European Fur Breeder's Association initiated the "WelFur" project in 2009 in order to develop a welfare assessment protocol for mink and fox farms after the Welfare Quality® standards. The assessment is based on four welfare principles (Good feeding, good housing, good health and appropriate behaviour) and 12 underlying criteria, to be measured on-farm. The major steps in the development of the WelFur mink protocols are described: (1) Writing leterature reviews and listing potential measures. (2) Identifying valid, reliable and feasable welfare measures. (3) Developing registration protocols, descriptions, and schemes. (4) Testing preliminary protocols in relevant seasons of the annual production. This paper focus on the evaluation of validity, reliability anf feasibility of the 22 measures that have been selected for the WelFur assessment protocols. These protocols haev been tested in the three mink production seasons: Winter, spring, and autumn, in order to cover the life cycle of mink and proved feasible for a one-day visit.
Proceedings of the Xth International Scientific Congress in Fur Animal Production, 2012, p. 411-419
validity; reliability; feasibility of welfare measures; Neovison vison