Stress and Animal Welfare, 2nd Edition

Donald Broom and Ken Johnston / Springer / 230 pages

The second edition of Stress and Animal Welfare describes the current understanding of how stress in humans and animals is connected to their welfare. It provides information that is essential for understanding how to assess impacts of various stressors on animals and will be helpful to individuals and entities responsible for the welfare of animals in a variety of settings—whether it be research, exhibition, production, companion, sport, or wildlife.

In the 26 years since the book’s first edition was published, the science of animal welfare has rapidly advanced, and improved methods have emerged to enable a greater understanding of the link between physiological stress responses and welfare. In this edition, authors Broom and Johnston review the increasing evidence of similarities between humans and many animal species in cognitive ability and the capacity for emotions and feelings that can be affected by stress. 

The authors explore how individuals respond and adapt to pain and other stress-inducing factors. They discuss how to promote good welfare and the principles and methods for assessing welfare in a quantitative and objective manner. Broom and Johnston also delve into the ethical aspects of addressing contemporary world challenges—such as sustainable food production—and the need to consider stress and other impacts on human and animal welfare when making decisions related to these challenges. (Interestingly, they describe the development of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens as the greatest global threat to human and animal welfare.) 

As human society has evolved, so has the relationship between humans and other animals. While this has resulted in improved welfare for many animals, some changing relationships have been to the detriment of other animals. With recent advances in animal welfare science that provide better ways to objectively identify, assess, and alleviate poor welfare, strategies can and should now be developed to avoid such detriments. Stress and Animal Welfare provides a science-based framework for society to provide improved sustainable welfare for all animals and people.

—Dr. William Stokes, AWI Board of Directors 

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