Farm Animal Welfare Science in China—A Bibliometric Review of Chinese Literature
Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics, School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland, Gatton, QLD 4343, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 February 2020 / Revised: 18 March 2020 / Accepted: 19 March 2020 / Published: 24 March 2020
For animal welfare scientists and advocates who operate in English, it may be assumed that animal welfare is not an area that receives attention within China; coupled with an awareness that China has not yet opted to enact animal welfare legislation, the reason for this assumption may also be in part due to the perceived lack of animal welfare literature coming from the country. Operating under the hypothesis that animal welfare literature emanating from China may have instead been published in Chinese, rather than English, this study reports the finding of a systematic search of Chinese animal welfare literature on Chinese databases. We searched for articles and research publications released in a recent 10-year period, specifically related to the welfare of the two most commonly farmed land-based animals in China; pigs and chickens, and identified 854 academic publications. In order to facilitate an understanding of Chinese scientific priorities in the field, we further categorised the identified literature into broader approximate categories of welfare freedoms (e.g., freedom from hunger and thirst, freedom to express natural behavior). The identification of a significant animal welfare literature represents an opportunity to increase collaboration with Chinese partners by identifying areas of mutual interest, and to share mutually beneficial knowledge more readily. This could be sustained by increasing the accessibility of Chinese literature to English speakers, and to English literature to Chinese speakers.