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Petite histoire de l’étude du bien-être animal : comment cet objet sociétal est devenu un objet scientifique transdisciplinaire.

Miele, Mara ORCID: 2015. Petite histoire de l’étude du bien-être animal : comment cet objet sociétal est devenu un objet scientifique transdisciplinaire. INRA Prod. Anim 28 (5) , pp. 399-410.

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Short historical overview of animal welfare sciences: how a societal concern has become a transdisciplinary subject Animal welfare is a recent scientific topic, the origins of which can be found in philosophy, physiology (with the introduction of the stress concept), and ethology (with the description of animal behavioural repertoire and needs). In the 1970’s, animal welfare became a subject for applied research; the aim was to improve the quality of animal life. Animal welfare was first studied within specific disciplines, e.g. ethologists compared the behaviour of farm animals to that of their wild counterparts and identified behavioral needs. Stress was then found to be related not only to physiology but also psychology. Stress, behavioural needs, and preferences are closely related to each other. Similarly, the links between animal welfare and health were studied, e.g. a malaise behaviour has been identified and the relationship between stress and immunity was highlighted. More recently, frameworks developed in human psychology were applied to animals in order to identify the emotions they may experience. Such studies require that researchers from one discipline interact with researchers from other disciplines, enabling cross-fertilization of concepts. Researchers in animal welfare quickly understood the value of using various indicators covering a wide range of possible disorders such as abnormal behavior, disease, production defects, emotional states, etc. However, this was not per se an interdisciplinary approach. Interdisciplinarity is well illustrated by the Welfare Quality® project. During this project, a comprehensive assessment tool of animal welfare was developed on the basis of what matters to animals, as identified by researchers in animal science, and what matters to society as identified by social scientists. We believe that the issue of animal welfare needs to break the boundaries between disciplines and beyond disciplines to engage stakeholders and society as a whole. Transdisciplinarity, e.g. going between and beyond disciplines, will be essential to build a holistic approach and be able to effectively improve the welfare of animals.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
Language other than English: French
Publisher: INRA
ISSN: 0990-0632
Funders: EU
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 08 May 2023 15:18

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