Concepts in Animal Welfare (PowerPoint download)

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					        Module 23

Wild animal welfare (1):
management of wildlife
 This module will enable you to
• Define and understand what is meant by
  wild animal management & welfare
• Identify welfare issues affecting
  – free-living wild animals, because of human
  – captive wild animals
• Identify potential solutions to these welfare
     Definition: Wild animal
• ‘Living in a wild and undomesticated state
  outside of human influence’? But…
   – Excludes wild animals in captivity, and wild
     animals used by humans
   – Very few animals outside human influence
• Better definition
   – Free-living & captive animals
   – Species typically lives in the wild without
     human intervention
   – Parents and forebears not selectively bred
     for docility or ease of handling
        Wild animal welfare
• Individual welfare
   – Body, mind, nature (see Module 1)
• Group welfare
   – Reflects the welfare of the group members
   – Defined & evaluated in terms of members
   – All undergo common experiences e.g.
     disease, predation, competition, habitat
     loss etc.
• Group welfare assessment (Module 8)
      Factors affecting wild animal
• Naturally occurring
   – e.g. disease, predation etc.
• Anthropogenic
   – Factors that results directly or indirectly from human
   – e.g. habitat loss, hunting etc.
   – Module focuses on anthropogenic issues
   – Humans responsible for most severe welfare issues!
Welfare issues affecting free-living
           wild animals
•  WSPA survey 2006
  – Welfare issues affecting free-living wild
     animals in Sub-Saharan Africa & Latin
  – Identified 3 categories
  1. Trapping, hunting & fishing (Module 24)
  2. Trade in live wild animals or their parts
     (Module 24)
  3. Human encroachment
• Applicable to all species throughout the world
        Human encroachment
• Is the main welfare issue affecting wild animals
• “The negative impact that human presence &
  activities have on wild animal welfare, which are
  responsible for other welfare issues, e.g. hunting
  and trade in wild animals”
• Affects almost all wild animals at some point
     Human encroachment
• Four broad & inter-
  related categories:
  – Habitat loss
  – Pollution
  – Human presence
  – Management of wild
    animal populations
 Encroachment – Habitat loss
• ‘The loss or degradation of the
  natural habitat in which animals
  live, because of a range of human
    – Expanding human habitation
    – Disruption of wildlife habitat by
      buildings, roads & fences
    – Exploitation of natural
    – Cultivation of wildlife habitat &
      livestock grazing
 Encroachment – Habitat loss

• Effects on individual animals
  – Suffering & distress caused by disturbance
    of behaviour, social isolation, disruption of
    breeding etc.
  – Pain, injury & death, caused collisions with
    vehicles etc, & competition with livestock
    for food
    Encroachment - Pollution
• ‘The release of
  contaminants into the air,
  water & soil, plus excess
  light, sound & heat’
   – Household & industrial
   – Industrial & household
     chemicals in water, air &
   – Disruption caused by
     light, noise & heat
    Encroachment - Pollution
• Effect on individual animals:
  – Pain, injury, disease & distress caused by:
      • Ingestion & being trapped by rubbish
      • Ingestion & absorption of chemicals
  – Disruption of normal behaviour due to light,
     noise & heat
 Encroachment: Human contact
• ‘Negative effect that contact with human &
  domestic animals can have on wildlife
  – Direct contact with humans & domestic
  – Research practices
  – Ecotourism
 Encroachment: Human contact
• Effect on individual animals:
  – Disease & parasite transmission
      • Role of conflict
      • Role of drought
  – Distress, fear & injury from
      • domestic animal attacks
      • poor research methods
      • presence of tourists
 Encroachment: Management
• ‘Human interventions needed to
  control wild animal populations
  due to human encroachment’
• Management can cause:
   – Habitat loss
   – Man-made barriers
   – Creation national parks &
     game reserves
   – Conflict between humans &
     wild animals
   – Introduction of alien species
 Encroachment: Management
• Effect on individual animals:
  – Pain, suffering & distress associated with methods
     • Capture
     • Killing
     • Relocation
     • Contraception
           Potential solutions to
• Human communities and
  land use:
  – Broadening the debate
      • Involve all ‘stakeholders’
        in the debate
  – Avoid sub-division of wildlife
  – Increased tolerance by local communities
  – Protection of humans from wild animals
  – Wild animal population control
           Potential solutions to
• Interaction with the environment:
  – Building of ‘wildlife-friendly’ structures
  – Preventing pollution
  – Humane research methods
  – Keep domestic & wild animals separate
    Welfare issues of captive wild
• Welfare directly controlled by
  those that keep them
   – Zoos
   – Rescue & rehabilitation
   – Exotic pets
   – Farming e.g. ostriches,
   – Working e.g. elephants
• Five Freedoms apply
 Welfare issues 1: Provision of
  food & water (basic need)
• Method of
    • Feeding
      frequency     • Nutritional requirements
    • Nutritional   - Species behaviour
      balance       - Size, condition,
    • Hygiene       physiological, reproductive
                    & health status
Welfare issues 2: Provision of
    suitable environment

• Appropriate environmental
  conditions for comfort and
• Inside & outside enclosure
  must offer shelter:
• Enclosure & barriers must
  not harm animals
• Balance of hygiene vs.
  biological needs
     Welfare issues 3: Provision of
      health animal health care
• Routine observations & records of:
   – Condition, health & behaviour
• Enclosure size & design must avoid
• Enclosure must protect animals from:
       • Predators
       • Build-up & spread of disease &
• Appropriate veterinary care must be available
 Welfare issues 4: Expression of
       normal behaviour
• Understand biology, habitat
  & husbandry needs
• Life in captivity must meet
  these needs!
• Encourage species-specific
  normal behaviour &
  minimise abnormal
  Welfare issues: Protection from
          fear & distress
• Cared for by qualified & experienced staff
• Handling avoids discomfort, distress or injury
• Appropriate housing:
  – Promote feeling of safety & security
        –Housing social species together
        –Providing a place to escape
        –Preventing unresolved conflict (e.g.
         separating male animals)
  Environmental enrichment
• “How environments of captive animals can be
  changed for the benefit of its inhabitants”
• Goals of enrichment:
   – Increase frequency & diversity of positive
     natural behaviours
   – Decrease the occurrence of abnormal
   – Maximise utilisation of the environment
   – Increase the animal’s ability to cope with
     the challenges of captivity or the wild
        Type of enrichment
• Depends on reason for
  keeping animals
  – Long-term vs. short-term
• Long-term residents:
  – Reproduce salient + features of natural
    habitat = positive welfare
  – Reduce or eliminate salient features =
    negative welfare
         Type of enrichment
• Short-term residents:
  – Reproduce all salient features of natural
     • Including negative aspects to improve
       survivability following release
         – Climatic extremes, thermal discomfort,
           variable and widely dispersed food sources,
           sub-toxic food, pathogens & predators
• Must be permitted by animal protection laws
      Increased survivability
• Survivor skills:
  – Orientation
  – Feeding and foraging
  – Obtaining suitable places to rest & sleep
  – Interspecies interactions (e.g. predators)
  – Intraspecific interactions (e.g. breeding)
• Reintroduction guidelines exist (e.g. IUCN)
  – “The welfare of animals for release should be
    of paramount concern through all stages”
            Zoos & Parks
• Functions of modern zoos:
  – Education, research, conservation &
• Serious concerns
  about welfare
  – Conditions that don’t
    meet Five Freedoms
  Captive wild animals & ethics
• Ethical & welfare concerns (mostly
  – Captive environment; lack of knowledge
    of needs
• Costs: Compromised welfare of
  captive individuals
• Benefits: Conservation through
  research, education, conservation &
• Justification: Highest standards of
  housing & care. Promotion of
  education, research & conservation
       Rescue & rehabilitation
• Many wild animals need rescue & rehabilitation
• Keeping wild animals in captivity is difficult!
• Only do it if:
  –   Injuries etc. can be treated & recovery is likely
  –   Animal can be returned to the ‘wild’
  –   Sufficient resources, expertise & facilities
  –   Endangered & cannot be released, but can be used
      for captive breeding
• If not then should be humanely euthanased
               Exotic pets
• Wide variety of ‘exotic’ pets
   – Local communities keeping
     indigenous animals
   – Animals sold by large pet
     shops worldwide
• Fear, distress and/or disease
   – Confinement that does not
     meet species needs
   – Human contact & husbandry
   – Inappropriate diets
     Farming of wild species

• Relatively wide range of species farmed:
   – Ostrich, wild boar, kangaroo, buffalo,
• Some welfare concerns similar to domestic
  farm animals: husbandry, housing, slaughter,
• Additional concerns
   – Not domesticated so greater distress & fear
   – Need to modify some practices to avoid
     pain, fear & distress e.g. slaughter
            Working animals
• Smallest category of captive wild
   – Logging elephants, ‘helper’
     monkeys, mine-hunting dolphins,
     circus & film animals
• Particular concerns—pain, fear and
   – Human contact, handling,
     inappropriate training and alien
   – May lack possibilities to perform
     normal behaviour
   – New animals often need to be
• International examples:
  – CITES (The Convention on International
    Trade in Endangered Species) (1975)
  – International Convention for the Regulation of
    Whaling (1946)
  – Convention on Migratory Species (1983)
• National examples:
  – Biodiversity law of Costa Rica (1998),
  – Malawi National Parks and Wildlife Act
  – Law of the People's Republic of China on
    the Protection of Wildlife (1989).
  – Animal welfare Acts of
     • Philippines (1998), UK (2006), USA
  – European Directive 1999/22/EC (1999)
• Most welfare issues are anthropogenic
• Welfare is defined & evaluated at individual
• Issues affecting free-living wild animals:
   – Trapping/hunting/fishing, human
     encroachment & trade
• Issues affecting captive wild animals:
   – Housing, handling and utilisation by
• Improvement depends on awareness
   – Vets play critical role in this!
    Further Reading - Books
• AUSTEN, M & RICHARDS, T (2000) Basic Legal
  Documents on International Animal Welfare and
  Wildlife Conservation. Kluwer Law International
• FOWLER, ME & MILLER, RE (Eds), 1978, 1986,
  1993, 1999: Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine: Current
  Therapy 1-4. W.B. Saunders Company
• INGLIS, I (2007) Wildlife Management and Welfare.
  Blackwell Science
  LUMPKIN, S (Eds.), 1997: Wild Mammals in Captivity:
  Principles and Techniques. University of Chicago
     Further Reading - Books
  MAPLE, TL (Eds.), 1996: Ethics on the Ark: Zoos,
  Animal Welfare and Wildlife Conservation.
  Smithsonian Books
• TABER, RD & Payne NF (2004) Wildlife,
  Conservation, and Human Welfare. Krieger
  Publishing Company
• YOUNG RJ (2003) Environmental Enrichment for
  Captive Animals. Blackwell Science
     Further Reading – Web sites
•   Convention on Biological Diversity (
•   Birdlife International (
•   Bushmeat Crisis Task Force (
•   The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
    (CITES) (
•   Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
•   The Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network (TRAFFIC.) (
•   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list
•   World Wildife Fund (WWF) Human-animal conflict worksheet
    Further Reading – Web sites
• Wildlife Committee American Branch International Law
  Association (
• American Zoo and Aquarium Association: Animal Welfare
  Science fact sheet
• Helping Hands Monkeys (
• South African Environmental Agency
• World Association of Zoos and Aquariums

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