The Welfur project aims to develop a standardized on-farm welfare assessment tool for fur animals, especially for mink and foxes by using the Welfare Quality® framework.
The Welfare Quality® system is based on a hierarchical structure, where 4 principles of welfare (Good feeding, Good housing, Good health, Appropriate behaviour), subdivided into 12 criteria (eg absence of hunger and thirst for good feeding), derived from the interpretation and aggregation of about 30 measures, are constructed and then aggregated to obtain an overall evaluation at farm level. The construction is the same for all species from criteria to overall assessment and thus the new construction concerning mink and foxes needed to be applied only from measures to criteria. However, the step going from criteria to principles was refined to homogenize the construction for all species considered in Welfare Quality® and, by extension, in Welfur.
The measures were developed or chosen by researchers specialist of the domain and were tested for their relevance, reliability, repeatability and feasibility.
As in Welfare Quality®, the evaluation model is parameterized using experts' opinion. For mink and foxes, partners of Welfur developed measures to check the compliance of fur farms with each of the 12 criteria.
Click here for more information on Welfare Quality®.