Assessment of zoo animal welfare : Setting the scene

P. Koene

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstractAcademic


Welfare of zoo animals may vary largely dependent on species, enclosure size and number of conspecifics present. Inspection of animal welfare in zoos may therefore be complicated and is not done systematically in most countries. Large differences exist in regulations for zoo animal welfare, from no standards to generally defined minimum standards. Furthermore, the environment-based assessment of welfare, the animal-based assessment and zoo-based approach each imply advantages and disadvantages. And, nowadays not only arguments concerning suffering in animals but also concerning pleasure in animals are important in overall welfare assessment. Inspection using minimum standards or inspection based on behavioral needs, natural behavior and behavioral opportunities may differ largely in outcome, especially for the animal. In this workshop a modern zoo point of view making explicit the intention to measure zoo animal welfare in a transparent way discusses with the critical approach towards keeping animals and actual realized animal welfare in zoos. The goal of the discussion is to find ways towards objective assessment of animal welfare in zoo animals focused on the range between suffering and pleasure. An outcome is sought that guarantees the welfare of zoo animals, but also satisfies zoo managers, the public and other critical parties. This workshop stimulates to find a new approach and new methods to assess zoo animal welfare for the coming decades.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of abstracts of the 4th International Workshop on the assessment of animal welfare at farm and group level, Ghent, Belgium, 10 - 13 September, 2008
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventWAFL 2008 4th International Workshop on the Assessment of Animal Welfare at Farm & Group Level - Ghent, Belgium
Duration: 10 Sep 200813 Sep 2008


WorkshopWAFL 2008 4th International Workshop on the Assessment of Animal Welfare at Farm & Group Level

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