Donkey welfare standards on milk/meat farms in Italy

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Literature review, questionnaires and interviews, on-farm welfare assessments, milk analysis (chemistry and microbiology) and statistical analysis of all data.

  1. Research: understand the key requirements of donkey milk, its demand on a demographic basis and if methods to reduce bacteria are adopted.
  2. Research: understand European Regulation and local animal welfare legislation to determine how the donkey is categorised - domestic or agricultural animal.
  3. Investigation: gather data about the husbandry of donkey stallions, both as studs and those surplus to breeding. Collect information regarding their final destination (pet, work, meat production). As for male donkeys intended for meat production, farming methods and distances travelled to reach slaughter will be investigated.
  4. Investigation: donkey welfare assessment on dairy farms will be conducted through direct collection of animal-based indicators developed within the AWIN (Animal Welfare Indicators) project.
  5. Investigation: to undertake independent bacteriological testing of milk samples from farms in Italy to determine the levels and species of bacteria present.
  6. Communications: as a deliverable and extended report of principal results of analysis, raw databases, participation (or planning for participation) to an International Scientific Congress to disseminate results.