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Principles of Working in Animal Welfare and the Profession's


  • pg 1
									    Ensuring Animal Welfare
    Weighing the Options and
     Understanding Choices


        Gail C. Golab, PhD, DVM, MACVSc (Animal Welfare)
                  Director, Animal Welfare Division

    So…we‟re smart people.

    How difficult can making
     recommendations on animal
     welfare really be?
        Example 1—Dog in Three
         Different Environments
       Eats whatever‟s on sale, frequent table
       Free roam of home, outside for walks
       Annual veterinary examination
       Toys available, occasional game of fetch
       “Only dog,” no social interaction with other
        dogs                                           Home

       Controlled, nutritionally complete diet
       Confined to kennel, outside for walks
       Evaluation by caretaker each day, monthly
        exam by veterinarian                                  Laboratory
       Toys available, daily training by familiar              Laboratory
       Able to see and hear, but not interact with
        other dogs
         Dog in Three Different
       Donated diet
       Initial veterinary exam, daily
       Communal housing, able to
        interact with other dogs
       Human interactions variable
        and inconsistent                   Shelter

       High mortality rate (euthanasia)
    Which Environment is Most
        Welfare Friendly?
    Example 2—Housing Laying Hens
          Caged at 72 in2/hen, movement
          No nest box or litter for dust bathing
          Easy access to feed trough and
          Aggressive interactions infrequent,
           cannibalism minimal
          Individual birds easily observed
          Eggs protected and easily collected
                                              Floor-raised in barn
                                              Nest boxes, litter for dust bathing
                                              Evidence of aggression,
                                               cannibalism, flighty (easily startled)
                                              Nest box gregariousness, floor
                                              Old bone breaks evident at end of
    Housing Laying Hens

                Large space, freedom of movement
                Enclosures for sleeping and nesting
                Natural substrates, multiple
                 opportunities for expression of natural
                Aggression and cannibalism moderate
                Exposed to elements, pests,
                 predators, and soil-borne disease
       Which Environment Is Most
           Welfare Friendly?

    Which would these people choose?
    Those in business to produce animals and their
    Your neighbor
    Animal protection activists
                   Why You Chose As You Did
                      (Why We Don’t All Think Alike)

                                    Function                  Feelings

                                                                                      Measures of
    Measures of
                                                                                      affective states
    health, growth
                                                                                      (pain, suffering,
    and productivity                      Natural Behavior                            contentment)

                                                               Quantitative and qualitative
                                                                      comparisons to
                                                              wild or free-living counterparts
1Adapted  from Fraser D, Weary DM, Pajor EA, et al. A scientific conception of animal welfare that reflects
ethical concerns. Anim Welf 1997;6:187-205.

    But…our choices are also
     conditioned by our
       ●   Those in the animal use industries
       ●   Members of the public
       ●   Animal protection activists
       ●   Veterinarians
    Understanding Their Viewpoint—Experiences
             Animal Use Industries

           After WWII
                Production/use costs ↑ (esp wages)
                Prices ↓ (market forces)
           Pressures on those involved in
            animal use → intensification
                ↑ efficiency, emphasis on business
                Specialization, few multiply-faceted
                 operations, contract operators
                Economy of scale/type
          Animal welfare important to success—what is

                                                        Percent Respondents
           emphasized influenced by business goals
                                                                                              to pay
         Respond to consumer purchasing behavior

           (desired attributes vs cost)                                       0
                                                                                     10%             25%

                                                                                   % increase in product price
    Understanding Their Viewpoint—Experiences

         Urbanization
        Social shifts in family units
        Animals move from utility
          [food/fiber/research] to companions
        Increase in disposable income
        Public vision of animals reflects CA
        What is thought about as good welfare
          has potential for direct conflict with
          views of animal use businesses
        Concern for food and drug/device
          availability and security/safety
    Understanding Their Viewpoint—Experiences
         Animal Protection Activists
           Come from all walks of life with all kinds of experiences
           Many are not familiar with the animal use industries
            and animal care practices
           Most driven by a genuine desire to do the right thing
           But…their organizations need to survive
           Have to create a platform and craft a message that
            meets the needs of their supporters
                 Resonate
                 Not excessively complex
             Supporters
                 Those members of the public who are particularly interested in
                  animal issues
                 Some who are not supportive of animal use
Understanding Their Viewpoints—Experiences

             Different Practices = Different Focus
         Companion animal—individual animal focus; care
          decisions framed by owner attachment and ability to
          pay, and generally not by market value; advanced
          procedures in demand
         Equine—focus is mixture of pleasure and function;
          care decisions often framed by use; advanced
          procedures available, but return on investment can be
          an important consideration
         Food Supply—herd focus; care decisions framed by
          goal of bringing product to market; advanced
          procedures limited by market value; procedural
    Understanding Their Viewpoints--Experiences

          Laboratory Animal—group focus; care decisions
           affected by demands of research and regulation;
           advanced procedures limited by value to and affect on
           research programs
          Public practice—multiple stakeholder demands and
          Advocacy—animal industry or humane groups;
           expected to fully support the missions and aims of
           their particular group
         And all these differences are compounded by…
          Age and gender effects

       Those in the animal use industries depend on the welfare of
        their animals…but have to live with business practicalities.
       Members of the public want to protect animal welfare…but
        aren‟t always sure what that means.
       Animal protection activists either have passion about making
        sure animals are used appropriately or passion about
        ensuring they are not used…and they have to make sure
        their message resonates with their donors.
       Veterinarians may have different concepts about animal
        welfare…depending on how they and animal owners think
        about the animals they treat.

    Who’s Right????
       1964—Ruth Harrison authors Animal Machines,
        which described modern intensive farming
        practices in Great Britain

        “Life in the factory farm revolves
           entirely around profits, and animals
           are accessed purely for their ability
           to convert food into flesh or
           „saleable products.‟”

       Public/industry conflict
       Science proposed as solution (Brambell
        Science—The Five Freedoms

     Freedom from thirst, hunger, malnutrition
     Freedom from discomfort
     Freedom from pain, injury, disease
     Freedom to express normal behaviors
     Freedom from fear and distress2

    1BrambellFWR. 1965. Report of the Technical Committee to Enquire into the
       Welfare of Animals Kept Under Intensive Livestock Husbandry Systems
       ed. Her Majesty‟s Stationery Office, London.
    2Webster J. 2005. Limping Towards Eden. Hoboken, NJ: WileyBlackwell.
                     For Dog…

                     Home   Laboratory   Shelter
    Nutrition         —         +         +/—
    Discomfort        +         —         +/—
    Injury/Disease    +        +/—         ―
    Behavior         +/―        +          +
    Fear/Distress     +         ―          —
               For Laying Hens…

                     Cages   Barns   Free-range
    Nutrition         +      +/—         ―
    Discomfort       +/―      +         +/―
    Injury/Disease    +      +/―         ―
    Behavior          ―      +/—         +
    Fear/Distress     +       ―          —
            Science as Solution
       The dream…all animal welfare decisions are
           We want to look at inputs and outputs and arrive
            at a scientific solution
                Biological function—is homeostasis
                Health—absence/presence of disease/injury
                Behavioral/social function
                     Adaptation
                     Emotional states (e.g., distress, suffering)
                     Cognition/awareness
                     Choices
           We know this is the best way to assure that the
            welfare of the animal is protected
                   Science as Solution

       The reality
            Animal welfare decisions are social decisions
                 Integration of culture, ethics, and science
                 Science didn‟t even really play a role until 1950s
            Science isn‟t black-and-white or value-free
            Science can be used to help resolve disputes (sometimes!)
            Science may not exist, may be used selectively, or be ignored
            Science is used by both sides in policy debates
            If societal perception is that something is „wrong‟ then science
             is unlikely to change that perception

       Science can determine what type or level of risk exists
       Science cannot determine what type or level of risk is
        acceptable (this is a social question)
        Improving Animal Welfare

       Understand and accept that animal welfare
        decisions are complex
           Social acceptability (the “smell” test)
           Science
           Sustainability
       Recognize that presentation and interpretation of
        animal welfare questions and the related science is
        not value-free
           Be cognizant of your experts‟ prejudices—and your own!
           Insist that ALL the information be brought to the table
        Improving Animal Welfare

       Beware the quick fix
         Most animal care systems have advantages and
         Various components of systems integrate

         If it seems too obvious or too simple, it probably
®      Relying too much on one type of measure can prejudice
       Unintended consequences can result from standards/policy
        based on a single criterion

            Adapted from the LayWel Report
         Improving Animal Welfare

       Because the advantages and disadvantages
        of animal care systems and practices are
        qualitatively different, objectively ranking
        them for overall welfare can be extremely

        How much mortality = how much behavioral
        Improving Animal Welfare

       Consultative processes support animal
        welfare best
           ↑ stakeholder engagement = better decisions
       Two approaches
         Gold standard (Do it now!)
         Incremental improvement (We‟ll get to where we
          want to go, starting with this improvement)
       Improving animal welfare is a dynamic, not a
        static, process
                Some Resources

     AVMA animal welfare Web section
     AVMA animal welfare policies
     Animal welfare backgrounders
     Upcoming meetings/activities
     Additional resources
               Thank You For Your
                Time and Attention

                                            Please Let Me Know
                                             What We Can Do
                                                To Help You


    The best public policy is made when you are listening to people who are
    going to be impacted. Then, once policy is determined, you call on them
    to help you sell it.                          --Elizabeth Dole

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