Measuring animal welfare is a newly emerging area of research and it requires multi-disciplinary approach to achieve it. Due to the diversity of what constitute the definition of animal welfare, different methods and models have been suggested, and were mostly implemented in semi-intensive and commercial farms in developed countries. There are hardly any studies on animal welfare assessment conducted in backyard livestock operations in developing countries. Recognizing that majority of livestock operations in the Philippines are categorized as backyard, it is crucial to come up with parameters that can assess the welfare of the animal at the backyard level. The current research used stockmanship competence as a proxy indicator in assessing animal welfare. Stockmanship competence in this study refers to the capacity of the animal owner to ensure the welfare of their animal by providing their needs for growth and reproduction. The Philippine recommendations on goat production, tips on goat raising and goat scientific literatures were used as the basis of identifying indicators known to be important in meeting the needs of the animal and ensuring its welfare. Scores from -1 to +2 were assigned depending on how close it is of satisfying the needs of the animal. It is hoped that this assessment method would contribute to the growing body of knowledge on animal welfare and could be utilized as a logical and scientific framework in assessing welfare not just in backyard goat operation but in semi-intensive and commercial goat operations. It is suggested that further studies be done to identify other factors and standardize indicators that would reflect a comprehensive outline for goat welfare.
Key words: Backyard goat production, stockmanship competence, animal welfare, Philippines.
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