The Routledge Handbook of Animal Welfare



An essential reference for animal welfare advocates

Concern for animals underpinned by science

Informed by recent advances in animal behavioural and cognitive sciences, new understanding of the remarkable abilities of a wide range of animals is leading to a fundamental reconsideration of the ways in which we use, and sometimes exploit, other species. Combining the expertise of 50 authors – many of whom are world leaders in their fields, the Routledge Handbook of Animal Welfare comprehensively covers animal welfare concerns associated with the farming of terrestrial species and fish, transportation, slaughter, the use of animals in laboratories, zoos, entertainment settings, and as companions, working animals, and more. Virtually all contemporary animal welfare issues are covered in depth.

Many of these are controversial, challenging accepted practices, and throwing into sharp relief the differing interests of stakeholders such as industry, government, wider society, and of course, the animals themselves. In such a socially contested domain, sound evidence is important. This book explores the scientific underpinnings for the moral consideration of animals – and of evolving conceptualisations of animal welfare, that give rise to concerns about the welfare of animals used in a wide variety of settings.

The inclusion of recent topics such as the impacts of climate change on animal welfare, and the links between animal exploitation, antimicrobial resistance and pandemics, ensure this text is among the most current in its field. This textbook also includes coverage of animal ethics, animal law in key regions of the world, stakeholder perspectives, education, communication and human behavioural change. It is essential reading for policy-makers, researchers and other professionals working in the animal welfare sector, and for students of animal welfare everywhere.

Contents Include:

Orders, sample text and more:

PART 1 – animal welfare fundamentals


1. The moral status of animals: biological foundations
2. Animal welfare concepts
3. Animal welfare assessment


PART 2 – Animal farming, transportation and killing


4. Contemporary animal farming
5. Farming poultry
6. Farming pigs
7. Farming cattle
8. Farming sheep and goats
9. Farming nondomesticated and semidomesticated terrestrial species
10. Farming fish
11. Transportation
12. Slaughter, Euthanasia, and Depopulation


PART 3 – Animal use for other purposes


13. Scientific and educational animal use
14. Animals in entertainment
15. Zoos and aquaria
16. Hunting, fishing and whaling
17. Commercial fisheries


PART 4 – Species-specific concerns


18. Canines and felines
19. Equines
20. Non-domesticated terrestrial species
21. Companion fish
22. Marine mammals


PART 5 – Recent and emerging issues


23. Climate change, human-wildlife conflict and biodiversity loss
24. Animal welfare and human health
25. Animal disaster management


PART 6 – Animal ethics and law


26. Animal ethics
27. Animal law – historical, contemporary and international developments
28. Key animal law in Australia
29. Key animal law in China
30. Key animal law across Europe
31. Key animal law in India
32. Key animal law in South Africa
33. Key animal law in the United States


PART 7 – Social change for animals


34. Stakeholder groups and perspectives
35. Animal advocacy and human behavioural change
36. Animal Welfare Education and Communication

The Costs And Benefits Of Animal Experiments



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Sample Chapter

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Are Animal Experiments Justified?

Few Ethical Issues Create as Much Controversy as

Invasive Experiments on Animals

Some scientists claim they are essential for combating major human diseases, or detecting human toxins. Others claim the contrary, backed by thousands of patients harmed by pharmaceuticals developed using animal tests. Some claim all experiments are conducted humanely, to high scientific standards. Yet, a wealth of studies have recently revealed that laboratory animals suffer significant stress, which may distort experimental results. Where, then, does the truth lie? How useful are such experiments in advancing human healthcare? How much do animals suffer as a result? And do students really need to dissect or experiment on animals? What are the effects on their attitudes towards them?

In The Costs and Benefits of Animal Experiments, Professor Andrew Knight presents more than a decade of ground-breaking scientific research, analysis and experience to provide evidence-based answers to a key question: is animal experimentation ethically justifiable?

By analysing large numbers of animal experiments selected randomly — the ‘gold standard’ when assessing biomedical research, and reviewing over 500 scientific publications, Knight is able to offer unprecedented insights into the contributions of animal experimentation to human healthcare, and the extent to which laboratory animals suffer. He provides the most recent evidence-based estimations of laboratory animal use globally and in major world regions, and reviews the types of procedures animals are subjected to and their level of invasiveness.

“When considering costs and benefits overall”, he states, “one cannot reasonably conclude that the benefits accruing to human patients or consumers, or to those motivated by scientific curiosity or profit, exceed the costs incurred by animals subjected to scientific procedures. On the contrary, the evidence indicates that actual human benefit is rarely – if ever – sufficient to justify such costs.”


Knight concludes with an overview of key regulations governing animal experimentation within Europe and North America, and proposes a set of policy reforms to facilitate increased implementation of alternative research and testing strategies. He concludes that,

“Rigorous implementation of policies such as these would restore to animal research the balance between human and animal interests expected by society, intended by legislation, and demanded by detailed ethical review.”

Contents Include:

Further Information:

1 – Introduction


2 – Global Laboratory Animal Use
3 – Types of Laboratory Animal Use
4 – Impacts on Laboratory Animals


5 – Human Clinical Utility of Animal Models
6 – Human Toxicological Utility of Animal Models
7 – Factors Limiting the Human Utility of Animal Models


8 – Non-Animal Research and Testing Methodologies
9 – Reduction and Refinement of Laboratory Animal Use



10 – Educational Animal Use
11 – Effects of Harmful Animal Use on Students



12 – The Costs and Benefits of Animal Experimentation
13 – Regulatory Developments and Policy Recommendations


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 • In recent years laboratory animal numbers have steadily risen globally and in many individual countries, including the UK, US and others. The major causes are increased use of genetically-modified animals and the implementation of historically unprecedented large-scale chemical testing programmes within Europe and the US.


 • At the core of almost all regulations governing laboratory animal use is the requirement that animal ethics committees conduct a cost/benefit analysis to ensure that the expected benefits of such research exceed its likely costs. Humans are the major beneficiaries, and animals incur the major costs. The required cost/benefit analysis normally relies on educated guesses or assumptions about human benefit and animal suffering. However, strong scientific evidence has recently demonstrated that these assumptions are often fundamentally flawed. This book is the first to comprehensively review this evidence.


 • The Costs and Benefits of Animal Experiments is the third publication in the Palgrave Macmillan Series on Animal Ethics. The Series provides a range of key introductory and advanced texts that map out ethical positions on animal issues. It is expected to play a major role in establishing the emerging field of animal ethics.