7-State-Evaluation: Effects on animal welfare


construction of dairy cattle housing, moderinsation of agricultural holdings (c) Thünen-Institut/Gartung
construction of dairy cattle housing, moderinsation of agricultural holdings (© Thünen-Institut/Gartung)

On-going evaluation of the Rural Development Programmes of seven German federal states in the programming period 2007 - 2013: Effects on animal welfare

The Thünen Institute of Farm Economics evaluates the effects on animal welfare of the Rural Development Programs (RDP) of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony / Bremen and Hamburg.

Background and Objective

Various measures under the RDP such as the farm investment support, farm advisory services or animal welfare payments, aim at improving animal welfare. We assess if they achieve this goal. To this aim, the following questions are crucial:

  • Are the measures in principle suitable to achieve improvements in animal welfare?
  • Which effects do the measures unfold on the supported holdings?
  • What is the contribution of the measures to improve animal welfare in livestock farming?

Evaluation of the effects on animal welfare takes place within evaluation of the whole Rural Development Programs.


To evaluate the effects of the various support measures, we use different methods. For the animal welfare payments, we collected animal- and resource-oriented indicators on 120 dairy farms to assess the state of welfare on the supported farms. The extension measure is evaluated by using a written survey which assesses the behavioral changes of the supported farmers.

Data and Methods

For the analysis, we evaluate funding data (for example, animal numbers, funding amounts) but also self-collected data and information from statistical surveys. In addition to quantitative statistical methods (descriptive statistics, multivariate analyses), we use qualitative methods (focus groups, content analysis).


Mid-Term Evaluation of animal welfare effects of Measure 215 in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania: www.ktbl.de/fileadmin/user_upload/Allgemeines/Download/KTBL-Tage-2015/KTBL-Tage_2015.pdf; ; Further publications on RDP-Evaluation: www.thuenen.de/en/bw/staff/wissenschaftliches-personal/bergschmidt-angela-dipl-ing-agr/

Links and Downloads


Involved Thünen-Partners


1.2008 - 3.2017

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: finished

Publications to the project

Results 1 - 5 of 12

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  1. Bergschmidt A, Brinkmann J, Renziehausen C, March S (2017) Evaluating 'Animal Welfare Payments' of the EUs Common Agricultural Policy. In: Jong IC, Koene P (eds) Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on the Assessment of Animal Welfare at Farm and Group Level : WAFL 2017 ; Ede, The Netherlands ; September 5-8, 2017. Wageningen: Wageningen Academic Publ, p 168
  2. Bathke M, Grajewski R, Bergschmidt A, Eberhardt W, Ebers H, Fährmann B, Forstner B, Moser A, Pollermann K, Pufahl A, Reiter K, Roggendorf W, Sander A, Schwarz G, Spengler M, Techen A-K (2016) Ex-post Evaluation of the Hamburg Rural Development Plan 2007 to 2013 : Summary. Braunschweig: Thünen-Institut, II,15 p
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 612 kb
  3. Bergschmidt A (2016) Ex-post-Bewertung NRW-Programm Ländlicher Raum 2007 bis 2013 : Modulbericht 6.5_MB Tierschutz (ELER-Code 215). Braunschweig: Thünen-Institut, IV,63 p
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 1599 kb
  4. Bergschmidt A (2016) Ex-post-Bewertung PROFIL 2007 bis 2013 : Modulbericht 5.4_MB(b) Tierschutzwirkungen des AFP (ELER-Code 121). Braunschweig: Thünen-Institut, III,18 p
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 670 kb
  5. Bergschmidt A (2015) Ex-post-Bewertung EPLR Hamburg 2007 bis 2013 : Modulbericht 6.4_MB Sommerweidehaltung von Rindern (ELER-Code 215). Braunschweig: Thünen-Institut, II,38 p
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 848 kb

Results 1 - 5 of 12

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