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Theses

Atteintes au bien-être des vaches laitières : étude épidémiologique

Abstract : Improving dairy cows’ welfare is a major challenge in response to citizen concerns. The present thesis aimed to identify (i) major welfare problems, (ii) which farm characteristics are associated with the impairment of welfare and (iii) which factors are associated with the impairment of human-animal relationships. We conducted an epidemiological survey and used the Welfare Quality R protocol to assess dairy cows’ welfare. In general, prevalence of lameness was low and cows had opportunities to walk. The absence of hunger and thirst and the expression of species-specific behaviors were achieved but variable between farms. Resting comfort, skin injuries, health, social behavior, cows’ emotional state and human-animal relationships were affected and variable. Disbudding was often performed without pain relief. The main risk indicators of poor cow welfare were farm location (for thirst), breed (hunger, social behavior), housing (resting comfort and skin injuries), the interaction housing-breed (emotional state) and location-milking system (expression of species-specific behaviors). Action plans should be designed according to farm types. The quality of the human-animal relationship was not associated with farm main characteristics, but to calving conditions, farmers’ attitudes and cows’ social behavior. In addition, we observed large variations between-cows in their responses to humans, suggesting that individual behavioral traits of cows play a major role.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 19, 2012 - 9:38:25 AM
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Alice de Boyer Des Roches. Atteintes au bien-être des vaches laitières : étude épidémiologique. Sciences agricoles. Université Blaise Pascal - Clermont-Ferrand II, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012CLF22245⟩. ⟨tel-00766796⟩

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