Gummiwerk KRAIBURG Elastik GmbH & Co. KG
Tel. +49 (0)8683 701-303
Fax +49 (0)8683 701-190
Comfort mats for
Elastic animal housing flooring systems are used widely in livestock husbandry. These systems tend to
differ in their design, softness and intended use. A team of experts in the DIN standards committee "Elastomer Mats" has been working on defining technical regulations for this specific area of application. The goal: uniform and binding standards for high-quality products that offer animal-friendly comfort.
The flooring system in a cattle housing facility is the only piece of animal husbandry equipment that is used by the animals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Top-quality elastic animal housing flooring promotes animal health and well-being (joint health, claw health, natural animal-behaviour, etc.). This obviously confirms the relevance of technical regulations for elastic mats in animal housing facilities.
Until now there has been a definite lack of technical rules and guidelines in both support programmes and
legally binding regulations for farmers. For example, there is no explanation of the term "comfort mat" in the German federal Agricultural Investment Support Programme (AFP) for dairy cattle housing. A "soft or elastically deformable" substrate is also prescribed for calves in the latest version of the German Animal Protection - Livestock Ordinance (TierSchNutztV). However, the terms softness and elasticity are not defined further.
Specifically, two DIN standards are relevant for the use of elastic animal housing mats in the walking and
lying areas of calves, fattening bulls and dairy cows. DIN 3763 provides clear and specific requirements
regarding animal welfare. Softness is divided into various classes and minimum requirements are defined for slip and acid resistance, for example. DIN 3763 is already internationally recognized and much of its content has been adopted in the "ISO standard 22941 Rubber sheets for livestock - specification". DIN 3762 is intended to protect animals and consumers from harmful chemicals (PAH). The integration of these standards in regulations and support programmes would be of great benefit. Uniform and binding standards would provide farmers with guidance when making investments and stipulate legal regulations by which they must abide.