All Life In a Viable Environment
5-18-10-102, Honkomagome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-0021
Anti Vivisection Action Network
and Welfare Implications
Dr. Barbara Maas.
ALIVE News December 2001
This presentation provides an introduction
to the field of animal welfare science.
In the first part of the paper a set
of criteria that can be used to assess
the welfare of animals under different
circumstances is developed. Subsequently
the example of bears held in Japanese
bear parks illustrates the application
of these indicators to assess the welfare
of animals under captive conditions.
The past two decades have seen the
emergence of a robust new scientific
discipline - animal welfare science.
The application of this exciting new
area of enquiry is as broad as the
research from which it draws its scientific
basis. They include veterinary, farm
and laboratory animal science, zoo
biology, ecology, ethology and stress
biology. This presentation discusses
the biological relevance of animal
welfare by examining its conceptual
and physiological background. Particular
emphasis is placed on exploring the
close interrelation between environmental
factors on the one hand and animal
welfare, health and stress on the other.
Scientific evidence for the perception
of pain and fear in animals is considered
briefly in this context.
Using information on the wide-ranging
physiological and behavioural effects
of challenging environmental stimuli,
a set of measurable animal welfare
indicators is developed. As a second
tool the 'Five Freedoms', which provide
a widely accepted means of assessing
animal welfare are introduced and discussed.
The final part of the presentation
is dedicated to the assessment of bears
held in Japanese bear parks using both
behavioural welfare indicators and
the Five Freedoms. In doing so it will
be shown that enclosure design, social
grouping, husbandry and veterinary
care in all 10 facilities are inadequate
and grossly breach internationally
recognised bear husbandry standards
designed to maintain physically and
mentally healthy individuals.