Many welfare indicators, even those measured at the individual level, are expressed at group level, as a proportion of the animals. This allows benchmarking and following of trends over time. The decision on what is or is not acceptable from a welfare point of view is an ethical or managerial one. The advantage of a graded welfare indicator is that it allows different thresholds to be set by different people, countries or organisations, depending on the purpose of the assessment. The development of a set of harmonised international welfare indicators for global trade is also discussed.