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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 15 (Page no: 294)

Human contact.

Human-animal relationships are 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 (farm and companion) animals and zoo animals. The model used will be the relationship between humans and farm animals, the subject of the majority of ethological and psychological studies on human-animal relationships. There are three main lines of evidence concerning the implications for the welfare of domestic (farm and companion) animals and zoo animals: handling studies in field settings; field observations on human-animal interactions; and intervention studies in field 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 and physiological responses of these animals to humans. While there has been less research conducted on zoo animals, there is a developing scientific literature on the effects of humans, particularly zoo visitors, on zoo animals. Furthermore, there is an increasing interest in understanding the influence of the human-animal relationship on companion animal welfare, but there is little empirical evidence. This review highlights the important role and responsibility of the human in the development of the human-animal relationship. The results of handling studies on domestic and zoo animals, field observations on human-domestic and -zoo animal interactions and intervention studies in the livestock industries on the relationship between human attitudes, human behaviour, animal behaviour and stress physiology provide evidence of causal relationships between these human and animal variables. Furthermore, this research provides a strong case for introducing stockperson training courses in the livestock industries that target stockperson attitudes and behaviour. This chapter also demonstrates the need for more research on the influence of animal carers in other settings, such as in domestic and zoo settings, to understand better the importance of the human-animal relationship. The research on farm animals highlights 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 in all animal use settings but also the opportunities to improve them in order to safeguard animal welfare.

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: 4 (Page no: 56) Hunger and thirst. Author(s): Kyriazakis, I. Tolkamp, B.
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: 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
  • Animal Welfare Science Centre, Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia.
  • Year of Publication
  • 2018
  • ISBN
  • 9781786390202
  • Record Number
  • 20183074180