Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

2019 Edition
| Editors: David M. Kaplan

Animal Welfare in the Context of Animal Production

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1179-9_498



Traditionally, the term “animal welfare” has been used to refer broadly to the “quality of life” of animals especially when people raise concerns about how animals are treated. This entry attempts to clarify some of the confusion that has arisen around the term, partly because different people view the quality of life of animals through different value-based lenses.

Three Broad Concerns

In the 1700s and 1800s, concern about the treatment of animals was generally expressed in terms of “cruelty,” and the main focus was on deliberate acts of animal abuse or neglect. With the growing intensification of animal production since 1950, concern was often expressed about unintended effects of confinement production systems on the quality of life of animals, and these were generally captured under the broader term “animal welfare” (Woods 2012).

The term “animal welfare” has been used, especially in social...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Animal Welfare ProgramUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada