A group of authorities on animal husbandry, genetics, welfare science and veterinary medicine have organized to form Farm Animal Assessment Associates. FAAA's vision is to advance the welfare of farm animals by applying the best available science.
Charter principals in the working group include animal scientists Stan Curtis, John McGlone and Todd See, and veterinarian Wayne Johnson. Their collective expertise totals more than 100 years of direct involvement in the science and practice of animal agriculture.
“The FAAA credo is using science to bring value to the food chain by enhancing quality of life for livestock and poultry,” says Curtis. “The group is prompted by ethical concerns and public issues, but we are guided by objective evidence.”
“In terms of animal welfare, science will be the basis of lasting resolution of these important issues,” adds McGlone.
One of the group’s strengths is the broad scientific front represented by its members; others are that its process is inclusive, transparent and solution-oriented, according to an FAA release. The open-source approach used permits any interested party to become involved in developing models for use in genetic-selection programs as well as welfare-assessment initiatives, says Curtis.
Core assessment models include objective estimates of husbandry practices' benefits and costs in optimizing the welfare and utility of agricultural animals. Users can customize FAAA’s value-neutral core models to accommodate various values of interest. “That flexibility makes FAAA's approach distinct. These models can accommodate each stakeholder client’s special needs,” says See.
“The FAAA models are flexible in that they can evolve over time along with our understanding of animal welfare,” says Johnson, “and they can be applied to improve animal welfare on one farm or across an industry.”
Farm Animal Assessment Associates