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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.


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...


Chapter 15 (Page no: 246)

Human contact.

Human-animal relationships can be viewed in various ways, but from an ethological perspective they can be conceptualized in terms of inter-individual relationships. This chapter will review the influence of human contact on the welfare of domestic animals. The model used will be the relationship between humans and farm animals, the subject of the majority of studies. The most studied aspect of the relationship from the perspective of farm animals has been the animal's fear responses to humans. Recently there has been increasing appreciation that animals may experience positive or pleasant emotions in the presence of humans that may arise from rewarding events and associations. There are three main lines of evidence concerning the implications for the welfare of farm animals: handling studies in controlled experimental conditions, observations in commercial settings and intervention studies in commercial settings. Although handling at an early age may be highly influential, subsequent handling is also influential and has the potential to modify early learning effects. Conditioning and habituation to humans, occurring both early and later in life, are probably the most influential factors affecting the behavioural responses of farm animals to humans. This review highlights the important role and responsibility of the human in the development of the human-animal relationship. The results of handling studies in the laboratory and intervention studies on farms on the relationship between stockperson attitudes, stockperson behaviour, animal behaviour and stress physiology provide evidence of causal relationships between these variables. Furthermore, this research provides a strong case for introducing stockperson training courses in the livestock industries which target stockperson attitudes and behaviour. The selection of stockpeople on the basis of attributes appropriate to the job provides another opportunity to improve animal welfare. This discussion demonstrates the important role and responsibility of the human in the development of human-animal relationships and thus underlines the need to understand not only these relationships but also the opportunities to improve them in order to safeguard animal welfare.

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: 14 (Page no: 228) Social conditions. Author(s): Galindo, F. Newberry, R. C. Mendl, M.
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.