Wageningen World: As long as they are happy

Cows, pigs, chickens and other animals kept in barns or pens should be able to display their natural behaviour, states the revised Animals Act that comes into force in the Netherlands in 2023. But how do you decide what is natural behaviour and how you can create scope for it? ‘There is a hefty price tag on some changes.’

With a view to catering for the natural behaviour of pigs, cows, chickens and other farm animals, various housing systems have been thought up in collaboration with Wageningen, and are now in use on some farms. Finding the right balance between animal and farmer and staying within the boundaries of what is possible are central challenges, which do not make it easy for the livestock sector to fulfil all society’s wishes.

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