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Animals 2018, 8(7), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070111

Using Farm Animal Welfare Protocols as a Base to Assess the Welfare of Wild Animals in Captivity—Case Study: Dorcas Gazelles (Gazella dorcas)

1
Facultat de Veterinària, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain
2
Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Crta.Sacramento, s/n, La Cañada de San Urbano, 04120 Almería, Spain
3
Zoo Aquarium de Madrid, Casa de Campo, s/n, 28011 Madrid, Spain
4
Parc Zoològic de Barcelona, Parc de la Ciutadella, s/n, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
5
Zoobotánico Jerez, c/Madreselva, s/n, 11408 Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 25 June 2018 / Accepted: 4 July 2018 / Published: 5 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoo Animal Welfare)
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Simple Summary

Animal welfare is gaining attention regarding the conservation of species not only due to ethical and legal reasons but also because optimal welfare can ensure stable and healthy populations. Currently, there is a lack of protocols that help to objectively assess welfare of wild animals in captivity. In this study, we have developed and applied a protocol for the assessment of welfare in captive dorcas gazelles (Gazella dorcas). We have gathered information from existing literature about the biology of this species in wild conditions, as well as in zoo husbandry, breeding, management and care guidelines developed for this species. We took a protocol developed for the on-farm welfare assessment in cattle as a reference and suggested 23 indicators that we considered useful to assess welfare in captive dorcas gazelles. To test the utility of this protocol, we then applied it in five groups of dorcas gazelles from three different zoos and we detected areas for improvement in all of the groups assessed.

Abstract

There is a lack of protocols specifically developed for the assessment of welfare of wild animals in captivity, even when it is known that providing good standards of welfare is important. The aim of this study was the development and the application of a protocol for the assessment of welfare in captive dorcas gazelles. The protocol was mainly developed taking into account the protocol for the assessment of welfare in cattle from the Welfare Quality® project, the available literature of the biology of this species and the Husbandry Guidelines developed for captive breeding and management of this species. The protocol was specifically developed for dorcas gazelles and included four principles, 10 criteria and 23 animal and environmental-based indicators. To test its utility, this protocol was applied to five different groups of gazelles from three different zoos. Its application made possible to detect areas for improvement in all groups assessed. View Full-Text
Keywords: behaviour; captivity; dorcas gazelle; enclosure; protocol; welfare; zoo behaviour; captivity; dorcas gazelle; enclosure; protocol; welfare; zoo
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Salas, M.; Manteca, X.; Abáigar, T.; Delclaux, M.; Enseñat, C.; Martínez-Nevado, E.; Quevedo, M.Á.; Fernández-Bellon, H. Using Farm Animal Welfare Protocols as a Base to Assess the Welfare of Wild Animals in Captivity—Case Study: Dorcas Gazelles (Gazella dorcas). Animals 2018, 8, 111.

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