Welfare is both a physical property of the animal that can be studied using methods from biology, psychology, and veterinary medicine, as well as a social movement influenced by changing societal norms as well as legal and other regulatory forces. These factors make the study of animal welfare inherently interdisciplinary. Although concern about proper treatment of animals is very old, the idea of applying scholarship to address welfare concerns is relatively new, beginning in the 1970’s and only now attracting a substantial body of scholarly work.
This Wiko Fellows’ Forum will bring together former fellows with an interest in animal welfare, together with some of today’s leading thinkers on the topic. The aim will be to discuss key developments that are challenging the foundations of the field, including what factors we consider important in affecting animal welfare, how welfare can be assessed in practice, and the opportunities and barriers to achieving positive changes in animal care.