There Are Big Gaps In Our Knowledge, And Thus Approach, To Zoo Animal Welfare
Gaps in knowledge about zoo animals prevent improving animal welfare. Society tends to value environmental variables like space and companionship over other factors that may affect animal welfare. In addition, focus on mammals hinders efforts to improve the welfare of other species. By closing gaps of knowledge concerning zoo animals, society may improve the state of zoo animal welfare.
The reasons identified for gaps in knowledge about the welfare of zoo animals include an emphasis on identification and monitoring of factors that represent poor welfare, a narrow understanding of how housing and husbandry affect animals, and limited focus on certain species of animals at the exclusion of others. By addressing these gaps, zoos may be able to improve animal welfare through the adoption of an evidence-based zoo animal management framework.