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Lack of knowledge is top welfare concern

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By Matthew Limb

Researchers have identified the top animal welfare priorities for managed animals in the UK.

In an ambitious project for the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF), they obtained expert consensus for 11 cross-cutting priorities across a range of species.

Lack of knowledge among both vets and owners of the welfare needs of species and a lack of species-specific behavioural knowledge were the concerns that occurred most frequently across all groups.

Other priority issues identified were: social and problem behaviour, lack of health or veterinary care, delayed euthanasia, poor diets and inappropriate breeding decisions (see box).

Poor recognition and treatment of pain, chronic/endemic health issues, lack of appropriate environments and neonatal morbidity/mortality also feature.

The findings, which have yet to be published in full, will inform future AWF policy, funding and research.

They follow extensive survey work by a team led by Cathy Dwyer, director of the Jeanne Marchig International …

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