Jacques Kaandorp

Animal Welfare and Zoo
Jacques Kaandorp
How to define animal
welfare ??
Like human rights??
U.N. Declaration of Human
Rights ?
Influence : Culture, customs,
religion, species etc.
love and caress them
hate them (vermin)
eat them (lifestock)
use them (research)
e.g. Mouse/Rabbit
Defining behaviour
Natural behaviour has been defined as a
behaviour that is
“ typically observed in the wild; it is adaptive in
the evolutionary sense…i.e. has evolved by natural
selection which allows an individual to survive
more easily in its particular environment and so
gives it a better chance of leaving offspring than
an animal not so adapted” (Poole, 1988b, p. 3).
Defining behaviour
Unnatural behaviour
is defined as a behaviour that is
“not seen in the wild. Not all unnatural
behaviours are regarded as abnormal
however, as they may promote success
within the captive environment” (Poole,
1988b, p. 3‐4).
Defining Behaviour
Normal behaviour
will “promote the success and survival of the individual
and its genetic contribution to the population” and is
“clearly appropriate to the particular situation”. It
may also “be either natural or unnatural” (Poole,
1988b, p. 4).
Defining behaviour
Abnormal behaviour
is defined as a behaviour that is “rarely seen in wild
populations and does not promote the success and the
survival of the individual or its close relatives (i.e. it
does not increase fitness). It appears not to be goal
oriented, so that its function is not apparent.” It “may
include elements of normal activities, but they are
performed in an inappropriate fashion” (Poole, 1988b,
p. 4).
Abnormal Behaviours – a mental health issue?
• Displacement Behaviors – arising out of conflict
when an animal is driven to perform two behaviours at the
same time e.g. when an aggressive keeper offers food the
animal may be conflicted between the fear of the keeper and
the desire to get the food – often displayed as licking,
grooming, locomotion or vocalisation
• Redirected Behaviors ‐ Activity directed away
from the principle target and toward another less appropriate
target E.g. redirected aggression – often seen in primates
What is welfare ?
“Good animal welfare implies the absence of pain,
fear, and hunger; enables a high level of biological
functioning (i.e., normal growth, freedom from
disease); and (more controversially) enables
animals to experience positive emotional
experiences such as comfort and contentment”
Fraser et al. 1997
“...animals experiencing enhanced welfare should be free
of behaviors that are abnormal or indicative of fear and
frustration. They should actively explore and interact with
their environment and demonstrate a diversity of behavior
similar to that typically observed in the wild..”
Positive Reinforcement and environmental enrichment:
enhancing animal well‐being
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Definitions and concepts
• The assessment of animal welfare relates to
investigations of:
– How animals try to cope with their environment
– And how easy or how difficult it is for them to do so
• Can be defined as “the state of an animal as regards its
attempts to cope with its environment” (Broom, 1986)
– Ranges from very poor to very good
– Refers to feelings, as well as physical and psychological
– Meeting biological needs
– Measurable
Why should we care about animal welfare?
• Animals (incl. people)
– Sentient beings
– Are capable of experiencing suffering, and pleasure
– Have biological needs that must be fulfilled if welfare
is to be good
• People
– Have an ethical (and legal) responsibility towards
non-human animals in our care
• …Although human attitudes to animals change over time
• …And vary by country / cultural attitudes
How to define animal welfare ??
In Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary,
animal welfare is defined as
"the avoidance of abuse and exploitation of animals by
humans by maintaining appropriate standards of
accommodation, feeding and general care, the prevention
and treatment of disease and the assurance of freedom from
harassment, and unnecessary discomfort and pain."
How to define animal welfare ??
In 1965, the UK government commissioned an investigation
- led by Professor Roger Brambell - into the welfare of intensively
farmed animals, partly in response to concerns raised in Ruth
Harrison's 1964 book, Animal Machines.
On the basis of Professor Brambell's report, the UK government set
up the Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Committee in 1967,
which became the Farm Animal Welfare Council in 1979.
The committee's first guidelines recommended that animals require
the freedoms to
"stand up, lie down, turn around, groom themselves and stretch
their limbs".
The guidelines have since been elaborated to become known as the
Five Freedoms
‘five freedoms’
from hunger, thirst and malnutrition;
from fear and distress;
from physical and thermal discomfort;
from pain, injury and disease;
to express normal patterns of behaviour
1. freedom from hunger, thirst and malnutrition
How do the quality of food and water and the different methods
of providing them, affect animal welfare?
This will deal with both affective states (hunger, thirst) and the
biological effects of malnutrition or undernutrition
Ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and
1. freedom from hunger, thirst and malnutrition
Food and drink provided for animals to be of the nutritive value
and quantity required for the particular species and for individual
animals within each species, bearing in mind the condition,
size and age of each animal;
the need to allow for special circumstances
(e.g. fast days or longer periods of fast or hibernation)
and special diets for certain animals(e.g. animals undergoing
a course of veterinary treatment, or pregnant animals)
Feeding times in relation to natural activity pattern.
2. freedom from fear and distress
What effective states (pain, fear, distress, frustration) are of
concern in the welfare of animals?
How can these states be recognised, and mitigated or
How has research in this field contributed, or how might it
contribute, to the development of animal welfare standards?
Think of painful procedures (castration, dehorning, pinioning),
use of anaesthetics and analgesics, separation distress,
temperament, fear reactions, and positive states such as
contentment and pleasure.
3. freedom from physical and thermal discomfort
Management, handling and transport are issues in this
How is animal welfare affected by the actions of
caretakers, both on and off the zoo?
How do particular environments provided during
transport and handling affect animal welfare?
For example, flight parameters, learned fear.
3. freedom from physical and thermal discomfort
Animals not to be unnaturally provoked for the benefit
of the viewing public.
Animals in visibly adjoining enclosures to be those which
do not interact in an excessively stressful way.
The temperature, humidity, ventilation and lighting of enclosures
to be suitable for the comfort and well-being of the particular
species of animal at all times,
Tanks for fish and aquatic invertebrates to be adequately oxygenated,
and appropriate water quality to be provided.
Appropriate winter accommodation
3. freedom from physical and thermal discomfort
Transport procedures
Animals should only be transported when fit, which includes having a
good health condition and an appropriate age to be transported
Mammals that are in the final stages of pregnancy should not be
Appropriate crates, tanks, boxes, etc. that are suitable for the species
must be used.The transport crate should be strong enough to maintain the
animals inside during the entire transport. The crates should be designed
such that stress is minimized and is free from any items that might cause
injury to the animal.
Appropriate bedding or other substrates should be provided.
Depending on the species’ needs and the means and distance of transport
feeding and watering procedures should be considered.
When necessary, feed and water should be applicable to the animal
in a sufficient quantity, thereby taking potential delays into account.
The climate and ventilation conditions during transport must meet the
biological needs of the species as much as possible and at least guarantee
the welfare of the animal(s) throughout the entire transport.
4. freedom from pain, injury and disease
What is the role of injury and disease in (zoo) animal welfare?
How are injury and disease recognised, and mitigated
or prevented?
Think of infectious disease, environmentally induced disease
such as lameness, and the role of genetics in health.
This means that any animals which are noted to be unduly
stressed, sick or injured to receive immediate attention and,
where necessary, treatment
Example freedom 4. freedom from pain, injury and disease
Mutilation, including flight restraint (from EAZA minimal standards)
Mutilation of any animal for cosmetic purposes, or to change
the physical appearance of the animal, is not acceptable.
This also includes pinioning of birds for educational or management
purposes unless any other form of restraint has proven more harmful to the
birds or less efficient.
Closed aviaries of reasonable size is thus also to be preferred to open
enclosures where pinioning is the only efficient method of restraint.
Marking of animals for identification reasons should always be carried
out with the least harmful method available and should only involve
mutilation of any sort when no other method has proven feasible.
In case mutilation is to be used it must always be carried out in a way that
minimizes suffering and under professional supervision.
Example freedom 4. freedom from pain, injury and disease
Euthanasia (EAZA)
If after having considered alternative solutions, it is deemed
necessary to euthanase an animal, the euthanasia technique used
must ensure a quick death without suffering.
Euthanasia may be controlled by local customs and laws but
is preferable to keeping an animal alive under substandard
A post-mortem examination should be performed and biological
material preserved for research and gene conservation as needed.
Surplus animals??
5. freedom to express normal patterns of behaviour
Space and environment!
What quality and quantity of living environment do animals need
for basic biological functioning (growth, rate of lay, breeding, etc.),
for physical and thermal comfort, and for important types of
behaviour? (stereotypic behaviour?)
How have these needs been determined, and how are they
reflected (or might they be reflected) in guiding principles,
guidelines and standards?
Think of research on space needs in relation to basic activities;
and approaches to the design of animal housing facilities.
Think of mixed species exhibits (advantages and disadvantages
and balance)
5. freedom to express normal patterns of behaviour
Animals in outdoor enclosures to be provided with sufficient shelter
from inclement weather or excessive sunlight
where this is necessary for their comfort and well-being.
Animal enclosures to be furnished, in accordance with the needs of the
species in question, with such items as bedding material, perching,
vegetation, burrows, nesting boxes and pools.
Provide appropriate environmental and behavioral enrichment.
Enclosures to be of sufficient size and animals to be so managed to avoid animals within herds or groups being unduly dominated
by individuals;
to avoid the risk of persistent and unresolved conflict between
herd or group members or between different species in mixed exhibits;
to ensure that the physical carrying capacity of the enclosure
is not overburdened;
Does ‘free-living’ = ‘good welfare’?
No - poor welfare is not just
something that can occur in
Welfare shall refer to the physical, behavioral and
social well-being of animals through the provision of
appropriate conditions for the species involved,
including but not necessarily limited to housing,
environment, diet, medical care and social contact
where applicable.
Welfare indicators
Poor maternal care/infanticide
Overgrooming and selfharming
Eating stool
What is stereotypy ?
Repetetive, invariant behavior patterns with no
obvious goal or function
• Derived from normal motor patterns
• Develop slowly; early on may be more flexible
• With time, patterns become more rigid
• Eventually, they are performed even when
original stimuli is not present
What causes stereotypy?
Sub‐optimal environments
• Lack of social contact or stimulation as a young
• Genetic predisposition
• Lack of opportunity to express natural
behavioural drives
What causes stereotypy?
• Unavoidable stress or fear
• Lack of sensory stimulation and or behavioral
opportunities that lead to:
– Frustration
– Conflict, etc.
• Always associated with a sub‐optimal environment
• One common factor FRUSTRATION
Origins of stereotypy
• Frustration ‐ When an individual is highly
motivated to perform a behavior but is restricted from
doing so.
• Conflict – When an individual is motivated to
perform two opposing behaviors at the same time.
There are no universal
indicators of welfare!
Importance of Minimizing Stress in
“Recent advances in stress research have now lead
to the realization that certain preclinical and clinical
symptoms may be resulting from physiological and
psychological distress in the captive environment.
Freedom from distress thus represents another
essential component for the establishment of
overall well‐being.”
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical
Behavioural management incorporates
appropriate veterinary care,
environmental enrichment, training,
animal behaviour issues, and exhibit
architecture and husbandry.
Animal welfare herd animals
habitat choice
food selection
vigilance and predator avoidance
mate selection and mating behaviour
parental care
and a range of social behaviours like
male-male competitive interactions
Madrid/Budapest ?
Ovum pick up
AI Elephants
EAZA discussion
Assisted Reproduction ??
Handrearing ??
Breed and cull ??
Breed and cull
Contraception ??
Welfare ??
Breed ???
Or Cull ??
Or Bachelor Groups?