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CABI Book Chapter

Animal welfare.

Book cover for Animal welfare.

Description

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...

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Chapter 16 (Page no: 315)

Genetic selection.

Welfare is affected by the genetic inheritance that an animal receives and the environment in which it is kept. The focus of this chapter is on the genetic contribution to animal welfare and how this may be harnessed to improve the welfare of animals. The genetic structure of a domestic breed is determined by its early history and the existence of a hierarchical breeding structure that combine to increase homozygosity. This may decrease health and welfare, as well as productivity, through inbreeding depression and by increasing the prevalence of genetic disease. In most farm animals, these processes are alleviated by the use of crossbreeding, which should be practised more widely in companion animals. Genetic selection may affect welfare adversely through inappropriate selection criteria, as in many breeds of dog, either inadvertently because of unexpected genetic correlations or as a result of the neglect of important fitness traits. Many factors constrain selection by animal breeders, such as time for a significant genetic change to be realized, the number of potential traits to be considered, negative genetic correlations between economic and welfare traits, the costs of measuring and selecting animals, and shifting market requirements. Examples of welfare problems with a genetic basis that have the potential for genetic selection are considered under two headings: behavioural problems, and skeletal and physiological disease. Selection to improve welfare often has a positive effect on profitability, but it is frequently difficult to measure welfare traits. New opportunities for the genetic improvement of animal welfare based on DNA markers, gene editing, new electronic measurement techniques and improved statistical procedures are likely to make selection for welfare traits more effective in the near future.

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: 15 (Page no: 294) Human contact. Author(s): Hemsworth, P. H. Sherwen, S. L. Coleman, G. J.
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.