Abstract # 13316 Event # 77:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 22, 2019 03:45 PM-04:00 PM: (Room 309) Symposium


USING AN ASSESSMENT TOOL TO EVALUATE ANIMAL WELFARE AND SET PRIORITIES FOR MONITORING AND PROGRESS

S. M. Allard
Detroit Zoological Society, Center for Zoo and Aquarium Animal Welfare and Ethics, 8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak, Michigan 48067, USA
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     Increased emphasis on captive animal welfare has resulted in greater need for effective assessment methods. The zoo and aquarium community has made this a priority, as reflected in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Accreditation Standards. The Detroit Zoological Society’s (DZS) Center for Zoo and Aquarium Animal Welfare and Ethics has long focused on conducting animal welfare research and assessments. Although multi-faceted studies are an important part of this endeavor, developing means to more rapidly evaluate the welfare status of individual animals is also a critical goal. It is recommended that welfare assessments incorporate multiple types of measures, such as behavioral and physiological indicators. However, the length of time needed to collect such data can sometimes be challenging when rapid results are sought. In 2014, a set of relatively qualitative tools were developed by the DZS, one focused on assessing the overall institution, and the other was designed to evaluate the conditions present in animal habitats. Over the next five years, a greater balance between welfare inputs and outputs has been achieved and the process has both been expanded as well as refined. This presentation will introduce the DZS’s welfare assessment process and demonstrate its use through a case study.