The EU Council Directive 98/58 "concerning the protection of animals
kept for farming purposes" states that animal breeding should avoid
procedures that cause suffering or injury to any of the animals concerned.
The EU Council Directive 98/58
"concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes
states that animal breeding should avoid procedures that cause suffering or
injury to any of the animals concerned.
The Directive prohibits the breeding of animals if it causes detrimental
effects on the animal's health or welfare. Improving ostrich management and
breeding methods and avoiding some detrimental effects on ostrich health and
welfare (ie abnormal behaviour like chick pecking, or stress-related diseases
like proventricular impaction) is possible.
It also prohibits the keeping of animals for farming purposes "unless it can
reasonably be expected, on the basis of its genotype or phenotype, that it can
be kept without detrimental effect on its health or welfare", this should not be
evaluated solely on the basis of management procedures or the farm owner's
responsibility. The degree of adaptation and versatility of each species should
not be forgotten when implementing high protection directives.
Therefore more studies are needed to:
- avoid some of those negative effects, ie in-breeding related, probably
skeletal deformities in ostriches
- improve ostrich genetic selection, ie breeder stocks for meat-aptitude
- as well as reproduction
technical management, ie artificial incubation and insemination.
This is an indispensable requirement and the first step for adaptation. So if
EU ostrich production needs protection standards, there should be two standards,
considering that ostriches are at the beginning of adaptation:
1) to provide facilities extensive keeping with enough activity
for the first days of life, including daily pasture grazing and appropriate
2) to avoid behaviour disorders, especially in
The compliance of other higher protection standards included in the
Directive depends on research development under different climatic and
management conditions, and, of course, EU funding.
I am sure EU Veterinary Inspectors will agree that in ostrich farming
adapting to captivity is not only dependent on protection and management
procedures, but also on advance in ostrich research under scientists
Artificially bred methods can cause partial changes in an ostrich's natural
behaviour, ie more pecking behaviours in chicks up to 14 days of
. Could this be interpreted as a lack of
adaptation that affects animal protection or a husbandry related mistake?
Ostrich Protection - related papers and articles
Ostrich Farming in Germany - a welfare issue by
, Germany: in English
Directive 98/58 EC Animal protection
: in English
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