Qualitative Behaviour Assessment as an indicator of animal emotional welfare in farm assurance

Richard Cooper, F Wemelsfelder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Acknowledgement of animals as sentient beings (including farm animal species), capable of experiencing positive and negative emotions, has highlighted the need for suitable ‘welfare outcome’ measures in farm assurance schemes. Current schemes tend to focus on measures of physical health and productivity, but there is as yet a lack of indicators addressing farmed animals’ emotional well-being. A number of assessment techniques exist that may help us develop such indicators, and better understand the extent to which farm animals do, or don’t, experience ‘a good life’. This article focuses on one such technique, ‘qualitative behaviour assessment’ (QBA), and reviews the potential benefits of and challenges to, its practical deployment in the field.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-5
Number of pages4
Issue number4
Early online date10 Jul 2020
Publication statusFirst published - 10 Jul 2020


  • Qualitative behaviour assessment (QBA)
  • Farm Assurance
  • Animal-based welfare indicators

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