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Animal husbandry and Human-animal relationships

Validation of Methods for Assessment of Dust Levels in Layer Barns

By February 21, 2023May 25th, 2023No Comments

Document type: Scientific article published in Animals

Authors : Solène Mousqué, Frédérique Mocz, Anja B. Riber


Preview: The dust level is included in the animal welfare legislation of the European Union, implying assessment of dust levels during veterinary welfare inspections. This study aimed to develop a valid and feasible method for measuring dust levels in poultry barns. Dust levels were assessed in 11 layer barns using six methods: light scattering measurement, the dust sheet test with durations of 1 h and 2-3 h, respectively, visibility assessment, deposition assessment, and a tape test. As a reference, gravimetric measurements were obtained - a method known to be accurate but unsuitable for veterinary inspection. The dust sheet test 2-3 h showed the highest correlation with the reference method with the data points scattered closely around the regression line and the slope being highly significant (p = 0.00003). In addition, the dust sheet test 2-3 h had the highest adjusted R2 (0.9192) and the lowest RMSE (0.3553), indicating a high capability of predicting the true concentration value of dust in layer barns. Thus, the dust sheet test with a test duration of 2-3 h is a valid method for assessing dust levels. A major challenge is the test duration as 2-3 h is longer than most veterinary inspections. Nevertheless, results showed that potentially, with some modifications to the scoring scale, the dust sheet test may be reduced to 1 h without losing validity.

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