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Revista MVZ Córdoba

Print version ISSN 0122-0268On-line version ISSN 1909-0544


MEDRANO-GALARZA, Catalina; ZUNIGA-LOPEZ, Aldemar  and  GARCIA-CASTRO, Fredy E.. Evaluación de bienestar animal en fincas bovinas lecheras basadas en pastoreo en la Sabana de Bogotá, Colombia. Rev.MVZ Cordoba [online]. 2020, vol.25, n.2, pp.49-62.  Epub Aug 18, 2021. ISSN 0122-0268.


The aim of this study was to determine an overall on-farm animal welfare score (WS) for dairy farms using a protocol involving animal- and management/resource-based variables; and to identify the variables that contributed the most to the variance for the WS.

Materials and methods.

Twenty-five pasture-based dairy farms in Savanna of Bogota - Colombian high tropic, were visited twice. During each visit, a total of 15 animal- and 13 management/resource-based variables were evaluated. For each variable, a herd-level negative cut-off point was established to determine compliance. Based on compliance, a WS was determined (from 0 to 100) and farms were classified as 'excellent', 'enhanced', 'acceptable', or 'non-acceptable'. A linear regression model was used to evaluate the association between variables at the herd-level with the WS.


Overall, median WS was 82 (min=67; max=97). Two farms were classified as 'excellent' (WS=94.5), 20 as 'enhanced' (WS=82.5), and 3 as 'acceptable' (WS=68). Among all variables, the noncompliance regarding subclinical mastitis, hind-legs and udder dirtiness score, ventral line wounds, Haematobia ¡rritans fly counts, and condition/cleanliness of pre-milking holding area was significantly associated with a 5.6, 3.6, 6.7, 5.1, 6.5, and 6.1 points reduction in the WS, respectively (R2 = 0.84).


Welfare level found across farms was good and encouraging. Nonetheless, six variables were identified as the main contributors to an unfavorable result. Strategies for improvement could focus on these variables to be able to reach a welfare level of 'excellence'.

Keywords : Benchmarking; cattle; tropical; well-being (Source: MeSH).

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