The sub-page is dedicated to priority area 5. Assessment of welfare of turkeys.


The following deliverable combines a list of welfare indicators and methods of assessment relative to on-farm turkeys’ welfare. As no specific European legislation is yet available, the legal requirements of the directive 98/58/EC that apply to turkeys are identified and allocated to four welfare principles: Good Feeding, Good Housing, Good Health and Appropriate Behaviour. Welfare indicators and their methods of assessment are developed following a review of the existing scientific literature, and the checklist and guidelines used by official inspectors in Member States. Among the different welfare indicators, the animal-based Indicators (ABI) are prioritized and these indicators and methods of assessment are evaluated according to the available knowledge about their feasibility and reliability in order to deliver to Competent Authorities useful information for official controls. However, ResourceBased (RBI) and Management-Based indicators (MBI) could also be applicable and are also provided but with a short description.


The technical study aimed at evaluating the prevalence and the inter-observer repeatability of the most valid and feasible animal-based indicators of the state of consciousness after waterbath stunning in turkeys before bleeding (tonic seizure, breathing, spontaneous blinking, and vocalisation) and during bleeding (wing flapping, breathing, spontaneous swallowing, and head shaking). In addition, correlations among them were computed to better understand their relationship and offer better insight on reliability of indicators. This was aimed at proposing a refined list of indicators that can be used in commercial slaughterhouses ensuring consistency of assessments. Moreover, the effectiveness of stunning according to different combinations of waterbath electrical key parameters (frequency and current) used in different commercial slaughterhouses was assessed in order to provide general recommendations.