Next Article in Journal
Effect of Corn Particle Size on the Particle Size of Intestinal Digesta or Feces and Nutrient Digestibility of Corn–Soybean Meal Diets for Growing Pigs
Previous Article in Journal
Relationship between the True Digestibility of Dietary Calcium and Gastrointestinal Microorganisms in Goats
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Animal Welfare Centres: Are They Useful for the Improvement of Animal Welfare?

1
Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics, School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland, Gatton, QLD 4343, Australia
2
Animal Welfare Laboratory, Animal Science Department, Federal University of Parana, Curitiba, R. dos Funcionarios 1540, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(5), 877; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10050877
Received: 22 April 2020 / Revised: 13 May 2020 / Accepted: 14 May 2020 / Published: 18 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Ethics)
Animal welfare has only recently become the subject of scientific studies. Over the past 30 years, a body of scientists has emerged, initially in isolated groups in disparate universities but with some more recently aggregated into centres. Centres have developed a reputation for their research in specific fields, which may have allowed animal welfare knowledge to advance more rapidly than it would otherwise have done. We studied the scientific literature on animal welfare that has been published in journals, by both scientists in animal welfare centres and those outside of these centres. We found that the literature from centres was more likely to acknowledge industry funding, which seems to bring opportunities for the respective scientists to conduct more research in their field but may also make it difficult for those scientists to advocate animal welfare improvements if they conflict with industry objectives. We advocate strict standards for the operations of animal welfare centres that govern the ethics of their research into animal welfare.
Animal welfare has emerged as a scientific discipline only in the past 30 years, but a significant body of scientists has developed worldwide in this time. Over the past quarter century, several aggregations of scientists, centres of animal welfare, have become established. This can bring the benefits of the recognition of expertise and an opportunity to support animal industries in improving welfare, but it also brings the risk of scientists being influenced by these industries and failing to identify animal welfare problems as such. We conducted a bibliometric search of the scientific literature with the purpose of comparing the characteristics of publications on animal welfare that were or were not from animal welfare centres in academic institutions. We found that the number of publications on animal welfare from centres of animal welfare increased, initially, in the early 2000s and again in the last decade. Significant funding was obtained from the livestock industries for these centres. In a second search, we identified that only about 8% of scientific publications on animal welfare came from animal welfare centres, and the rest were mainly supported by funding sources other than the animal industries. It is concluded that the emergence of significant animal welfare centres, often with significant funding from industry, allows clusters of scientists to develop that could advance animal welfare knowledge more effectively than disparate scientists in isolated institutions. However, industry funding risks these scientists being aligned with industry goals that may not include animal welfare improvement to the extent required by the public. Further research to identify any ethical conflicts for scientists in animal welfare centres would be warranted. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal wellbeing; animal welfare; animal welfare science; centres of animal welfare animal wellbeing; animal welfare; animal welfare science; centres of animal welfare
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Phillips, C.J.C.; Molento, C.F.M. Animal Welfare Centres: Are They Useful for the Improvement of Animal Welfare? Animals 2020, 10, 877. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10050877

AMA Style

Phillips CJC, Molento CFM. Animal Welfare Centres: Are They Useful for the Improvement of Animal Welfare? Animals. 2020; 10(5):877. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10050877

Chicago/Turabian Style

Phillips, Clive J.C.; Molento, Carla F.M. 2020. "Animal Welfare Centres: Are They Useful for the Improvement of Animal Welfare?" Animals 10, no. 5: 877. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10050877

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Search more from Scilit
 
Search
Back to TopTop