UK-based animal welfare group Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) has launched a new salmon welfare score card ranking the performance of eight major salmon producers against 13 key welfare parameters.

More than 400 million salmon are raised globally each year, with the industry regularly subjected to scrutiny and criticism from activists and animal welfare groups on issues such as stocking densities and mortality rates from sea lice infestations.

"[The score card] will enable producers to report authoritatively on salmon welfare and provide a basis for rewarding better policy and practice, all with the aim of improving the welfare of farmed salmon," the group said.