Animal minds, cognitive ethology, and ethics

Our goal in this paper is to provide enough of an account of the origins of cognitive ethology and the controversy surrounding it to help ethicists to gauge for themselves how to balance skepticism and credulity about animal minds when communicating with scientists.We believe that ethicists’ argumentswould benefit from better understanding of the historical roots […]

New Zealand’s inclusive science-based system for setting animal welfare standards

Inclusiveness and science were, and are, essential contributors to the development and operation of New Zealand’s current system for managing animal welfare at a national level. The involvement of individuals and groups with diverse interests, having aligned, complementary or opposing views, is considered to be a most important part of this process. Participants include animal […]

Factors facilitating research: a survey of zoo and aquarium professionals

Abstract The purpose of this survey was to assess the background, training, and perceptions of professionals conducting and coordinating research at North American zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and to identify the factors they considered critical to successful scientific programs. We analyzed responses to a 57-item questionnaire from […]

Elephant importation from range countries: ethical and practical considerations for accredited zoos

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20102.abs Zoo elephant populations are in serious demographic peril. Advances in elephant management and care are expected to lead to improved reproductive success. The existing cohort of reproductively viable adult females is aging, however, and effective changes may not come fast enough to sustain the population over time. If so, importation of captive, semi-domesticated, […]

Science is not enough: How do we increase implementation?

Science has been invaluable for increasing understanding of animal welfare and as a result we know of many ways in which animal treatment and housing can be improved. However, implementation is slow because of political and economic considerations. This is particularly clear for farm animals. This raises the question of what else is needed, besides […]

Science, Values and Animal Welfare: Exploring the ‘Inextricable Connection’

In conceptualizing animal welfare, it is useful to distinguish among three types of concepts. ‘Type 1’ are single, measurable attributes. ‘Type 2’ are single attributes that cannot be measured directly but can be estimated by correctly combining various contributing attributes. ‘Type 3′ are concepts involving multiple attributes which are grouped together because they serve some […]

Highlighting ethical decisions underlying the scoring of animal welfare in the Welfare Quality® scheme

All systems of scoring animal units (groups, farms, slaughter plants, etc) according to the level of the animals’ welfare are based inevitably on normative decisions. Similarly, all methods of labelling, in terms of acceptability, are based on choices reflecting ethical values. The evaluative dimension of scoring and labelling does not mean that we should reject […]

Four types of activities that affect animals: implications for animal welfare science and animal ethics philosophy

People affect animals through four broad types of activity: (1) people keep companion, farm, laboratory and captive wild animals, often while using them for some purpose; (2) people cause deliberate harm to animals through activities such as slaughter, pest control, hunting, and toxicology testing; (3) people cause direct but unintended harm to animals through crop […]

Welfare science into practice: a successful case example of working with industry

Close collaboration between science and industry is essential for the formulation of evidence-based welfare policies. However, there is a need to recognise and manage potential challenges that may arise during collaborative projects. An applied animal welfare science project evaluating the inclusion of welfare outcome measures into UK pig farm assurance, with a view to industry […]

Using Science to Understand Elephant Welfare