Animal welfare: A construct of positive and negative affect?

Phillips, Clive (2008) Animal welfare: A construct of positive and negative affect?. The Veterinary Journal, 175 3: 291-292. doi:10.1016/j.tvjl.2007.05.015

Author Phillips, Clive
Title Animal welfare: A construct of positive and negative affect?
Journal name The Veterinary Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1090-0233
Publication date 2008-03
Year available 2007
Sub-type Editorial
DOI 10.1016/j.tvjl.2007.05.015
Volume 175
Issue 3
Start page 291
End page 292
Total pages 2
Place of publication London, U.K
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Subject 0707 Veterinary Sciences
Formatted abstract
Animal welfare is usually considered primarily in terms of the animal’s negative experiences. Four of the ‘Five Freedoms’ are freedoms from unpleasant experiences (hunger/thirst; discomfort; pain/injury/disease; fear/distress), and only one potentially addresses positive aspects of welfare (freedom to perform normal behaviour). A popular definition of animal welfare – ‘the animal’s state in relation to its ability to cope with its environment’ (Broom, 1986) – focuses on the animal’s ability to manage potentially unpleasant experiences.

Until we understand positive affects better, we remain forced to focus on welfare indicators that suggest negative affects, because there is agreement that these do impact on welfare. However, because of the inverse correlation between many negative affects and the productivity of animals, systems of animal management have been developed that largely prevent animals experiencing high levels of negative affects. These carefully controlled environments, used especially for pig and poultry production and laboratory animals, attempt to prevent extremes of temperature, to control infectious diseases and to avoid major social challenges, effectively minimising negative affect. They do little to foster positive affect, and if this trend continues it will be increasingly important that we include positive affect in welfare assessment.
© 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Q-Index Code CX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown
Additional Notes Available online 12 July 2007

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Editorial
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Veterinary Science Publications
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Created: Tue, 13 Apr 2010, 12:13:53 EST by Jon Swabey on behalf of Faculty Of Nat Resources, Agric & Veterinary Sc