Monitoring the behavior and habitat use of animals to enhance welfare using the ZooMonitor app

Regular monitoring of the behavior, habitat use, and appearance of animals can provide valuable insight into their welfare. These ongoing data can help identify meaningful trends that can be acted upon to enhance welfare, and potentially reveal individual preferences and patterns that can facilitate care tailored to the individual. To provide a low cost, flexible, […]

The use of Qualitative Behavioural Assessment in zoo welfare measurement and animal husbandry change

Zoological institutions have come a long way over the past 20 years in their measurement and evaluation of animal behaviour and welfare. Environments that enable the performance of biologically relevant activity patterns, which increase behavioural diversity and ensure appetitive behaviours can be completed in full, are commonplace in zoos globally. The use of species-specific environmental […]

Deflighting zoo birds and its welfare considerations

For over a century the practice of deflighting has taken place in zoological collections in order to ensure birds remain in open-topped enclosures. Over time, efforts have been made to improve or develop new (surgical) techniques, reduce risk of complications during deflighting and minimise stress and pain during the procedure. However, increased public interest in […]

Animal Welfare in Predator Control: Lessons from Land and Sea. How the Management of Terrestrial and Marine Mammals Impacts Wild Animal Welfare in Human–Wildlife Conflict Scenarios in Europe

The control of predators, on land and in the sea, is a complex topic. Both marine and terrestrial mammal predators come into conflict with humans in Europe in many ways and yet their situations are rarely compared. Areas of conflict include the predation of livestock and farmed fish, and the perceived competition for wild prey […]

Extensive human presence and regular gentle handling improve growth, survival and immune competence in ostrich chicks

A total of 416 day-old ostrich chicks were randomly allocated to one of the three different husbandry practices for 3 months after hatch; HP1 (extensive human presence with gentle human voice, visual and gentle physical stimuli), HP2 (similar to HP1 but without physical stimuli) and S (human presence limited to supply of feed and water). […]

How Can We Assess Positive Welfare in Ruminants?

Until now, most research has focused on the development of indicators of negative welfare, and relatively few studies provide information on valid, reliable, and feasible indicators addressing positive aspects of animal welfare. However, a lack of suffering does not guarantee that animals are experiencing a positive welfare state. The aim of the present review is […]

The welfare of game birds destined for release into the wild: a balance between early life care and preparation for future natural hazards

Globally, over 110 million game birds are reared annually and released for recreational hunting. Game birds differ from other reared livestock because they experience two very distinct environments during their lives. Chicks are first reared in captivity for 6–12 weeks under managed, stable conditions and then released into the wild. A limited set of 13 […]

Indicators of Horse Welfare: State-of-the-Art

Animal welfare is defined as a chronic state reflecting an individual’s subjective perception of its situation. Because it is possible to be in a good welfare state and nevertheless experience acute fear or pain, and conversely, short-term positive emotions can be experienced during impaired welfare states, welfare as a chronic state has to be clearly […]

Given the Cold Shoulder: A Review of the Scientific Literature for Evidence of Reptile Sentience

We searched a selection of the scientific literature to document evidence for, and explorations into reptile sentience. The intention of this review was to highlight; (1) to what extent reptile capability for emotions have been documented in the scientific literature; (2) to discuss the implications this evidence has for the trade in reptiles; and (3) […]