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Why Invertebrate Welfare?

Part of the Animal Welfare book series (AWNS,volume 18)


This introductory chapter sets up the roots and rationale of the volume while outlining its logical structure, contents and goals. It is about welfare, not of the captive laboratory or farm mammals and birds that we usually consider but about invertebrates, the other 99% of animal species. Invertebrates have been previously relegated to the category ‘things’ with no worry about what we do to them, but new research suggests that their behavioural and neurophysiological complexity was underestimated. Some invertebrates such as cephalopods, crustaceans and insects may feel pain and suffering and may have consciousness and awareness as well. Also, good welfare is going to mean different things to spiders, bees and coral animals. So we aim at taking animal welfare in a very different direction. We start by discussing why we need this book and what the value of non-vertebrate animals might be. The different chapters will focus on specific animal groups, tackling questions that are most appropriate to each one. What is pain in crustaceans, and how might we prevent it? How do we ensure that octopuses are not bored? What do bees need to thrive, pollinate our plants and give us honey? Since invertebrates have distinct personalities and some social animals have group personalities, how do we consider this? And, as in the European Union’s application of welfare consideration to cephalopods, how do the practical regulatory issues play out? This volume provides a first compilation of essays across invertebrate taxa illustrating how and why their welfare should be accomplished and instituted.


  • Invertebrates
  • Animal welfare
  • Pain
  • Nociception
  • Sentience
  • Directive/2010/63/EU
  • Animal personality
  • Ethics
  • Cognition
  • Captivity

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-13947-6_1
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Correspondence to Claudio Carere .

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Carere, C., Mather, J.A. (2019). Why Invertebrate Welfare?. In: Carere, C., Mather, J. (eds) The Welfare of Invertebrate Animals. Animal Welfare, vol 18. Springer, Cham.

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