Animals play many important roles in humans’ lives. They are a source of food, companionship and wealth. Increasing global demand for food has resulted in the intensification of livestock production. Intensive production systems are aimed at maximising profits by rearing more animals on smaller pieces of land in order to produce more food. The other systems of animal production are semi-intensive and extensive production systems. Of the three systems, the semi-intensive system offers the best option for enhancing animal welfare in all species. Animal welfare can be defined in many ways depending on people’s views of animals. The underlying theme of animal welfare is to enhance physical and mental health of animals. Despite improvements in livestock farming techniques over the years, the welfare of farm animals remains a major concern. The major welfare concerns in the livestock industry relate to the rearing and management of dairy calves; the rearing of sows in gestation and farrowing crates; the housing of layer chickens in battery cages and the restriction of feed in broiler parent stock. Good animal husbandry is a basis for promoting the welfare of animals.
Part of the book: Animal Welfare