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Quality of life and animal behaviour

By James Yeates

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Abstract

QOL is an intrinsically evaluative concept of how valuable (positive or negative) each animal’s life is for that animal from the animal’s point of view. QOL relates to animals’ experiences and their causes; is a “broad” concept in terms of content; extends over time; and relates to the particular individual. Observable animal behaviour is an important aspect QOL assessments. We can infer QOL from behaviour, based on relationships between behaviour and QOL. In particular, behaviour can indicate an animal’s subjective experiences (or their causes) and evaluations from the animal’s point of view; and can cause particular subjective experiences. QOL assessments should inform what behaviour we allow or promote, improving animals’ experiences and evaluations, although it can be difficult to evaluate an animal’s life holistically and individualistically in practice.

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 181
Pages 19-26
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2016.04.018
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Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Indicators
  3. Individuality
  4. Quality of life