Abstract # 13304 Event # 76:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 22, 2019 03:30 PM-03:45 PM: (Room 309) Symposium


WHAT THE CARE STAFF KNOW: OBSERVER RATINGS OF ANIMAL WELFARE.

L. M. Robinson1,2
1University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Domestication Lab, Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology, Savoyenstraße 1a, Vienna 1160, Austria, 2Georgia State University
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     People working with animals gain unique and valuable insight into their welfare and happiness. Through their daily work with animals, they make informal observations and have knowledge that may span years. Yet, concerns regarding anthropomorphism have meant that these observations go largely unused in any formalized manner. However, reliable and validated surveys of observer ratings of welfare may be a practical and useful tool, in addition to traditional welfare assessment methods, for tracking and improving animal welfare (for review see Meagher, 2009 and Whitham and Wielebnowski, 2009). Though limited, there is work showing ratings of primate welfare, measured using subjective well-being surveys based on human happiness, are related to genetics, personality, and behavior. This suggests observer ratings are not based on anthropomorphic projections but accurate assessments by people that know the animals best. In this talk I review the literature on observer ratings of primate welfare and happiness, the ways to test the validity of these ratings, and potential applications going forward.