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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 third edition of "Animal Welfare" has 407 pages and is divided into five parts. Part I, Issues, introduces the background and philosophy of the subject. Part II covers problems for animal welfare, starting in chapter 3 with the animal's interactions with its environment. The following four chapters use categories similar to the UK Farm Animal Welfare Committee's (undated) Five Freedoms, altho...


Chapter 4 (Page no: 56)

Hunger and thirst.

It has been argued that the recommendation of 'freedom from hunger and thirst' leads to confusion because it is generally assumed that hunger and thirst are required 'triggers' for an animal to start feeding or drinking. Here, we consider what constitutes 'normal' feeding and drinking behaviour. All animals have such preferred or 'normal' behaviours, which are structured in bouts or meals. Such behaviours are very flexible, and there is little evidence to suggest that deviations from a preferred feeding or drinking behaviour have significant welfare consequences. Because free and continuous access to a high-quality food leads to overweight, obesity and other problems, animal keepers impose a degree of quantitative or qualitative feeding restriction on animals, which may be associated with effects on animal behaviour. There is agreement between studies about behavioural changes that can be observed when food is qualitatively, compared to quantitatively, restricted, but less so when physiological indicators of hunger are considered. These behavioural changes are interpreted by some as signs of improved welfare when animals are qualitatively restricted. Severe food restriction is considered here as undernutrition and its effects on animals (ill thrift, poor performance, severe deterioration of health and eventual death) are well established. Malnutrition arises when an animal is given access to food which is inappropriately balanced. Severe malnutrition leads to problems similar to nutrient restriction, and in addition may give rise to obesity. However, whether subtle cases of malnutrition lead to any behavioural changes and deteriorations in welfare is subject to debate. Finally, we suggest substituting the term thirst with that of 'water restriction', which may arise intentionally or unintentionally. Because of the many functions water performs, even short-term restriction will lead to deterioration in health and welfare. There are many instances where water restriction can arise unintentionally, despite the fact that animal keepers frequently take the free and continuous availability of water for granted, and these are considered here.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 3) Animal ethics. Author(s): Palmer, C. Sandøe, P.
Chapter: 2 (Page no: 16) Understanding animal welfare. Author(s): Keeling, L. J. Rushen, J. Duncan, I. J. H.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 39) Environmental challenge and animal agency. Author(s): Špinka, M. Wemelsfelder, F.
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 76) Pain. Author(s): Viñuela-Fernández, I. Weary, D. M. Flecknell, P. A.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 92) Fear and other negative emotions. Author(s): Boissy, A. Dwyer, C. M. Jones, R. B.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 114) Frustration and boredom in impoverished environments. Author(s): Mason, G. J. Burn, C. C.
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 141) Health and disease. Author(s): Cockram, M. S. Hughes, B. O.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 160) Behaviour. Author(s): Olsson, I. A. S. Würbel, H. Mench, J. A.
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 181) Physiology. Author(s): Blache, D. Terlouw, C. Maloney, S. K.
Chapter: 11 (Page no: 213) Preference and motivation research. Author(s): Fraser, D. Nicol, C. J.
Chapter: 12 (Page no: 232) Practical strategies to assess (and improve) welfare. Author(s): Butterworth, A. Mench, J. A. Wielebnowski, N. Olsson, I. A. S.
Chapter: 13 (Page no: 253) Physical conditions. Author(s): Nielsen, B. L. Appleby, M. C. Waran, N. K.
Chapter: 14 (Page no: 271) Social conditions. Author(s): Galindo, F. Newberry, R. C. Mendl, M.
Chapter: 15 (Page no: 294) Human contact. Author(s): Hemsworth, P. H. Sherwen, S. L. Coleman, G. J.
Chapter: 16 (Page no: 315) Genetic selection. Author(s): Hocking, P. M. D'Eath, R. B. Kjaer, J. B.
Chapter: 17 (Page no: 335) Economics. Author(s): Bennett, R. M. Thompson, P.
Chapter: 18 (Page no: 349) Regulation, enforcement and incentives. Author(s): Knierim, U. Pajor, E. A.
Chapter: 19 (Page no: 362) International issues. Author(s): Appleby, M. C. Huertas, S. M.

Chapter details

  • Author Affiliation
  • School of Agriculture and Rural Development, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK.
  • Year of Publication
  • 2018
  • ISBN
  • 9781786390202
  • Record Number
  • 20183074169