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What is Animal Welfare? Summary & Scientific Review

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What is Animal Welfare? Summary & Scientific Review

Animal welfare can be a difficult concept to understand because it has no single definition and can mean different things to different people.

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As animals are sentient beings, capable of experiencing positive and negative emotions, we have a duty to care for their welfare. An updated three orientations model sees animal welfare as encompassing both the physical and mental wellbeing of an animal as well as their ability to engage in behaviours that are important to them, their behavioural preferences. Animal welfare frameworks, such as the Five Freedoms and Five Domains, can be used to set out the specific conditions necessary to avoid poor welfare and/or to provide good welfare. Ensuring good animal welfare is a continuous process which depends on 1) providing a system which has a high welfare potential and a high standard of management, 2) measuring animal-based welfare outcome measures to understand the actual welfare of the animals in that system (including measures of emotion, particularly positive experiences), and 3) refining the standards. A One Welfare framework places animal welfare in a wider context and promotes the selection of strategies where animal welfare may have wider benefits to people and the planet and vice versa.



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