Challenges and paradoxes in the companion-animal niche

By definition, the companion-animal niche demands merely that animals must provide companionship. At first glance, this may seem easy enough, but the forces that contribute to success in this niche are complex. Indeed, success as a companion is rarely measured in terms of biological fitness, and empirical measures of the breeding value of stock remain […]

Feather-Damaging Behavior in Companion Parrots: Are Species Differences Intrinsic or Caused by Variations in Husbandry?


Animal Welfare Considerations: Should Context Matter?

Much consideration of animal welfare issues, as well as the bulk of welfare legislation, is closely related to context, with clear distinction between defined responsibilities towards farm-, laboratory-, companion- and wild animals. It has however been recognised that such distinction leads to inconsistencies, in that it might lead to different welfare management practices for the […]

Development of a new welfare assessment protocol for practical application in long-term dog shelters

In many European shelters, dogs may spend many years confined. A poor environment and inappropriate management may lead to a low quality of life. The absence of harmonised European regulatory frameworks defining the minimum requirements for shelter facilities makes the definition of welfare standards for kennelled dogs challenging. Here, a new protocol was developed and […]