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Farm Animal Welfare: Social, Bioethical, and Research Issues

Farm Animal Welfare: Social, Bioethical, and Research Issues

Bernard E. Rollin

ISBN: 978-0-813-80191-9 October 2003 Wiley-Blackwell 168 Pages


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Animals born with bones and muscles are meant to move. In modern systems of intensive agriculture, however, many animals -- notably, swine, veal calves, and poultry -- are rigorously confined. In this book Professor Bernard E. Rollin describes problems of animal welfare in today's agriculture, discusses the research that exists for improving these systems, and proposes topics for further study.

Rollin urges animal producers and agricultural scientists to begin now to address welfare problems. He cites the biomedical research community, which ignored issues of pain control and animal welfare until public concern led to federal legislation. Promising work has already been done in Europe, where the public has demanded that livestock not suffer. A new social ethic in the United States calls for humane agricultural systems that meet the needs and natures of the animals we use. Striking a balanced and rational approach, Rollin's thoughtful text is valuable reading for animal producers, agricultural scientists, veterinarians, animal advocates, and the general public.



Part 1 The Social and Bioethical Background.

1. The New Social Ethic for Animals.

Personal Ethics and Social Ethics

Traditional Social Ethics and the Treatment of Animals.

The Inadequacy of the Traditional Ethic.

The Rise of the New Ethic.

The Nature of the Emerging Ethic: Beyond Cruelty

Evidence for the Presence of the New Ethic.

The Relevance of the New Social Ethic to Agriculture.

2. Welfare Research and Scientific Ideology.

Scientific and Producer Attitudes toward Animal Welfare

Can Animal Suffering Be Assessed Scientifically?

What Sorts of Research Should Be Undertaken?

How, Morally, Ought Welfare Research Be Conducted?

Animal Welfare and Genetic Engineering.

Part 2 Research Issues in Farm Animal Welfare.

3. The Beef Industry.

Welfare Issues in Ranching.




Cancer Eye

Cattle Handling.


Downer Cattle.


Gomer Bulls.

Feedlot Problems.

4. The Swine Industry.

Swine Behavior.

Confinement of Sows.

Modification of Existing Systems.

Development of New Systems.

Looking at Traditional Systems.

Farrowing Crates

Other Sow Welfare Problems.

Piglet Welfare.


Handling and Transport

Other Issues.

5. The Dairy Industry.

Ethograms for Cattle.

Calf Welfare.

Welfare Issues of Cows

Future Technology.

6. The Veal Industry.

Welfare Problems in Current Systems.

Research Issues.

7. The Poultry Industry.

Welfare Issues in Battery-Cage Egg Production.

Improving Hen Welfare.

Changing the Animal.

Cage Modification.

Alternative Systems.

Problems in Broiler Welfare.

Handling, Transportation, and Slaughter of Poultry.

8. Reflections.