Establishment and Implementation of an Animal Welfare Decision Tree to Evaluate the Welfare of Zoo Animals

During the last few decades, zoos and aquaria have made great improvements in their exhibit designs, feeding routines, social housing conditions, mixed species presentations, and environmental enrichment, as well as in the prevention of infectious and parasitic diseases, to enhance animal welfare. To monitor the effectiveness of all these changes, animal welfare science is needed. […]

“Feelings and Fitness” Not “Feelings or Fitness”–The Raison d’être of Conservation Welfare, Which Aligns Conservation and Animal Welfare Objectives

Increasingly, human activities, including those aimed at conserving species and ecosystems (conservation activities) influence not only the survival and fitness but also the welfare of wild animals. Animal welfare relates to how an animal is experiencing its life and encompasses both its physical and mental states. While conservation biology and animal welfare science are both […]

Interobserver agreement and sensitivity to climatic conditions in sheltered dogs’ welfare evaluation performed with welfare assessment protocol (Shelter Quality protocol)

The Shelter Quality protocol (SQP) is a concise and easily implemented tool for assessing dog welfare and to identify critical aspects of the shelter environment. A first version of the protocol has been modified to improve its performance. The aim of this study was to evaluate the reliability of the measures included in the second […]

Assessment of animal welfare in a veterinary context–A call for ethologists

With the increasingly advanced treatments offered in veterinary medicine, the need to evaluate not only the treatment itself but also the implications of the treatment for the welfare of the animal has become more apparent. Follow-up studies are important sources of information for veterinarians concerning the potential outcome of a treatment and some of these […]

Voluntary animal welfare assessment of mass-produced farm animal housing equipment using a standardised procedure

Assessment of mass-produced animal-housing equipment can serve as a basis for improving animal welfare. A number of European countries have adopted various legal approaches to such assessment. In Germany, welfare assessment of housing equipment is voluntary, but minimum standards can be set by regulation for the assessment procedure and for the qualifications of the persons […]

Evaluation of welfare state based on interpretation of multiple indices

Welfare is a multidimensional construct and its quantification is of major scientific, societal and economic importance in veterinary medicine. The construction of indices that measure welfare validly and reliably remains a considerable challenge. A general methodology for constructing welfare indices can be adapted from human medicine (in particular, from methodologies to assess Quality of Life […]

Evaluating a concept for an animal welfare assessment system providing decision support using qualitative interviews

Qualitative interviews of farmers were carried out as part of a project focusing on developing animal welfare assessment systems (AWASs) in dairy, pig and mink production systems (26 farms in total). The aims of the interviews were to investigate farmers’ perceptions and experience of how an AWAS worked, and to explore their expectations for future […]

Designing animal welfare policies and monitoring progress

A single solution to promote higher animal welfare across the whole EU is unlikely due to significant regional differences and because what is most appropriate for each region depends on many factors. Based on analyses of eight member and candidate EU countries, this paper provides a conceptual framework, an ‘animal welfare roadmap’, which can be […]

Application of Welfare Assessment to Commercial Livestock Production

Farm assurance schemes are an inevitable and essential part of the UK livestock industries as they provide valuable assurances to the market over food safety, nonhuman animal welfare, and environmental concerns. However, there is potential for welfare assessment within such schemes to extend beyond existing resource-based parameters to include outcome-based observations of the behavior and […]

Multidisciplinary Approaches and Assessment Techniques to Better Understand and Enhance Zoo Nonhuman Animal Welfare

Nonhuman animal welfare is a complex concept that encompasses an animal’s biological functioning, emotional states, and opportunities to experience a natural life, including the performance of natural behaviors. Further, animal welfare can be viewed as quality of life from the perspective of the animal and thus must consider the animal’s subjective experiences. Therefore, assessing and […]