Skip to main content
Unit of study_

ANSC3106: Animal Behaviour and Welfare Science

In Animal Behaviour and Welfare Science 3, behavioural theory and the behavioural and physiological responses of animals to stressors related to husbandry, housing, transport and slaughter are explored. This Unit enables students to develop an understanding of applied animal behaviour theory, and the responses of animals to common interventions that arise in the context of interacting with humans, including the domestication of livestock species and the management of wildlife. We introduce a framework for animal welfare assessment, and the principles of animal responses to stress are illustrated with production species as the main examples. An overview of the key behaviour and welfare considerations for performance and companion animals, and wildlife will be provided. Contemporary approaches to the scientific measurement of animal stress and welfare, based on an appropriate selection of scientific disciplines including ethology, psychology, physiology and neuroscience, are assessed with an emphasis on farmed livestock species. Genetic, environmental and evolutionary determinants of pain, stress and fear responses in animals are considered in the light of what is known about cognition and motivation in animals. Methods for assessing and enhancing animal environments and husbandry systems are examined and the impact on animal behaviour and welfare of stockmanship is explored in the context of human-animal interactions. Finally, the design and conduct of scientific experiments are assessed with a focus on animal ethics and current welfare issues.

Code ANSC3106
Academic unit Life and Environmental Sciences Academic Operations
Credit points 6
48cp of 1000-3000 level units including at least 6cp of (BIOL1XXX or AVBS100X)

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Apply learnings to analyse the behaviour of wildlife, companion, performance and production animals
  • LO2. Measure and compare behavioural and physiological responses of animals to the challenges under different environmental, production or welfare contexts to provide a scientific assessment of animal behaviour and welfare
  • LO3. Critically evaluate the use of animals by humans from the perspectives of science and ethics to provide an informed opinion on the welfare of animals
  • LO4. Critically evaluate the impact of captivity, farming and/or housing systems in which animal behaviour is a limiting factor, and suggest solutions to overcome problems; for example, for farmed species, improve the efficiency of animal production through manipulating animal behaviour, or for captive ‘wild’ species, improve the diversity of behaviour under confinement situations
  • LO5. Collaborate with your peers to research and solve problems related to animal behaviour and welfare
  • LO6. Design research methodology to demonstrate understanding of the scientific process in the field of animal behaviour and welfare
  • LO7. Demonstrate skills in scientific writing and communication
  • LO8. Demonstrate skills in independent research and problem solving

Unit outlines

Unit outlines will be available 1 week before the first day of teaching for the relevant session.