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University LINKs Scheme

University of Reading (UK) 

Stephen Baugh

Dr Rebecca Meagher
School of Agriculture, Policy & Development
Email: r.k.meagher@reading.ac.uk





BSc Animal Science - University of Reading: UFAW Sponsored Animal Welfare Themed visit to Marwell Zoo
On Friday 25th September 2015, the University of Reading's new intake of BSc Animal Science students visited Marwell Zoo as part of their induction week activities. With support from the UFAW Link scheme, the students received a great introduction to animal welfare science in the context of zoo animal management. Marwell zoologist, Danielle Free, gave a talk that covered an introduction to the history of zoos, the concept of welfare and how it can be measured via behavioural and physiological tests and observations. The importance of welfare in relation to the law and regulatory bodies for zoos was also considered, as was the role of animal management in ensuring high levels of welfare in captive animals. The students also heard about small scale research trials that have been carried out at Marwell to test ways of improving the welfare of different species in their care. This included the use of enrichment balls and feeding troughs for Hartmann's zebra that have restricted grazing in winter, the observation of time budgets and proportion of time spent laying down as an indicator for the optimal time for foot trimming in giraffe, and the effect of carcass feeding on pacing behaviour in tigers.