Ethology & Animal Welfare research in Brazil

Leandro Magrini, Elisabeth Spinelli de Oliveira


Mankind has always tried to understand the behavior of animals and also to establish close contact with wildlife aiming to domesticate, to utilize or to enjoy the company of other animals. Nowadays the study of animal behavior – ethology – is a science in this own right and animal welfare is seen as a growing area of interest among scientists of different backgrounds, bringing together ethology, veterinary, zoology, psychology, and husbandry under the same framework of common interests. Here, we surveyed PubMed database using two keywords, “ethology” and “animal welfare”, which encompassed the period from 1981 to 2017. Also we have consulted the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development – i.e. “Diretório de Grupos do Conselho Nacional de Pesquisa (CNPq)” – aiming to disclose how many research groups there are working within the Animal Welfare realm, and where they are geographically localized. We found 156 articles addressing “Ethology” and “Animal Welfare”, an average of 7.7±4.2 articles per year from 2003 to 2017. 55 groups corresponding to 36.9% of the total are studying “Animal Welfare”. They are localized in 70% of the Brazilian states, mostly in the South and in the Northeast regions of the country. The presence of those groups allow us to be optimistic regarding the future of the Animal Welfare field in Brazil.

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