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Wednesday, May 25 • 11:30 - 12:30
Assessing welfare in zoo animals

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Animal welfare has become a priority for modern zoos. Animal welfare assessment protocols must be based on the principle that welfare includes the physical and the emotional health of the animals. Welfare indicators can be conveniently divided into “resource-based” and “animal-based” indicators, the latter including changes in behaviour, appearance, health and physiological parameters. Behavioural changes are particularly useful to assess welfare and they include both “abnormal” behaviours (i.e. behaviours that are never or rarely seen in the wild and that are indicative of poor welfare) and changes in the frequency, duration or intensity of normal behaviours. Stereotypies and apathy are examples of “abnormal” behaviours, whereas changes in play, aggression and maternal behaviour are examples of the second category of behavioural indicators. Body condition, physiological measures (including measures of the HPA axis activity), prevalence and incidence of disease, and life span are also useful to assess welfare. All these indicators, however, have methodological limitations and animal welfare can only be properly assessed using a combination of several indicators. Examples of welfare indicators that can be used in zoo animals, mainly in mammals and birds, will be given in the lecture. Additionally, some recent developments in the field of zoo animal welfare assessment will be discussed

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Dr Xavier Manteca

Xavier Manteca Vilanova received his BVSc degree from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and an MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare from the University of Edinburgh. He also has a PhD from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Currently, he is professor at the... Read More →

Wednesday May 25, 2016 11:30 - 12:30 ACST
Hall N Adelaide Convention Centre