First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine
Course unit
AVP7077490, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2018/19

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
AV2378, Degree course structure A.Y. 2017/18, A.Y. 2019/20
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Degree course track Common track
Number of ECTS credits allocated 8.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination ANIMAL HUSBANDRY AND WELFARE
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Comparative Biomedicine and Food Science
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge MARTA BRSCIC AGR/19
Other lecturers CARMELO MAUCIERI AGR/02

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses AGR/02 Agronomy and Herbaceous Cultivation 2.0
Core courses AGR/19 Special Techniques for Zoology 6.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Practice 1.0 8 17.0 No turn
Lecture 7.0 56 119.0 No turn

Start of activities 30/09/2019
End of activities 18/01/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2017 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
2 Commissione a.a. 2019/20 01/12/2019 30/11/2020 BRSCIC MARTA (Presidente)
MAUCIERI CARMELO (Membro Effettivo)
1 Commissione a.a. 2018/19 01/12/2018 30/11/2019 BRSCIC MARTA (Presidente)
GOTTARDO FLAVIANA (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: Students are not required to have specific skills
Target skills and knowledge: Animal husbandry and welfare:
According to the principles of the “5 freedoms”, students will be addressed to understand what Animal Welfare means. Moreover, students will develop knowledge and skills that will allow them to identify the needs of the animals and to improve their living environment (housing system, environmental conditions, cleanliness) and management. They will be also skilled to identify rearing conditions that can cause pain and distress and to develop strategies to remove them.
Environmental quality:
Ability to recognize the environmental impact of animal husbandry and individuate possible natural control strategies.
Examination methods: Evaluation of the student will be based on:
- the quality of reports and presentations of the practical activities (this evaluation will account for 30% of the final score and will be valid for a duration of 1 year)
- the results of written test with multiple choice questions and open questions (these evaluation will account for 70% of the final score).
Assessment criteria: The examination will cover both practical and theoretical learning objectives. The student is expected to be able to discuss contents presented during lecture sessions using an appropriate technical language.
Course unit contents: Animal husbandry and welfare:
- Introduction to animal welfare (history and definitions) and its importance on public acceptance and scientific outcomes.
- Animal welfare assessment: animal- and resource-based measures, welfare assessment schemes and methods for relevant species and the measures included in score sheets.
- The five freedoms: Basic principles, how they oriented animal protection legislation and how they apply to relevant species.
- Good feeding: freedom from hunger (what is a diet to maintain full health and vigor of the animals).
- Good feeding: freedom from thirst.
- Good housing: freedom from discomfort (what could be considered an appropriate environment suitable housing conditions - shelter comfort, safety, naturalness, materials); the potential causes of suffering linked to housing and husbandry of relevant species with indications on how these are monitored.
- Good housing: housing facilities and structures – pros- and cons of different materials used for housing facilities and structures and tests to assess if appropriate.
- Good housing: freedom of movement - range, access to outdoor area, natural environment.
- Good housing: environmental temperatures and humidity, quality and management of water (environmental); suitable environmental and housing conditions for relevant species and their monitoring.
- Good housing: cleanliness and hygiene of facilities. Aims for cleaning and safe cleaning agents.
- Good health: how to guarantee freedom from injury or disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
- Good health: most frequent pathologies due to wrong housing and management, how to identify the consequences for the animal resulting from inappropriate environmental conditions and how they may influence experimental outcomes and the number of animals needed.
- Good health: freedom from pain; mutilations; methods for marking individual animals and advantages and disadvantage for each method for relevant species.
- Appropriate behavior: freedom to express (most) normal behaviors for welfare purposes.
- Appropriate behavior: stereotypes and abnormal behaviors as signs of stress.
- Appropriate behavior: how to prevent abnormal behaviors; environmental enrichments and importance of providing an enriched environment (appropriate to both species and science) including social housing and opportunities for exercise, resting and sleeping for relevant species.
- Freedom from fear and distress: ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering – what is achievable.
- Human animal interaction: what should be avoided and what should be promoted (suitable routines, husbandry practices for maintenance, care and welfare for relevant species).
- Animal welfare during transport: correct procedures for ensuring health, welfare and care of animals and how transport can alter animal biology of relevant species.
- Management challenges of an animal facility: problems and challenges; organization to maintain an appropriate health status for the animals and the scientific procedures (effect of place and randomization on research outcomes).
Environmental quality:
- Introduction. Water pollution: indicators and water characteristics measurement tools.
- Constructed wetland technology and Zoo wastewater treatment.
- Constructed wetland technology and fish effluent treatment.
- Plants role in constructed wetlands and pharmaceuticals reduction in wastewaters.
- Composting process for pharmaceuticals reduction in animal solid waste.
- Introduction to aquaponics, water quality and unit design.
- Fish, Plants and Bacteria in aquaponics.
- Practice on the measurement of water qualitative parameters
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Animal husbandry and welfare:
This part includes 40 hours of lectures (of which four 2-h seminars) and 8 hours of hands-on activities. These latter will consist in an educational visit to a production plant specialized in products (cages, aquaria, etc.) for non-conventional animals (4 hours); and in a practical workshop based on literature evaluation on animal welfare in specific contexts.
The students will be divided in small groups and they will be involved in the:
- Implementation of basic Animal Welfare records;
- Use of procedural guidelines, and codes of practice regarding animal welfare
- Writing reports on animal welfare conditions in different contexts
The results of the practical activities will be discussed among groups in order to improve communication skills through a participative interaction.
Environmental quality:
This part includes 16 hours of lectures
Additional notes about suggested reading: Detailed learning objectives and weekly program are available on Moodle (

Textbooks recommended for consultation:
- Stress and Animal Welfare, by D.M. Broom, K. G. Johnson, K. G. Johnston, Springer
- Zoo Animals: Behaviour, Management, and Welfare. by G Hosey.
- The Welfare of Animals Used in Research: Practice and Ethics. by R.C. Hubrecht. Wiley-Blackwell
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Appleby, M.C., Mench, J.A., Olsson, I.A.S., Hughes, B.O., Animal Welfare. --: CABI, --. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Problem based learning
  • Case study
  • Interactive lecturing
  • Working in group
  • Questioning
  • Problem solving
  • Concept maps
  • Active quizzes for Concept Verification Tests and class discussions
  • Use of online videos
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)
  • Students peer review

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Life on Land