welfare Councils annual review acknowledges that certain farming methods will unavoidably result in large numbers of unwanted progeny.

But it says that the number of unwanted offspring should be minimised within the constraints of current technology and a practical livestock industry.

The review also suggests some developments in biotechnology, such as sexing of semen in dairy production, could also be used to tackle the problem.

Connected with this work, FAWC officials intend to research the relationship between breeding programmes and animal welfare.

Some of the most serious welfare problems are associated with the outcome of unbalanced genetic selection in breeding programmes, they believe.