How happy is your pet? The Problem of subjectivity in the assessment of companion animal welfare

The ability to evaluate the welfare of non-human animals accurately and objectively is influenced by a variety of factors including the nature of our relationships with them. Subjective biases in the perception of an animal’s quality of life can have either positive or negative consequences for its welfare and are likely to be particularly exaggerated […]

The physiological function of oxytocin in humans and its acute response to human-dog interactions: A review of the literature

Oxytocin is increasingly recognized to have a role in human-dog bonding and interactions and a positive influence on various health outcomes including cardiovascular function and stress reactivity. This review summarizes current research investigating human-dog interactions and endogenous oxytocin to highlight the potentially beneficial role of oxytocin within human-dog relationships and overall human health. We discuss […]

Behavioral and physiological measures in dairy goats with and without small ruminant lentivirus infection

Although goats exhibit no visible symptoms of discomfort in the subclinical stage of small ruminant lentivirus (SRLV) infection, we examined their welfare at the behavioral and physiological level. Twelve SRLV-seropositive (SRLV) and eight SRLV-seronegative (control) goats in their first, second, and more than second lactation were observed for pain behaviors, locomotor activity, standing, lying, eating, […]

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 […]

Influence of biological and ecological factors on hematological values in wild Little Penguins, Eudyptula minor

Clinical hematology and biochemistry are recognized as useful aids in health diagnosis in birds. The Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor) is endemic to Australia and numbers are declining due to a number of factors including declining health. This 2-year study on both Bowen and Lion Island populations aimed at assessing the potential causes of their declining […]

Welfare assessment and relevant ethical decisions: Key concepts

Animal welfare is the subject of rapidly increasing concern in most countries in the world and this concern is resulting in changes in the ways in which animal users keep and treat animals. The welfare of an individual is its state as regards its attempts to cope with its environment. This includes the state of […]

Understanding animal welfare

In debates about the welfare of animals, different people have tended to emphasize different concerns. Some emphasize the basic health and functioning of animals, especially freedom from disease and injury. Others emphasize the “affective states” of animals – states like pain, distress and pleasure that are experienced as positive or negative. Others emphasize the ability […]

Analysis of nutrient concentrations in the diet, serum, and urine of giraffe from surveyed North American zoological institutions

Abstract The objectives of the present research were to conduct a survey to investigate the health history and feeding practices of giraffe in captivity in North America and to obtain samples of hay, concentrate, browse, urine, and serum to compare across zoos, possible factors relating to the development of urolithiasis. Forty-one out of 98 institutions […]

A survey of elephant husbandry and foot health in North American zoos

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20291.abs The foot health of elephants in human care is a longstanding concern. In 2001, the AZA Standards for Elephant Management and Care were published recommending husbandry to improve foot health. This article reports the results of a 2006 survey: basic statistics describing facility, husbandry, and foot health attributes are reported and relationships among […]

Assessing animal welfare: different philosophies, different scientific approaches

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20253.abs Attempts to improve animal welfare have commonly centered around three broad objectives: (1) to ensure good physical health and functioning of animals, (2) to minimize unpleasant “affective states” (pain, fear, etc.) and to allow animals normal pleasures, and (3) to allow animals to develop and live in ways that are natural for the […]