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Institute of Animal Welfare and Animal Husbandry (ITT)

The Institute of Animal Welfare and Animal Husbandry at Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut - together with the Wageningen Livestock Research (Netherlands) and the Institute of Animal Sciences of the University of Aarhus (Denmark) - is part of the European Reference Centre for Animal Welfare Pigs, which was appointed by the European Commission in March 2018.

The overall research objective of the Institute of Animal Welfare and Animal Husbandry (ITT) is to improve farm animal welfare. The Institute evaluates and refines husbandry, transport, stunning and slaughter procedures, while taking into account possible conflicts between economy, welfare and environmental issues. The study aims range from fundamental to applied questions.

Main tasks are the following:

  • to advance animal friendly and sustainable housing systems for farm animals,
  • to focus on behavioral demands and disorders of farm animals,
  • to improve methods for the assessment of animal welfare,
  • to investigate feasible improvements of transport, stunning, and culling.

The following questions are in focus:

  • Fundamental knowledge on animal adaption processes:
    • What internal mechanisms are involved in stress reactions?
    • Which external factors are modifying the internal reactions?
  • Indicators and assessment concepts:
    • How can we measure how stressed an animal is?
    • How can husbandry systems be evaluated on farm?
  • Improvement of husbandry
    • What are the welfare relevant problems of farm animal husbandry?
    • How can these problems be reduced?
  • Transport, stunning, culling and slaughter:
    • What are the minimum requirements for good practice procedures?