The effect of pack separation on social relationships and behaviour in captive African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus)

African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) are endangered carnivores with a population size that is currently estimated at 6.600 adults in the wild. The European Endangered Species Program (EEP) for African wild dogs aims to maintain a healthy zoo population that is sustainable on the long-term and thereby prevent extinction of the species. Safaripark Beekse Bergen […]

A Zoo Animal’s Neighbourhood: How Conspecific Neighbours Impact Welfare

While the zoological community strives to provide the best possible living environment for non-human animals, space limitations constrain where zoos can house particular species. Therefore, an individual may live in proximity to animals that impact its behaviour, physiology, reproductive function or overall welfare status. This article examines how solitary and social species living in managed […]

Redefining human-animal relationships: an evaluation of methods to allow their empirical measurement in zoos

Scientific studies of human-animal interactions (HAIs) and how these develop into human-animal relationships (HARs) now represent some of the most significant contributions to animal welfare science. However, due to the current definition of HAR, studies have only been able to measure HAIs and infer its impact on HARs and animal welfare. Here, we redefine HARs […]

Development of a welfare assessment protocol for dairy calves from birth through to weaning

The aim of this study was to develop a welfare assessment protocol using different indicators, for pre-weaned dairy calves, that is feasible and time efficient. To this end, the protocol had to combine animal-based indicators (measurements on physiology, general appearance and behaviour) providing the basis for welfare assessment, with resource-based indicators (measurements on management and […]

Short-term behavioural response of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) to snowmobile disturbance

In this study the distance, at which polar bears detected and actively responded to approaching snowmobiles was measured and the behavioural response was recorded. The study was performed on Svalbard, an arctic island where human traffic has increased substantially in recent years. Fieldwork was conduced in April and/or May during the years 2003–2005. Polar bears […]

Beak Trimming Effects on Performance, Behavior and Welfare of Chickens: A Review

Beak trimming is a management practice that has long been employed by the poultry industry to reduce the deleterious effects of cannibalism and feather pecking among flockmates of chickens. Most studies of beak trimming have concentrated on the production and economic performance aspects of this practice. Because of the current animal welfare debate, behavioral and […]

The effect of early environment on neophobia in orange-winged Amazon parrots (Amazona amazonica)

Early experience is often a significant factor in shaping animals’ later behavior. Early maternal separation is associated with negative behavioral outcomes, such as increased fearfulness in rats, while higher levels of maternal grooming during the neonatal period are associated with decreased fearfulness and increased exploratory behavior. This finding may have implications for the welfare of […]

Laboratory birds: refinements in husbandry and procedures


Testing the minimum approach distance guidelines for incubating Royal penguins Eudyptes schlegeli

Minimum approach distance guidelines are common tools to maintain a buffer between breeding seabirds and human activity, with the goal of mitigating potentially harmful impacts from these interactions. We employed an experimental design to measure the heart rate and behaviour of Royal penguins on Macquarie Island, Australia, in response to a single pedestrian visit using […]

Comparison of behavior, physical condition and performance of laying hens in four molting methods

The objective of the present study was to evaluate the welfare level of hens in four molting methods by comparing their behavior, physical condition and performance. In total, 96 White Leghorn layers (72 weeks of age) were used. The four molting methods consisted of 10 days of feeding and the first 3 days of water […]