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Changes in the Welfare of an Injured Working Farm Dog Assessed Using the Five Domains Model

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Simple summary: The Five Domains Model is now increasingly used to assess the welfare status of a wide range of species in markedly different circumstances. Particular strengths are that the Model facilitates structured, systematic and comprehensive evaluations of animals’ negative and positive mental experiences, the overall balance of which underlies their welfare status or quality of life. Importantly, the Model also clarifies the specific internal and external factors that give rise to those experiences. The welfare evaluation published here is the first to use the most up-to-date version of the Model, and stands as a detailed example that may assist others undertaking such welfare evaluations in other species and contexts. Moreover, it is the first such evaluation of a companion animal. It employs a fictitious scenario involving a working farm dog before, during and after it sustains a serious hind leg injury requiring amputation and its subsequent rehoming as a pet. A wide range of negative and positive experiences are graded, interactions between them are revealed, and the balance between negative and positive states at different stages of the scenario is described. Such Model evaluations can highlight current practices that merit re-evaluation. More generally, when major welfare issues are identified, use of the Model could enhance expert witness participation in related prosecutions by highlighting scientifically supported connections between indicative physical/functional states and behaviours and their associated negative experiences in ill-treated animals. Five Domains Model evaluations can also facilitate quality of life assessments and end-of-life decisions.

Abstract: The present structured, systematic and comprehensive welfare evaluation of an injured working farm dog using the Five Domains Model is of interest in its own right. It is also an example for others wanting to apply the Model to welfare evaluations in different species and contexts. Six stages of a fictitious scenario involving the dog are considered: (1) its on-farm circumstances before one hind leg is injured; (2) its entanglement in barbed wire, cutting it free and transporting it to a veterinary clinic; (3) the initial veterinary examination and overnight stay; (4) amputation of the limb and immediate post-operative recovery; (5) its first four weeks after rehoming to a lifestyle block; and (6) its subsequent life as an amputee and pet. Not all features of the scenario represent average-to-good practice; indeed, some have been selected to indicate poor practice. It is shown how the Model can draw attention to areas of animal welfare concern and, importantly, to how welfare enhancement may be impeded or facilitated. Also illustrated is how the welfare implications of a sequence of events can be traced and evaluated, and, in relation to specific situations, how the degrees of welfare compromise and enhancement may be graded. In addition, the choice of a companion animal, contrasting its welfare status as a working dog and pet, and considering its treatment in a veterinary clinical setting, help to highlight various welfare impacts of some practices. By focussing attention on welfare problems, the Model can guide the implementation of remedies, including ways of promoting positive welfare states. Finally, wider applications of the Five Domains Model are noted: by enabling both negative and positive welfare-relevant experiences to be graded, the Model can be applied to quality of life assessments and end-of-life decisions and, with particular regard to negative experiences, the Model can also help to strengthen expert witness testimony during prosecutions for serious ill treatment of animals.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

An abbreviated schema of the Five Domains Model (adapted from [20]) showing negative and positive physical/functional states or situations (Domains 1–4) and their associated negative and positive experiences or affects (Domain 5) relevant to the working farm dog scenario. Taken together, these mental experiences represent the overall Welfare Status of the animal, and the balance between the positive and negative experiences its Quality of Life. A more detailed general schema of the Model is available elsewhere [1].
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animals-06-00058-f001: An abbreviated schema of the Five Domains Model (adapted from [20]) showing negative and positive physical/functional states or situations (Domains 1–4) and their associated negative and positive experiences or affects (Domain 5) relevant to the working farm dog scenario. Taken together, these mental experiences represent the overall Welfare Status of the animal, and the balance between the positive and negative experiences its Quality of Life. A more detailed general schema of the Model is available elsewhere [1].

Mentions: The Five Domains Model is not a definition of animal welfare. Nor is it intended to be an accurate anatomical or physiological representation of the body [12]. Rather, it is a facilitatory assessment and grading device based on current scientific understanding of animal welfare; it also provides numerous examples of welfare compromise and enhancement potentially applicable to a wide range of mammals [1]. The Model recognises that an animal’s welfare state reflects what the animal itself experiences subjectively, i.e., its affective experiences or affects [3,11,18,21]. Moreover, it is structured to differentiate between the internal and external physical/functional conditions or circumstances that give rise to different affects and specifies a wide range of them, both negative and positive, to aid in their cautious evaluation. Domains 1–4 (“nutrition”, “environment”, “health” and “behavior”) focus attention on the animal’s internal and external conditions or circumstances, whereas Domain 5 (“mental state”) focuses attention on all of the affective experiences elicited by the conditions or circumstances evaluated in Domains 1–4 (Figure 1). The Model therefore incorporates the ‘biological functioning’ and ‘affective state’ orientations towards animal welfare identified by Fraser et al. [22].


Changes in the Welfare of an Injured Working Farm Dog Assessed Using the Five Domains Model
An abbreviated schema of the Five Domains Model (adapted from [20]) showing negative and positive physical/functional states or situations (Domains 1–4) and their associated negative and positive experiences or affects (Domain 5) relevant to the working farm dog scenario. Taken together, these mental experiences represent the overall Welfare Status of the animal, and the balance between the positive and negative experiences its Quality of Life. A more detailed general schema of the Model is available elsewhere [1].
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5035953&req=5

animals-06-00058-f001: An abbreviated schema of the Five Domains Model (adapted from [20]) showing negative and positive physical/functional states or situations (Domains 1–4) and their associated negative and positive experiences or affects (Domain 5) relevant to the working farm dog scenario. Taken together, these mental experiences represent the overall Welfare Status of the animal, and the balance between the positive and negative experiences its Quality of Life. A more detailed general schema of the Model is available elsewhere [1].
Mentions: The Five Domains Model is not a definition of animal welfare. Nor is it intended to be an accurate anatomical or physiological representation of the body [12]. Rather, it is a facilitatory assessment and grading device based on current scientific understanding of animal welfare; it also provides numerous examples of welfare compromise and enhancement potentially applicable to a wide range of mammals [1]. The Model recognises that an animal’s welfare state reflects what the animal itself experiences subjectively, i.e., its affective experiences or affects [3,11,18,21]. Moreover, it is structured to differentiate between the internal and external physical/functional conditions or circumstances that give rise to different affects and specifies a wide range of them, both negative and positive, to aid in their cautious evaluation. Domains 1–4 (“nutrition”, “environment”, “health” and “behavior”) focus attention on the animal’s internal and external conditions or circumstances, whereas Domain 5 (“mental state”) focuses attention on all of the affective experiences elicited by the conditions or circumstances evaluated in Domains 1–4 (Figure 1). The Model therefore incorporates the ‘biological functioning’ and ‘affective state’ orientations towards animal welfare identified by Fraser et al. [22].

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Simple summary: The Five Domains Model is now increasingly used to assess the welfare status of a wide range of species in markedly different circumstances. Particular strengths are that the Model facilitates structured, systematic and comprehensive evaluations of animals’ negative and positive mental experiences, the overall balance of which underlies their welfare status or quality of life. Importantly, the Model also clarifies the specific internal and external factors that give rise to those experiences. The welfare evaluation published here is the first to use the most up-to-date version of the Model, and stands as a detailed example that may assist others undertaking such welfare evaluations in other species and contexts. Moreover, it is the first such evaluation of a companion animal. It employs a fictitious scenario involving a working farm dog before, during and after it sustains a serious hind leg injury requiring amputation and its subsequent rehoming as a pet. A wide range of negative and positive experiences are graded, interactions between them are revealed, and the balance between negative and positive states at different stages of the scenario is described. Such Model evaluations can highlight current practices that merit re-evaluation. More generally, when major welfare issues are identified, use of the Model could enhance expert witness participation in related prosecutions by highlighting scientifically supported connections between indicative physical/functional states and behaviours and their associated negative experiences in ill-treated animals. Five Domains Model evaluations can also facilitate quality of life assessments and end-of-life decisions.

Abstract: The present structured, systematic and comprehensive welfare evaluation of an injured working farm dog using the Five Domains Model is of interest in its own right. It is also an example for others wanting to apply the Model to welfare evaluations in different species and contexts. Six stages of a fictitious scenario involving the dog are considered: (1) its on-farm circumstances before one hind leg is injured; (2) its entanglement in barbed wire, cutting it free and transporting it to a veterinary clinic; (3) the initial veterinary examination and overnight stay; (4) amputation of the limb and immediate post-operative recovery; (5) its first four weeks after rehoming to a lifestyle block; and (6) its subsequent life as an amputee and pet. Not all features of the scenario represent average-to-good practice; indeed, some have been selected to indicate poor practice. It is shown how the Model can draw attention to areas of animal welfare concern and, importantly, to how welfare enhancement may be impeded or facilitated. Also illustrated is how the welfare implications of a sequence of events can be traced and evaluated, and, in relation to specific situations, how the degrees of welfare compromise and enhancement may be graded. In addition, the choice of a companion animal, contrasting its welfare status as a working dog and pet, and considering its treatment in a veterinary clinical setting, help to highlight various welfare impacts of some practices. By focussing attention on welfare problems, the Model can guide the implementation of remedies, including ways of promoting positive welfare states. Finally, wider applications of the Five Domains Model are noted: by enabling both negative and positive welfare-relevant experiences to be graded, the Model can be applied to quality of life assessments and end-of-life decisions and, with particular regard to negative experiences, the Model can also help to strengthen expert witness testimony during prosecutions for serious ill treatment of animals.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus