Assessing the Welfare of Cetacea

Isabella Clegg, Andrew Butterworth

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


Most of the species from the order Cetacea appear to possess advanced cognitive abilities and close social networks and are also likely to experience different affective states comprising of more than just basic emotions. Welfare describes a balance of positive and negative affective states experienced by an individual, and this balance is a good indicator of how it perceives the surrounding environment. In this chapter, we discuss how the first steps in cetacean welfare science are being taken to establish this as a discipline. We discuss the pertinent areas of cetology that merit investigation to form the basis of possible cetacean welfare measures. In this arena of welfare assessment, much of the existing work comes from farm animal science, and this previous experience offers potential tools and techniques which could be adapted for cetaceans. We review these sources of information, make suggestions for relevant investigations and discuss how assessment of cetacean welfare might be accomplished.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMarine Mammal Welfare
Subtitle of host publicationHuman Induced Change in the Marine Environment and its Impacts on Marine Mammal Welfare
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9783319469942
ISBN (Print)9783319469935
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2017

Publication series

NameAnimal Welfare
ISSN (Print)1572-7408


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