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Welfare of Cultured and Experimental Fishes

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ISBN: 9783039217106 9783039217113 Year: Pages: 132 DOI: 10.3390/books978-3-03921-711-3 Language: English
Publisher: MDPI - Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Subject: Science (General) --- Biology --- Animal Sciences
Added to DOAB on : 2019-12-09 11:49:16
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Welfare is a multidimensional concept that can be described as the state of an animal as it copes with the environment. Captive environments can impact farmed animals at different levels, especially fishes, considering their highly complex sensory world. Understanding the ethology of a species is therefore essential to address fish welfare, and the interpretation of behavioral responses in specific rearing contexts (aquaculture or experimental contexts) demands knowledge of their underlying physiological, developmental, functional, and evolutionary mechanisms. In natural environments, the stress response has evolved to help animals survive challenging conditions. However, animals are adapted to deal with natural stressors, while anthropogenic stimuli may represent stressors that fishes are unable to cope with. Under such circumstances, stress responses may be maladaptive and cause severe damage to the animal. As welfare in captivity is affected in multiple dimensions, multiple possible indicators can be used to assess the welfare state of individuals. In the past, research on welfare has been largely focusing on health indicators and predominantly based on physiological stress. Ethological indicators, however, also integrate the mental perspective of the individual and have been gradually assuming an important role in welfare research: behavioral responses to stressors are an early response to adverse conditions, easily observable, and demonstrative of emotional states. Many behavioral indicators can be used as non-invasive measurements of welfare in practical contexts such as aquaculture and experimentation. Presently, research in fish welfare is growing in importance and interest because of the growing economic importance of fish farming, the comparative biology opportunities that experimental fishes provide, and the increasing public sensitivity to welfare issues.

Positive Aspects of Animal Welfare

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ISBN: 9783039285327 / 9783039285334 Year: Pages: 180 DOI: 10.3390/books978-3-03928-533-4 Language: eng
Publisher: MDPI - Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Subject: Science (General) --- Biology --- Animal Sciences
Added to DOAB on : 2020-06-09 16:38:57
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Comfort during resting, half-closed eyes when feeding on highly palatable feed, or vigorous tail wagging when being brushed are some of the positive indicators that can be used to evaluate the quality of the environment in which domestic animals live. This has been a radical shift from the past as, until now, the welfare assessment on farms has meant assessing negative indicators, namely the number of lame animals, presence of lesions, or frequency of agonistic behaviours. However, the latest research confirms that the absence of a problem or of suffering does not necessarily imply that the animals are experiencing a good life and that their level of welfare is high. To guarantee high welfare standards, animals should experience positive conditions that allow them to live a “life worth living”, and positive indicators are needed to identify these conditions. This Special Issue focuses on the development and validation of indicators of positive welfare or on the refinement of the existing ones, as well as on the identification of suitable living conditions for providing positive welfare to farmed and companion animals.

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