Cathleen Ascalic/Monika Klick
Institute of Agricultural Technology

Bundesallee 47
38116 Braunschweig
Phone: +49 531 596 4102/ 4103
Fax: +49 531 596 4199

Indikators for animal welfare - Fattening pigs


Fattening pigs  (c) Thünen-Institut
Fattening pigs (© Thünen-Institut)

Analysis and development of indicators for animal welfare in fattening pig housing

Since February 2014, livestock farmers in Germany 
have a legal obligation to carry out an internal
company audit. Legislation requires the collection
and assessment of "suitable animal-related characteristics"
(animal welfare indicators)" in this context in
§ 11 (8) of the animal welfare act (TierSchG, 2006),
without giving details of their content, size and frequency of collection.

Background and Objective

The aim of this project is to examine animal welfare indicators used on pig fattening farms with regard to their effectiveness and potential for further improvement. The starting point is provided by the KTBL Committee on “Indicators for assessing animal welfare in agricultural livestock production”.


The animal welfare indicators suggested by the KTBL Committee will be assessed regarding their fitness for purpose and economic implications and improvement potential. Furthermore, the study will check to what extent farms participating in the “Animal Welfare Initiative” actually improve their animal welfare standards and which economic effects compliance with these indicators has on farms. The study addresses pig fattening in Germany. On 30 selected farms various in-depth analyses on animal welfare and economic aspects of improved animal welfare standards are conducted. An additional survey addresses each 400 members and non-members of the “Animal Welfare Initiative” to gain additional insights into the economic effects of higher animal welfare standards. The results provide the basis for the development of improved indicators for measuring and assessing animal welfare.


Involved Thünen-Partners

Involved external Thünen-Partners


10.2017 - 5.2020

More Information

Projekt type:
Project funding number: 2817902915
Funding program: Innovationsförderung
Project status: finished