Positive aspects of welfare in sheep: current debates and future opportunities

Muhammad, M., Stokes, J. E. and Manning, L. (2022) Positive aspects of welfare in sheep: current debates and future opportunities. Animals, 12 (23). p. 3265. ISSN 2076-2615

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12233265

Positive aspects of welfare in sheep: current debates and future opportunities
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Item Type:Article
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Positive welfare represents an expansion of the traditional animal welfare un- derstanding that animal welfare is defined by minimizing negative experiences such as stress, pain, suffering, and disease. Positive welfare as a concept shifts the narrative from just reducing negative experiences to intentionally providing animals with increased opportunities to have positive experi- ences and feelings. The concept, although around for several decades, is in its infancy in terms of developing ways of assessing positive welfare on farms. Therefore, the adoption of practices that promote opportunities for positive welfare and experiences faces challenges, especially in monitoring continuous improvement at the farm level. The most apparent challenge is the lack of validated indicators to characterize a full spectrum of positive welfare experiences and feelings for farm animals. Assessing positive welfare in extensively reared animals such as sheep may pose additional practical challenges too. Using an iterative approach, this critical review aims to explore the extent to which positive welfare interventions and indicators are positioned and have been developed within the literature on sheep welfare. This paper critiques existing literature in terms of potential indicators for current and future research and characterizes the practicality and suitability of these indicators for on-farm welfare assessments. Finally, potential aspects of positive welfare for sheep are highlighted so that they may guide future research and practical implementation on farms.

Keywords:positive welfare, sheep, indicators, emotions, affective states, behaviour, Physiological monitoring
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D328 Animal Welfare
Divisions:College of Science > Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology
ID Code:52880
Deposited On:17 Jan 2023 15:11

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