Behaviour-Based Husbandry-A Holistic Approach to the Management of Abnormal Repetitive Behaviors

Heather Bacon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The field of zoo animal welfare science has developed significantly over recent years. However despite this progress in terms of scientific research, globally, zoo animals still face many welfare challenges. Recently, animal welfare frameworks such as the five domains or five needs have been developed and suggested to improve the welfare of zoo animals, but without practical guidance, such tools may remain abstract from the daily experience of zoo animals. Similarly specific practical strategies such as those for enrichment development exist, but their lack of holistic integration with other aspects of animal husbandry and behavioral medicine means that overall, good zoo animal welfare may still be lacking. This paper outlines some of the barriers to implementing improved zoo animal welfare in practice, and proposes a new strategy for the development of behavioral husbandry routines focused on the management and mitigation of abnormal repetitive behaviors. Focusing on enhancing zoo animal welfare by integrating aspects of ecology, ethology and clinical animal behavior into a practical and comprehensive approach to behavior-based husbandry.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2018


  • zoo
  • behavior
  • welfare
  • stereotypy
  • abnormal repetitive behavior
  • enrichment


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