GERMANY

Germany: QS animal health advice, an added value for the entire industry

For the first time, QS Quality and Security GmbH (QS) is introducing mandatory animal health advice for companies whose diagnostic data document abnormalities in animal health over a longer period of time. The aim of this new QS requirement is to sustainably improve animal health. The aim is to promote animal protection and further minimize risks for the entire industry. Specially trained consultants are used. They work with the pig farms to develop individual solutions for a lasting improvement in the health of the animals.

Posted on Feb 27 ,00:05

Germany: QS animal health advice, an added value for the entire industry

"The animal health advice initially starts on the basis of diagnostic data from pig fattening farms. In the long term, we want to use this mandatory advice to significantly reduce the number of animal owners who do not regularly critically review and improve their quality standards themselves‘‘, explains Dr. Alexander Hinrichs, QS Managing Director, describes the demands of the new project. It is precisely these exceptions that often attract negative attention in the media and give an entirely unjustified bad image of animal husbandry as a whole. We want to prevent this with an external push to help people help themselves. When developing this advisory approach, it was important that it was also supported by agriculture and the meat industry.

The identification of the companies to be advised takes place in several steps: First, QS evaluates the companies based on their slaughter findings data. The observation period extends over at least half a year. The data from the animal owners are compared to each other in order to filter out the negative outliers. If the negative impression from the findings is confirmed during a special audit on the company, the company must seek advice from trained experts. These consultants are intended to provide animal farmers with the best possible support in improving their individual farm weaknesses and work with them to develop practical solutions for better animal health.

Consultants and operations managers should consider all relevant starting points for improvements. A comprehensive approach should also be found together with the veterinarian in charge of the stock. All important agreements are recorded in a consultation protocol, which is stored in the QS database. The diagnostic data monitoring in the QS database, in turn, ensures transparent and measurable success control throughout the entire consultation process. Companies that refuse to provide advice or do not achieve any improvement in animal health despite advice must expect consequences for their right to supply to the QS system.

"An essential basis for the implementation of our new requirements are competent and practical advisors‘‘, emphasizes Hinrichs, the affected animal owners must be able to rely on the advisors specially trained by QS. QS therefore also requires targeted approval of consultants. The affected animal owners can choose their advisor from a QS list. Both the veterinary profession and freelance, independent consultants come into consideration for this consultation process with their expertise. Special training from QS is mandatory for every consultant. The training is scheduled to start in the coming weeks before the first calculations of the diagnostic data are carried out in the middle of the year. Based on this calculation, information letters are then used to inform which company requires an animal health audit and, if necessary, is obliged to provide advice.

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