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CAB eBooks

Ebooks on agriculture and the applied life sciences from CAB International

CABI Book Chapter

Animal welfare.

Book cover for Animal welfare.

Description

This second edition book is a collection of topics on animal welfare from 46 authors of varying expertise of 15 countries. The book is composed of five parts: I (issues), introduces the background and philosophy of animal welfare; II (problems), covers problems of animal welfare; III (assessment), considers various approaches to the assessment of animal welfare; IV (solutions), emphasizes how prob...

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Chapter 14 (Page no: 228)

Social conditions.

In this chapter we describe how the constrained structure of managed social groups may lead to the occurrence of animal welfare problems and discuss potential solutions. Solving socially induced welfare problems is particularly challenging because it is usually more difficult to predict how animals will respond to each other than it is to predict how they will respond to changes in the physical environment. One approach is to design social environments which allow the expression of the types of behaviour and social organization that seem to be important for stable social structures and harmony in natural groups. For example, housing animals in relatively stable groups, and allowing them the freedom to separate themselves from the main group, to select which individuals they associate with and to avoid others, may reduce susceptibility to disease and other welfare problems and promote harmonious social life. This preventive approach requires basic research into the principles affecting social organization under unconstrained free-ranging situations, and takes time to develop into practical and viable alternatives to existing systems. An alternative approach is to tackle specific welfare problems by altering existing social environments, either by providing opportunities for avoidance or by distributing resources in such a way that aggressive competition and social stress are minimized. We suggest that this trouble-shooting approach is most likely to be successful when the social history and social skills of group members are taken into account, and when the causes of problems, rather than their symptoms, are addressed. Other practical solutions to social problems in managed groups, such as genetic selection and social learning, are also discussed.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 1) Animal ethics. Author(s): Palmer, C. Sandøe, P.
Chapter: 2 (Page no: 13) Understanding animal welfare. Author(s): Keeling, L. J. Rushen, J. Duncan, I. J. H.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 27) Environmental challenge and animal agency. Author(s): Špinka, M. Wemelsfelder, F.
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 44) Hunger and thirst. Author(s): Kyriazakis, I. Tolkamp, B.
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 64) Pain. Author(s): Viñuela-Fernández, I. Weary, D. M. Flecknell, P.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 78) Fear and other negative emotions. Author(s): Jones, B. Boissy, A.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 98) Behavioural restriction. Author(s): Mason, G. J. Burn, C. C.
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 120) Health and disease. Author(s): Cockram, M. S. Hughes, B. O.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 138) Behaviour. Author(s): Olsson, I. A. S. Würbel, H. Mench, J. A.
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 155) Physiology. Author(s): Blache, D. Terlouw, C. Maloney, S. K.
Chapter: 11 (Page no: 183) Preference and motivation research. Author(s): Fraser, D. Nicol, C. J.
Chapter: 12 (Page no: 200) Practical strategies to assess (and improve) welfare. Author(s): Butterworth, A. Mench, J. A. Wielebnowski, N.
Chapter: 13 (Page no: 215) Physical conditions. Author(s): Nielsen, B. L. Appleby, M. C. Waran, N. K.
Chapter: 15 (Page no: 246) Human contact. Author(s): Hemsworth, P. H. Boivin, X.
Chapter: 16 (Page no: 263) Genetic selection. Author(s): Hocking, P. M. D'Eath, R. B. Kjaer, J. B.
Chapter: 17 (Page no: 279) Economics. Author(s): Bennett, R. Thompson, P.
Chapter: 18 (Page no: 291) Incentives and enforcement. Author(s): Knierim, U. Pajor, E. A. Jackson, W. T. Steiger, A.
Chapter: 19 (Page no: 304) International issues. Author(s): Appleby, M. C. Huertas, S. M.