Little information has been reported about the welfare and management of free-roaming animals in Middle Eastern countries. Here we describe a case study of free-roaming cat (Felis catus) management policies in two universities in Beirut, Lebanon whereby cats are immensely valued for their presence and the benefits they bring to students and employees. Guided by concern for animal welfare, the innovative, humane approaches by the universities include arranging adoptions, discouraging pet abandonment, food provision, health monitoring, nurturing a social responsibility consciousness among young people, formal endorsement of animal rights and humane treatment in student conduct expectations, sterilization, and veterinary care. The policies serve as blueprint for universities and other institutions across the globe to adopt proactive approaches to free-roaming cat management as well take responsibility for the welfare of all animals on campus (rather than only for ethical conduct in use of animals in scientific research). They also inspire students, as the next generation, to safeguard animals and the environment.
|Publication Title||Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science|
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