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ERA-NET SUSAN Project: FreeWalk

Ofner-Schröck Elfriede, Dr.

Dr. Elfriede Ofner-Schröck

Artgemäße Tierhaltung, Tierschutz und Herdenmanagement

ERA-NET SUSAN Project: FreeWalk - Develop economic sound free walk farming systems elevating animal welfare, health and manure quality, while being appreciated by society

Ziel dieses internationalen Forschungsprojektes ist die weitere Entwicklung und Untersuchung von Rinderhaltungssystemen mit freier Liegefläche hinsichtlich Ökonomie, Tierwohl, Umweltwirkung und gesellschaftlicher Akzeptanz.

Es werden zwei innovative Haltungssysteme – der Kompoststall und der „Cow Garden“– mit dem herkömmlichen Liegeboxenlaufstall als Referenzsystem verglichen. Dazu werden Beispielbetriebe in mehreren europäischen Ländern nach einem ganzheitlichen Ansatz beurteilt. Das Projekt-Konsortium besteht aus 11 Partnern aus ganz Europa, Amerika und Israel. Die HBLFA Raumberg-Gumpenstein hat bereits in vorangegangenen Forschungsaktivitäten die Haltungsbedingungen auf österreichischen Kompoststallbetrieben untersucht und wird hier auf internationaler Ebene zu einer Zusammenschau verschiedener Fachdisziplinen beitragen.

Summary:

Aim of this project is to further develop economic sound free walk cattle farming systems, which improve animal welfare and soil structure, utilize waste products and have public support. As innovative housing systems, the compost bedded pack barn and the cow garden are applied with a completely free walking and lying area and are compared to cubicle barns for reference. The bedded pack barn uses organic waste materials as bedding. It has the potential to elevate the welfare and longevity of animals and improve soil quality. The highly innovative cow garden has an artificial floor of several layers and is self-cleaning while separating manure and urine. Both housing systems are combined with grazing during the summer season. Our approach will deliver an integrated assessment of case farms spread over Europe, using experimental and modelling methods to evaluate systems performance. Housing as part of intensive and extensive farming will be examined in a holistic context, encompassing the whole farm: bedding, artificial floor, animal welfare, health, manure quality, soil structure, CPN-balances, and product quality. Greater insight in the composting process plays a crucial role in the success of the system.

Societal appreciation of the Free Walk farming system and products is assessed at regional level. To integrate the results of the various research activities, a systems analysis and economic evaluation will be performed at farm, national and European level. The project consortium includes 11 partners, providing a wide coverage of disciplines. This project targets the three call topics 'improve productivity, resilience and competitiveness', 'reduce waste and enhance environment', and 'improve on-farm practices enhancing consumer acceptability and societal appreciation associated with animal welfare and product quality'.

Project Website: https://subsites.wur.nl/en/freewalk.htm

 

Develop economic sound free walk farming systems elevating animal welfare, health and manure quality; while being appreciated by society - ERA-NET-SUSAN-Projekt

Ofner-Schröck Elfriede (2017 - 2020)
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