Welfare Assessment for Captive Anseriformes: A Guide for Practitioners and Animal Keepers

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Paul Rose, Michelle O’Brien
, , , , , , ,

Welfare assessment is a tool to both identify welfare challenges and to evidence where current husbandry practices support positive welfare outcomes. Such tools are becoming more available and can be amended based on the nature of the facility and needs of taxonomic groups. Currently, welfare assessment has a strong mammalian theme, and some behavioural measures of welfare commonly applied to mammals do not translate well for other taxa. This paper provides a method for welfare assessment of Anseriformes; widely housed, diverse bird species kept under a range of management styles. A mixture of resource-based (i.e., determination of aspects of the physical environment or the bird’s physical appearance or activity) and animal-based (i.e., observations that equate to a bird’s feelings or personality characteristics) measures are integrated to enable a full review of potential predictors of welfare. The method provides a rapid and valid way for all personnel to collect information that evaluates quality-of-life experiences of the Anseriformes under their care. Explanations of key terminology are provided to enable repeatable and reliable assessment for all persons using the tool. Suggestions for follow-up actions are provided to emphasise why the welfare assessment process needs to be one of continual re-evaluation of animal care.


Back to Resources