Book review: The Biology and Management of Animal Welfare by Frauke Ohl and Rory Putman

The Biology and Management of Animal Welfare

This relatively short book (130 pages) has tested my thoughts for a review. It primarily covers animal welfare including public perceptions, ethics and animal experimentation. With the technical veterinary and scientific terms, abbreviations, acronyms and reference to earlier scientific papers I could almost have been reading legal jargon, with scientific papers replacing references to case law. The difference is I am familiar with the latter.  For the layman the book content is just too technical. I re-read many parts of the book and was still struggling to understand what was being said. That is in no way meaning to detract from the authors, who are clearly masters in their particular field in the universities of Utrecht and Glasgow.

There were many times, after I had read a part of the book, that I was pleading for the authors to give a practical example and to relate their opinions or conclusions to, say, a pig or a cow or a deer. On the few occasions there were explanations in layman’s terms in a box feature it made a world of difference.

Having said all this I perfectly understand that the book was not written for the likes of me but for those wishing to progress to be, or to further their studies, in veterinary practice, wildlife biology or a similar science. They will already have the basic grounding to make this book an excellent advanced teaching facility.

The Biology and Management of Animal Welfare, Frauke Ohl, Rory Putman and members of DWM, Utrecht.  Whittles Publishing Ltd., Dunbeath, Caithness, KW6 6EG. £22.50

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