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Zoo Animal Welfare Assessment: Where Do We Stand?
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
Zoological institutions, such as zoos and aquariums, have made animal welfare a top priority, as it is not only a moral obligation but also crucial for fulfilling their roles in education and conservation. There is a need for science-based tools to assess and monitor animal welfare in these settings. However, assessing the welfare of zoo animals is challenging due to the diversity of species and lack of knowledge on their specific needs. This review aims to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of existing methodologies for assessing zoo animal welfare through: (1) A critical analysis of the main approaches to zoo animal welfare assessment; (2) A description of the most relevant animal-based welfare indicators for zoo animals with a particular focus on behavioural and physiological indicators; and (3) An identification of areas that require further research.
Keywords:animal-based indicators, animal behaviour, stress, welfare assessment, welfare indicator, zoo animal welfare