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Animals 2017, 7(8), 60; doi:10.3390/ani7080060

Operational Details of the Five Domains Model and Its Key Applications to the Assessment and Management of Animal Welfare

Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre, Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand
Academic Editor: Clive J. C. Phillips
Received: 19 June 2017 / Revised: 3 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 August 2017 / Published: 9 August 2017
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Abstract

In accord with contemporary animal welfare science understanding, the Five Domains Model has a significant focus on subjective experiences, known as affects, which collectively contribute to an animal’s overall welfare state. Operationally, the focus of the Model is on the presence or absence of various internal physical/functional states and external circumstances that give rise to welfare-relevant negative and/or positive mental experiences, i.e., affects. The internal states and external circumstances of animals are evaluated systematically by referring to each of the first four domains of the Model, designated “Nutrition”, “Environment”, “Health” and “Behaviour”. Then affects, considered carefully and cautiously to be generated by factors in these domains, are accumulated into the fifth domain, designated “Mental State”. The scientific foundations of this operational procedure, published in detail elsewhere, are described briefly here, and then seven key ways the Model may be applied to the assessment and management of animal welfare are considered. These applications have the following beneficial objectives—they (1) specify key general foci for animal welfare management; (2) highlight the foundations of specific welfare management objectives; (3) identify previously unrecognised features of poor and good welfare; (4) enable monitoring of responses to specific welfare-focused remedial interventions and/or maintenance activities; (5) facilitate qualitative grading of particular features of welfare compromise and/or enhancement; (6) enable both prospective and retrospective animal welfare assessments to be conducted; and, (7) provide adjunct information to support consideration of quality of life evaluations in the context of end-of-life decisions. However, also noted is the importance of not overstating what utilisation of the Model can achieve. View Full-Text
Keywords: affects; five domains model; model applications; situation-related factors; survival-critical factors; welfare assessment; welfare management affects; five domains model; model applications; situation-related factors; survival-critical factors; welfare assessment; welfare management
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Mellor, D.J. Operational Details of the Five Domains Model and Its Key Applications to the Assessment and Management of Animal Welfare. Animals 2017, 7, 60.

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