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Protocol for expert report on animal welfare in case of companion animal cruelty suspicion

By J. Hammerschmidt, C. F. M. Molento

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Animal welfare expert reports may support court decisions when animal abuse or maltreatment is suspected. The objective of this work is to adapt animal welfare assessment protocols to identify companion animal abuse. The proposed protocol includes four indicator categories: nutritional, comfort, health and behavioral. To reach the overall conclusion regarding the situation evaluated, the final decisions for each group of indicators, classified as inadequate, regular and adequate, must be integrated into a single result, which will be the final welfare degree. This protocol employs a simple integration method, based on thresholds for inclusion in each of the five animal welfare degrees reported as overall conclusion for the assessment: very low, low, regular, high or very high welfare. Low and very low degrees are considered non-acceptable and are reported as abuse or maltreatment Regular welfare is considered acceptable if corrective measures are assured. High and very high degrees are considered desirable for animal welfare. The protocol allows differentiation of animal welfare status to better decide whether an animal is under abuse, maltreatment or negligence. We hope that the refinement of the recognition of crimes against animals, especially considering cases where no physical lesion is present, coupled with a standardized protocol will improve perception of animal suffering, facilitate the field work of those involved in this type of investigation, and offer a contribution to the improvement of animal welfare in our society through proper action and crime reduction.

Publication Title Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Research and Animal Science
Volume 51
Issue 4
Pages 282-296
ISBN/ISSN 1413-9596
DOI 10.11606/issn.1678-4456.v51i4p282-296
Language English
Author Address Universidade Federal do Parana, Departamento de Zootecnia, Laboratorio de Bem-Estar Animal - LABEA, Rua dos Funcionarios, 1540, CEP 83324-180, Curitiba, PR,
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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Abuse
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal health and hygiene
  4. Animals
  5. Animal welfare
  6. Arthropods
  7. Astigmata
  8. Body condition
  9. Brazil
  10. Canidae
  11. Canine
  12. Carnivores
  13. Countries
  14. Crime
  15. Developing countries
  16. Dogs
  17. Drinking
  18. Feed rations
  19. Feed troughs
  20. Hygiene
  21. Invertebrates
  22. Latin America
  23. Law and legal issues
  24. Mammals
  25. Mites
  26. nutritional status
  27. Parasites
  28. peer-reviewed
  29. Pets and companion animals
  30. prevention
  31. regulations
  32. shelters
  33. South America
  34. space
  35. spiders
  36. Threshold
  37. trauma
  38. United States of America
  39. vertebrates
  40. water
  1. peer-reviewed