Welfare assessment of Japanese dairy farms using the Animal Need Index

T. Seo, K. Date, T. Daigo, F. Kashiwamura, Shusuke Sato

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    10 Citations (Scopus)


    The Animal Needs Index (ANI) is used for on-farm assessment of welfare in Austria. However, no synthetic welfare assessment system exists in Japan. We performed a welfare assessment of Japanese dairy farms using the ANI scoring system. On 25 farms, 36 dairy herds were assessed using the ANI35L/2000-cattle survey. On 10 dairy farms, 16 herds were housed in free-stall barns. The other 20 herds of 15 dairy farms were housed in tie-stall barns. This study was conducted between December 2004 and January 2005. The ANI scores ranged from 6.0 to 40.0 points (mean 17.8 points). The four high ranking herds on ANI value were housed in free-stalls and allowed the use of outside areas. The 13 low ranking herds were housed in tie-stalls and were not allowed the use of outside areas. The free-stall herds had significantly higher ANI scores than tie-stall herds. The ANI scores of herds having access to outside areas were significantly higher than those of herds having no outside access. This scoring system might be useful for Japanese dairy farms. However, some assessment parameters contain subjective criteria such as cleanliness, floor slipperiness, and animal health. Further studies are necessary to improve the scoring system, in particular clarifying criteria related to those parameters.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)221-223
    Number of pages3
    JournalAnimal Welfare
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2007 May 1


    • Animal Needs Index
    • Animal welfare
    • Assessment index
    • Cattle
    • Housing
    • On-farm welfare assessment

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Animal Science and Zoology
    • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
    • veterinary(all)


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