GENERAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE ROMANIAN FARMERS ABOUT THE FARM ANIMAL WELFARE
L.T. Cziszter, S. Acatincăi, Evangelia N. Sossidou, E. Szűcs, D. Gavojdian, I. Tripon, Silvia Erina, Sz. Konrád
The aim of the paper was to quantify Romanian farmers' knowledge of farm animal welfare issues. The survey was carried out on a random sample of 77 farmers in year 2009, based on a questionnaire developed within the framework of the WELANIMAL project (www.welanimal.aku.edu.tr). Regarding the perception of the importance of farm animal welfare and the way this is regulated in Romania and the EU, 66% of the farmers recognize that they do not have an awareness regarding this issue, even though 68% consider that there are some traditions that have a negative impact on it. Among farmed animal species, 54 farmers considered that welfare of dairy cows should be improved the most, followed by laying hens (36 respondents), pigs and beef cattle (19 and 18 respondents respectively). Over 60% of farmers considered that animal welfare receives not enough importance in Romanian's current food and agricultural policy, while 46.7% considered that in the EU the welfare of farm animals is better than in other parts of the world. Out of 77 respondents, 49 believed that the EU legislation satisfies farm animal welfare during transportation, 43 farm animal at slaughter and 40 the conditions under which animals are kept on farms. Two thirds of the respondents stated that they have some training in animal welfare and they apply the existing standards to determine animal welfare. The most often used measurements to determine the level of the animal welfare by farmers were animal health and production (57 and 47 respondents respectively).
Key words: farm animal welfare, Romanian farmers, knowledge