Animal Suffering: The Science of Animal Welfare by Marian Stamp Dawkins M.A., D.Phil. (auth.)

By Marian Stamp Dawkins M.A., D.Phil. (auth.)

I wrote this booklet simply because i feel that the welfare of animals is a vital topic yet one approximately which there's a of misunderstanding and muddled considering. i wished to good deal write a publication which straightened out a number of the confusion via having a look intimately at one specific challenge: easy methods to realize animal affliction. The publication is written for an individual drawn to animals and the controversies over how people should still deal with them. i've got attempted to persuade those who may perhaps in a different way think that technology had just a really sinister reference to animal welfare that the medical examine of animal discomfort has, actually, an incredible and optimistic contribution to make. it may well provide us an perception into what animals adventure and this, in tum, may also help us to relieve their ache. while, i've got attempted to put in writing a e-book that would be of not less than a few use to scientists. The chapters which stick with professional­ vide an summary of the organic method of animal welfare. i've got additionally tried to teach sceptics that it's attainable to check animal pain with no sacrificing criteria of scien­ tific method. might be a few can even come to proportion my trust that the examine of the subjective reports of animals is without doubt one of the such a lot interesting parts within the complete of biology, in addition to being of serious functional and moral importance.

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Sometimes, indeed,· capture and transport, do cause weight loss, bruising, injury and physical deterioration so severe as to lead to death (Hails [72]). At the same time, and often before these overt signs of suffering are occurring, physiological changes such as hormone levels and the ammonia content of 36 A nimal suffering muscle are also apparent. The existence of similar changes in animals whose external condition is apparently adequate by the criteria we have so far discussed has lead to the idea that these physiological disturbances should be regarded as signs of suffering in their own right.

Our main task will be to try to see how valid it is to assume that animals which cannot perform their species-typical behaviour patterns suffer as a result. By the end of the chapter it should be clear that although differences between the behaviour of captive and wild animals are instructive, they do not in themselves provide evidence that the captive ones are suffering. An 'unnatural' life is not necessarily one of suffering any more than a life in the wild is necessarily free from it. It will be apparent that there are several arguments here, all interwoven with each other and we will have to be careful not to confuse romantic notions about Nature and Freedom with scientific evidence on genetics, development and what happens if animals are prevented from behaving in certain ways.

Broiler chickens, for example, are now usually killed when they are 7 - 8 weeks old, having gained over 43 times their weight at hatching in their short life. 75 ft 2 floor space each, but they live only a matter of days under these conditions before being slaughtered (Sainsbury (1711). Pigs are killed when they are 15 - 30 weeks old, and veal calves when they are about 12 weeks (Wilson [2071). There may not, therefore, be time for 'suffering' to be shown in actual damage to health. At least, this is a possibility that cannot be ruled out without first looking at other methods for assessing suffering.

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