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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Aquaculture In Africa: Aquatic Animal Welfare, Impact On The Environment And The Sustainability Of The Sector, Mwenda M. Mbaka, Janice H. Cox, Stephen Ronan Dec 2022

Aquaculture In Africa: Aquatic Animal Welfare, Impact On The Environment And The Sustainability Of The Sector, Mwenda M. Mbaka, Janice H. Cox, Stephen Ronan

Aquaculture

The African aquaculture sector recorded the fastest growth in the world between 2006-2018, averaging 10% or more, and is expected to partially fill the growing fish supply-demand gap up to 2063. In 2018, there were about 1.2 million aquafarmers across the continent, an increase from 920 thousand in 2014. According to the African Development Bank, expansion of aquaculture in Africa is hampered by "the overwhelming predominance of tilapia farming, which relies heavily on the production of fingerlings from a limited number of genetically improved strains that are resistant to the many diseases affecting this species, and on the production of …


Resource Document On The Nexus Between Animal Welfare, The Environment, And Sustainable Development, Wellbeing International Nov 2022

Resource Document On The Nexus Between Animal Welfare, The Environment, And Sustainable Development, Wellbeing International

Nexus – UNEP – Animal Welfare, Environment, Sustainable Development

This Resource Document has been developed to explore the Nexus (links) between Animal Welfare, the Environment, and Sustainable Development. The document includes relevant citations and reports addressing the topics encompassed by the Nexus. It will be maintained as a “living document” (subject to revision) in the WellBeing International Studies Repository. The original document and subsequent revisions will be kept in the Repository to provide a record of the changes.


Free Will And Animal Suicide, Sabina Schrynemakers Jan 2022

Free Will And Animal Suicide, Sabina Schrynemakers

Animal Sentience

David Peña-Guzmán presents two arguments against the view that because only humans have free will only humans can commit suicide: (1) nonhuman animals may possess free will, and (2) the libertarian notion of free will is incompatible with scientific explanation. The free will objection to animal suicide is indeed mistaken, but Peña-Guzmán’s criticism of the libertarian notion of free will seems misplaced. His target should instead be the assumption that free choices must be made consciously or self-reflectively or the assumption that freedom cannot come in degrees.


What Might Decapod Sentience Mean For Policy, Practice, And Public?, Richard Gorman Jan 2022

What Might Decapod Sentience Mean For Policy, Practice, And Public?, Richard Gorman

Animal Sentience

Crump et al. provide eight criteria for evaluating sentience in decapods, with scope for for application to other taxa. Their work has attracted the interest of policymakers. This commentary discusses the limitations of conceptual and legal acknowledgement of sentience in chainging practice and public attitudes. More work is needed. Social science may be able to help.


No Need For Certainty In Animal Sentience, Yew Kwang Ng Jan 2022

No Need For Certainty In Animal Sentience, Yew Kwang Ng

Animal Sentience

This commentary supports Crump et al.’s (2022) point that where risks to welfare are severe, strong evidence of sentience is sufficient to warrant protecting welfare. Crump et al.’s eight criteria for sentience are also useful. Flexible decision-making (5) and flexible behaviour (6) are consistent with Ng (1995). The concession that the “no-need-for-sentience” proposition is unnecessary also strengthens the importance of the target article’s conclusions.


Pain Sentience Criteria And Their Grading, Eva Jablonka, Simona Ginsburg Jan 2022

Pain Sentience Criteria And Their Grading, Eva Jablonka, Simona Ginsburg

Animal Sentience

On the basis of the target article by Crump and colleagues, we suggest a more parsimonious scheme for evaluating the evidence for sentience. Since some of the criteria used by Crump et al. are not independent and some are uninformative we exclude some criteria and amalgamate others. We propose that evidence of flexible learning and prioritization, in conjunction with relevant data on brain organization, is sufficient for assigning pain-sentience to an animal and we suggest a scoring scheme based on four criteria.


Emotional Component Of Pain Perception In The Medicinal Leech?, Brian D. Burrell Jan 2022

Emotional Component Of Pain Perception In The Medicinal Leech?, Brian D. Burrell

Animal Sentience

Crump et al. have provided a series of criteria to assess animal sentience that is focused on the perception of pain, which is known to have both sensory and emotional components. They also provide a qualitative scoring system to assess data that address the eight criteria and apply this paradigm to decapod crustaceans. The criteria laid out have the potential to be applied to other invertebrates typically thought to have sensory response to tissue damage, but no emotional component to pain perception.


Decapod Sentience: Broadening The Framework, Cecilia De Souza Valente Jan 2022

Decapod Sentience: Broadening The Framework, Cecilia De Souza Valente

Animal Sentience

A framework for studying sentience in decapods is of great value, but how high a cost (in suffering) to each individual decapod (or any animal) is warranted for collecting scientific evidence of sentience? The lack of evidence for some of the target article’s proposed criteria surely results from the fact that research is focused mainly on biomedical studies, ecotoxicology, and commercial production, with decapod sentience and welfare seen as only a secondary research topic. I draw attention also to the possibility of a wider framework that includes all felt experiences, from suffering to pleasure.


Of Course Crustaceans Are Sentient: But There's More To The Story, Arthur S. Reber, Frantisek Baluska, William B. Miller Jr. Jan 2022

Of Course Crustaceans Are Sentient: But There's More To The Story, Arthur S. Reber, Frantisek Baluska, William B. Miller Jr.

Animal Sentience

We are in basic agreement with Crump et al. that animal welfare, particularly with regard to the experience of pain, is a topic of importance. However, we come to the issue from a different perspective, one in which all species are sentient and can feel pain. The implications of this theory are discussed.


Fine-Tuning The Criteria For Inferring Sentience, Culum Brown Jan 2022

Fine-Tuning The Criteria For Inferring Sentience, Culum Brown

Animal Sentience

“Sentience” means the capacity to feel, and feelings are private affairs. Sentience is hence extremely difficult to quantify in nonhuman animals. We have no direct means of determining whether an animal is sentient. Thus we rely on a series of indirect measures or criteria which collectively provide some level of confidence about the probability that an animal is sentient. Crump et al. propose a modified framework based on 8 criteria for estimating the likelihood of sentience in a target taxon. Whereas I very much like their proposed framework, I would suggest a couple of amendments that may improve it further: …


Independence, Weight And Priority Of Evidence For Sentience, Elizabeth Irvine Jan 2022

Independence, Weight And Priority Of Evidence For Sentience, Elizabeth Irvine

Animal Sentience

This commentary maps out relationships of dependency between the criteria proposed in the target article (Crump et al. 2022), identifying the criteria that carry most of the weight of the evidence, and suggesting which criteria should have priority in research on sentience.


Pain In Pleocyemata, But Not In Dendrobranchiata?, Gary Comstock Jan 2022

Pain In Pleocyemata, But Not In Dendrobranchiata?, Gary Comstock

Animal Sentience

Crump et al.’s contribution to assessing whether decapods feel pain raises an important question: Is pain distributed unevenly across the order? The case for pain appears stronger in Pleocyemata than in Dendrobranchiata. Some studies report pain avoidance behaviors in Dendrobranchiata (Penaeidae) shrimp, but further studies are needed to determine whether the chemicals used are acting as analgesics to relieve pain, or as soporifics to reduce overall alertness. If the latter, the most farmed shrimp species may not require the same level of protection as crabs, crayfish, and lobsters.


Generalizing Frameworks For Sentience Beyond Natural Species, Michael Levin Jan 2022

Generalizing Frameworks For Sentience Beyond Natural Species, Michael Levin

Animal Sentience

Crump et al. (2022) offer a well-argued example of an essential development: a rigorous framework for assessing sentience from the perspective of moral concern over an agent’s welfare. Current and forthcoming developments in bioengineering, synthetic morphology, artificial intelligence, biorobotics, and exobiology necessitate an expansion and generalization of this effort. Verbal reports (the Turing Test) and homology to human brains are utterly inadequate criteria for assessing the status of novel, unconventional agents that offer no familiar touchstone of phylogeny or anatomy. We must develop principled approaches to evaluating the sentience of (and thus, our responsibility to) beings of unfamiliar provenance and …


Does The Sentience Framework Imply All Animals Are Sentient?, Kristin Andrews Jan 2022

Does The Sentience Framework Imply All Animals Are Sentient?, Kristin Andrews

Animal Sentience

The eight criteria proposed in Crump et al.’s framework for evaluating pain sentience in decapod crustaceans are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to markers that could increase confidence in an animal’s sentience more generally. Some of the commentaries have already pointed out that pain is only one kind of sentience (Souza Valente). It has also already been pointed out that there are other criteria for pain that could be usefully added to the framework’s eight (Burrell). This expansive thinking about criteria that can be used to increase confidence in sentience raisess the question: in an expansive …


Unconscious Humans, Autonomous Machines And The Difficulty Of Knowing Which Animals Are Sentient, Marian Stamp Dawkins Jan 2022

Unconscious Humans, Autonomous Machines And The Difficulty Of Knowing Which Animals Are Sentient, Marian Stamp Dawkins

Animal Sentience

The framework proposed by Crump et al. still leaves much doubt about whether invertebrates such as crabs are sentient. For example, many complex behaviours - even in humans - occur without sentience. Also, simple machines could easily meet all of Crump et al.’s eight proposed criteria for sentience. Acknowledging the limitations of what we currently know about sentience is important both for formulating legislation correctly and for advancing scientific understanding of this most puzzling of biological phenomena.


Sentience As Part Of Emotional Lives, Frans B. M. De Waal Jan 2022

Sentience As Part Of Emotional Lives, Frans B. M. De Waal

Animal Sentience

It is high time to explore the sentience of invertebrate animals, but this topic cannot be discussed without also exploring their emotional lives, including positive emotions. Sentience probably evolved to allow the regulation of emotions by endowing them with feelings.


Sentience In Decapods: An Open Question, Mark Briffa Jan 2022

Sentience In Decapods: An Open Question, Mark Briffa

Animal Sentience

Crump et al.’s framework is a powerful tool designed to assist decisions on the ethical treatment of decapod crustaceans. However, the question of whether decapods are sentient (i.e., whether they feel), remains open, perhaps indefinitely. More optimistically, we might design experiments that distinguish among different levels of awareness, sometimes viewed as components of sentience. We should strike a balance between assuming that all organisms are sentient and making unnecessary anatomical assumptions about sentience. Refining current experiments may provide concrete insights about awareness in Decapoda and other taxa.


Decapod Sentience: Promising Framework And Evidence, Jon Mallatt, Todd E. Feinberg Md Jan 2022

Decapod Sentience: Promising Framework And Evidence, Jon Mallatt, Todd E. Feinberg Md

Animal Sentience

Strong points of the target article by Crump et al. are that it offers clear criteria for judging whether decapods are sentient, an effective semi-quantitative grading system for this purpose, and an astute, critical review of the literature. It concludes plausibly that major subgroups of decapods are sentient. A minor problem is that it includes classical, Pavlovian learning as a marker of sentience along with the more valid marker of complex (e.g., operant) learning. Another minor problem is that it does not distinguish results that are negative because of likely absence of sentience from results that are negative because they …


Strong Inferences About Pain In Invertebrates Require Stronger Evidence, Edgar T. Walters Jan 2022

Strong Inferences About Pain In Invertebrates Require Stronger Evidence, Edgar T. Walters

Animal Sentience

Evidence for sentience in animals distantly related to humans is often sought in observations of behavioral and neural responses to noxious stimuli that would be painful in humans. Most proposed criteria for painful sentience in “lower” animals such as decapod crustaceans have no necessary links to the affective (“suffering”) component of pain. The best evidence for painful affect in animals is learned aversion to stimuli associated with noxious experience, and conditioned preference for contexts associated with relief from aversive consequences of noxious experience, as expressed in voluntary behavior. Such evidence is currently lacking for any invertebrate except octopus.


Distinguishing Epistemic And Moral Grounds For Legal Protection, Carlos Montemayor Jan 2022

Distinguishing Epistemic And Moral Grounds For Legal Protection, Carlos Montemayor

Animal Sentience

The criteria proposed by Crump et al. are based on various cognitive roles associated with sentience. A subset of them may be sufficient for certain kinds of welfare, but the presence of all of them should be considered as clearly sufficient for substantial kinds of legal protection based on their relation to capacities that we consider essential for moral standing in human beings.


Truly Minimal Criteria For Animal Sentience, Mark Solms Jan 2022

Truly Minimal Criteria For Animal Sentience, Mark Solms

Animal Sentience

The criteria for determining animal sentience proposed in the target article are sensible but they lack an explicit functional justification for the focus on pain. This commentary provides an abbreviated account of the most basic functional principles that underpin animal sentience and articulates some minimal criteria for determining its presence.


Extending The Null Hypothesis To Invertebrate Pain Sentience, Eva Kakrada, Michael Colombo Jan 2022

Extending The Null Hypothesis To Invertebrate Pain Sentience, Eva Kakrada, Michael Colombo

Animal Sentience

In 1985 Macphail proposed his Null Hypothesis that there were no qualitative differences in intelligence across vertebrate species. A recent review of the literature has found overwhelming support for his view. Studies also suggest that, with respect to cognition and the neural mechanisms that support it, the Null Hypothesis should be extended to invertebrates. We suggest, on the same premise, that the Null Hypothesis should be extended to pain sentience in invertebrates. Although few studies have been conducted, behavioural and neural evidence for pain sentience has been found in various representative invertebrate species.


Lack Of Imagination Can Bias Our View Of Animal Sentience, Brian Key, Deborah Brown Jan 2022

Lack Of Imagination Can Bias Our View Of Animal Sentience, Brian Key, Deborah Brown

Animal Sentience

How an animal reacts to a sensory stimulus is often used to assess whether that animal can experience feelings such as pain and pleasure. This behavioural path is typically complemented with reference to how a human would normally respond to and experience an analogous stimulus. Together, these approaches can lead to a “hard to imagine otherwise” argument for feelings. It is time to go beyond these qualitative assessments and to now determine whether a nervous system can execute the neural functions necessary for sentience.


Crustacean Pain, Michael Tye Jan 2022

Crustacean Pain, Michael Tye

Animal Sentience

This commentary discusses the target article’s methodology, the relevance of the claim that crustaceans lack a neocortex to the thesis that they feel pain, and the evaluation of the results of some trade-off experiments done with hermit crabs.


Decapods As Food, Companions And Research Animals: Legal Impact Of Ascribing Sentience, Jonathan J. Cooper, Ambrose Tinarwo, Beth A. Ventura Jan 2022

Decapods As Food, Companions And Research Animals: Legal Impact Of Ascribing Sentience, Jonathan J. Cooper, Ambrose Tinarwo, Beth A. Ventura

Animal Sentience

This commentary provides an overview of the practical implications of attributing sentience to protect decapods as food, companion and research animals in the UK context. Recognising their capacity to suffer has implications for humane slaughter in farming and fishing sectors. It should also place a greater duty of care on owners of captive decapods, considering their needs and avoiding unnecessary suffering. The recognition of decapod sentience should also have an impact on their protection as research animals, although research with a potential to cause suffering may be needed to better understand decapods’ capacity to suffer.


Sentience In Decapods: Difficulties To Surmount, Michael L. Woodruff Jan 2022

Sentience In Decapods: Difficulties To Surmount, Michael L. Woodruff

Animal Sentience

In the target article Crump et al. present 8 criteria to assess whether decapods experience pain. Four of these -- sensory integration, motivational trade-offs, flexible self-protection, and associative learning -- could be used to assess sentience in general. In this commentary I discuss difficulties with using these criteria to provide evidence of sentience in decapods, particularly if this evidence is to change public opinion and policies. These difficulties are lack of evidence, the potential to eventually explain the neurobiological basis of the behaviors chosen as criteria, thereby eliminating any explanatory work for sentience, and the reluctance to bring animals that …


A Framework For Evaluating Evidence Of Pain In Animals, Matilda Gibbons, Lars Chittka Jan 2022

A Framework For Evaluating Evidence Of Pain In Animals, Matilda Gibbons, Lars Chittka

Animal Sentience

Crump et al. define eight criteria indicating sentience in animals, with a focus on pain. Here, we point out the risk of false negative or false positive diagnoses of pain. Criteria of different levels of inclusivity are useful for using the precautionary principle in animal welfare considerations, and for more formal scientific evidence of pain. We suggest tightening the criteria -- from more general evidence of sentience to pain alone -- because crucial evidence for animal welfare decisions might otherwise be missed for animals subjected to invasive and injurious procedures.


The Science Of Animal Sentience And The Politics Of Animal Welfare Should Be Kept Separate, Marian Stamp Dawkins Jan 2022

The Science Of Animal Sentience And The Politics Of Animal Welfare Should Be Kept Separate, Marian Stamp Dawkins

Animal Sentience

Although linked historically by Rowan et al., the scientific study of animal sentience and political campaigns to improve animal welfare should be kept separate, for at least two reasons. First, the separation makes it clear that standards of evidence acceptable for ethical or political decisions on animal welfare can be lower than those required for a rigorously scientific approach to animal sentience. Second, it helps to avoid confirmatory bias in the form of giving undue weight to results that are in line with pre-conceived ideas and political views.


Pros And Cons Of A Framework For Evaluating Potential Pain In Decapods, Robert W. Elwood Jan 2022

Pros And Cons Of A Framework For Evaluating Potential Pain In Decapods, Robert W. Elwood

Animal Sentience

The rigorous framework for research into potential pain in decapods was successful in allowing legislators in the United Kingdom to evaluate a complex scientific issue. However, it might produce problems for research. I discuss doubts about the usefulness of the eight criteria. Some have yet to receive any investigation and others do not allow much inference about pain. In addition, some existing studies are not covered in the framework. Most worrying, however, is the potential for stifling future research of novel areas that are excluded from the framework.


Why The Recognition Of Sentience Is So Important For Animal Welfare, Mark Jones Jan 2022

Why The Recognition Of Sentience Is So Important For Animal Welfare, Mark Jones

Animal Sentience

Rowan et al. (2022) provide a useful summary of the history and development of the philosophical, public, and legal recognition of animal sentience and its importance in improving the welfare of animals. Here I argue for the incorporation of the precautionary principle in sentience recognition, and the wider significance of sentience recognition to the current climate, biodiversity and human health crises.