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Farm welfare risks influencing the quality of the traditional Mediterranean animal products

Traditional Animal Products represent an important economical and cultural resource for all the Mediterranean countries. In Greece, milk, meat and their products, as well as eggs, cover a large section of the food market and consumers' preferences.

The quality and safety of the animal end products depend on many factors and are ensured by the implementation of various schemes at the procession stage (ISO, HACCP, SSM). On the other hand, on the first level of the production cycle (on farm), although certain 'risks' exist which are strongly related to the livestock welfare and seriously affect the quality of the products, no system supporting quality has been applied yet.
This study aims at defining the on farm welfare risks that are important to the quality of food of animal origin.
The farm is considered as a whole physical resource system that consists of a group of inter-related components (soil, water, atmosphere, animals, plants, people and money) and includes a series of planned practices, designed and implemented in order to wisely exploit these resources. Therefore welfare risks address issues in all farm components as well the interactions amongst them. The various ethics and culture issues in the Mediterranean area are also considered to play a significant role in defining the welfare risk in our study. Furthermore, consumer attitudes towards animal products produced within animal-friendly farming systems are widely discussed in connection to the future of the market of these products using data derived from previous studies, farm experiences and relevant literature. Risk Analysis and System Modelling are applied for risk definition.
Finally, the ultimate purpose of our study is to support the decision making process for monitoring both the animal welfare on farm and the quality issues of the derived animal products.

E. N. Sossidou
National Agricultural Research Foundation (N.AG.R.E.F.), Greece
S. B. Ramantanis, F. N. Mantis,
Technological Educational Institution (T.E.I.) of Athens, Greece
A. Tserveni-Goussi
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece


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