: Received: 2 December 2021 / Approved: 2 December 2021 / Online: 2 December 2021 (10:09:22 CET)
: Received: 22 December 2021 / Approved: 22 December 2021 / Online: 22 December 2021 (11:59:32 CET)
Jones, N.; Sherwen, S.L.; Robbins, R.; McLelland, D.J.; Whittaker, A.L. Welfare Assessment Tools in Zoos: From Theory to Practice. Vet. Sci.2022, 9, 170.
Jones, N.; Sherwen, S.L.; Robbins, R.; McLelland, D.J.; Whittaker, A.L. Welfare Assessment Tools in Zoos: From Theory to Practice. Vet. Sci. 2022, 9, 170.
Zoos are increasingly putting in place formalized animal welfare assessment programs to allow monitoring of welfare over time, as well as to aid in resource prioritization. These programs tend to rely on assessment tools that incorporate resource-based and observational animal- focused measures since it is rarely feasible to obtain measures of physiology in zoo-housed animals. A range of assessment tools are available which commonly have a basis in the Five Domains framework. A comprehensive review of the literature was conducted to bring together recent studies examining welfare assessment methods in zoo animals. A summary of these methods is provided with advantages and limitations of the approach es presented. We then highlight practical considerations with respect to implementation of these tools into practice, for example scoring schemes, weighting of criteria, and innate animal factors for consideration. It is concluded that would be value in standardizing guidelines for development of welfare assessment tools since zoo accreditation bodies rarely prescribe these. There is also a need to develop taxon or species- specific assessment tools to inform welfare management.
Zoo animal welfare; Five Domains; Validity; Animal-based; Resource-based; Scoring
BIOLOGY, Animal Sciences & Zoology
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