The Veterinarian's Guide to Animal Welfare - Chapter 4: Assessing animal welfare

Elsevier, The Veterinarian's Guide to Animal Welfare, 2022, pp 117-138
Beaver B., Golab G.

Assessing animal welfare is complicated and the development of specific tools to do so is subject to the introduction of unconscious biases. Assessment programs can be developed in three primary ways. Input-based parameters include items based on the animal, such as its genetics; the environment is which it lives, including things like food, resting area, air quality; and management, such as the knowledge of people who work with the animal. Outcome-based parameters focus on the animal’s physiology and health, its behavior, and things that influence what it might be thinking. More commonly used now for assessment is a combination of both input- and outcome-based parameters. Also important in the development of an assessment program is human-related factors such as opinions, amount of training, and quality of record keeping. Risk assessment is also discussed.