Positive Aspects of Welfare in Sheep: Current Debates and Future Opportunities

Muhammed, Mukhtar, Stokes, Jessica Elizabeth and Manning, Louise (2022) Positive Aspects of Welfare in Sheep: Current Debates and Future Opportunities. Animals, 12 (3265). pp. 1-17. ISSN 2076-2615

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Positive welfare represents an expansion of the traditional animal welfare understanding that animal welfare is defined by minimizing negative experiences such as stress, pain, suffering, and disease. Positive welfare as a concept shifts the narrative from just reducing negative experiences to intentionally providing animals with increased opportunities to have positive experiences and feelings. The concept, although around for several decades, is in its infancy in terms of developing ways of assessing positive welfare on farms. Therefore, the adoption of practices that promote opportunities for positive welfare and experiences faces challenges, especially in monitoring continuous improvement at the farm level. The most apparent challenge is the lack of validated indicators to characterize a full spectrum of positive welfare experiences and feelings for farm animals. Assessing positive welfare in extensively reared animals such as sheep may pose additional practical challenges too. Using an iterative approach, this critical review aims to explore the extent to which positive welfare interventions and indicators are positioned and have been developed within the literature on sheep welfare. This paper critiques existing literature in terms of potential indicators for current and future research and characterizes the practicality and suitability of these indicators for on-farm welfare assessments. Finally, potential aspects of positive welfare for sheep are highlighted so that they may guide future research and practical implementation on farms.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: positive welfare, sheep, indicators, emotions, affective states, behavior, physiological
Depositing User: Ms Jessica Stokes
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2023 15:07
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2023 15:07
URI: https://rau.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/16580

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