About this Research Topic
- Volume I: Animal Welfare in Aquaculture - Physiological Basis and Recent Findings
- Volume II: Using Bio-sensing Devices to Assess Farm Animal Welfare
Farm animal welfare has become an increasingly important issue over the last years and it is now widely accepted that animal welfare is a fundamental aspect of sustainable terrestrial and aquatic livestock production. This is partly because consumers increasingly demand that farm animals are reared, transported, and slaughtered as humanely as possible. Furthermore, a growing body of evidence clearly indicates that improving farm animal welfare has positive effects on their production performance and product quality, as well as contributing towards human health by reducing the risk of zoonotic diseases and antimicrobial use.
Developing tools to assess animal welfare is necessary to identify problem areas and to monitor progress when improvement strategies are being implemented. Assessment of animal welfare is based on the use of objective, scientifically validated indicators that ideally must be combined into a protocol that covers all relevant aspects of animal welfare (i.e., physiology, feeding, housing, health, behavior and affective state).
Animal welfare has been defined as the state of an individual as it regards its attempts to cope with its environment. Physiological changes -including for example stress-related changes- are an important aspect of how animals cope with their environment. Hence, physiological measures can provide relevant information on the welfare of an animal.
Much progress has been made over the last years with regards to understanding the welfare needs of farm animals, as well as how to comprehensively assess farm animal welfare. However, existing protocols for assessing the welfare of farm animals are time-consuming and can be difficult to use in industrial rearing situations, which may effectively limit their applicability. Therefore, the use of bio-sensing devices that automatically register physiological or behavioral information represent exciting and innovative tools for assessing the health and welfare of freely roaming farmed animals, and much work is being done now to apply precision livestock farming techniques to animal welfare.
This Research Topic will publish research articles and review papers on the use of bio-sensors to assess the welfare of terrestrial and aquatic farm animals. Contributions dealing with physiological function and fundamental principles, as well as applied research on any species of farm animals are welcome.
Keywords: Animal Welfare, Bio-Logging, Sensors, Precision Livestock Farming, Fish, Aquaculture, Cattle, Pigs, Poultry
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.