Independent report

FAWC opinion on the welfare implications of breeding and breeding technologies in commercial livestock agriculture

Farm Animal Welfare Committee overview of the animal welfare implications of selective breeding strategies and breeding technologies.



The report welcomes the progress made in recent years on breeding goals aimed at improving farm animals’ robustness and health and welfare traits. However, there are still issues associated with high production levels resulting in poor animal welfare.

Planned breeding strategies and breeding technology tools have the potential to improve productivity, health and welfare in farm animals but also the potential to result in poor welfare. If the balance of selected traits is not correct then problems such as dystocia, metabolic and skeletal disorders and unwanted behaviours can result.

Breeding companies should incorporate a broad range of breeding goals in their breeding programmes, including fitness and functionality as well as productivity, to help improve farm animal welfare.

You can read more about the work of the Farm Animal Welfare Committee.