Animal Welfare Is Everyone’s Issue

Although animal welfare is often thought of as something that a particular group controls, in reality it is everyone’s responsibility. In essence the welfare of all animals needs to be of utmost concern to every person on the planet since animal human interrelationship with the food chain is always present. Humans and animals can live together in protected, caring and ethical ways that provide a safe and systemic caring environment for animals, reptiles, birds and marine life of all sizes and categories.

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However, animal welfare goes well beyond taking care of stray pets in the major cities across the country and the world. In fact there are specific groups that work to help establish laws and standards of care for wild animals in captivity, animals raised for food production and animals that are in danger of becoming extinct. Wild animal welfare laws range from protecting the smallest insects in the Amazon rainforest to limiting the number of wild salmon that are harvested in northern oceans each year.

Another key aspect of animal welfare is the protection and safety of animals used in research and experimentation and those raised on small and large farms. Since it is not possible to eliminate animals from these types of issues, animal welfare laws strive to improve the living conditions of the animals and promote humane, safe, ethical management.

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What Are The Most Intelligent Animals?

Everyone thinks their own pet is the smartest, but in reality there are some intelligent animals that show a very high level of ability to adapt to different environments and solve problems they could not solve simply by following instincts or repeating a learned or trained behavior. This is what researchers look for when they are ranking animals by intelligence. This ranking is, of course, based on very small sample sizes and is a not necessarily a true evaluation of the whole species.
In Jane Goodall’s studies she identified five distinct species that she considered to be the most intelligent. The first on the list is the Great Apes she studied for so many years. These primates have not only been able to learn sign language and computers but they have actually taught others in the group without human intervention. After the Great Apes she lists whales and dolphins, largely due to their ability to communicate, which is now universally recognized by researchers.
Elephants are her third with their almost human like family bonds and elaborate rituals of the herd. Parrots are fourth because of their ability to not only learn the human language but to use the words in meaningful ways other than when prompted by a human. In the fifth spot she lists dogs and cats because of their ability to interpret human emotions and facial expressions. All these traits are certainly characteristics of intelligent animals and well worth more research and study.

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Animal Cognition For Thinking People

The study of animal cognition, or how animals think, has really come a long way from the early Pavlov experiments on classical and operant conditioning. Historically researchers believed that animals could only learn basics or act on instinct, they couldn’t actively think or problem solve. Studies with primates, whales, dolphins and even rats have shown that these animals can actually think up new solutions and create options, which is the hallmark of thinking.
Researchers studying animal thinking divide their study into different categories. Just like not all people are smart in math, it turns out that not all animals are smart in all things. Some animals are very smart in one category but not as gifted in the other. Not unreasonably the categories different species are smartest in tend to be the ones they use most for survival. The most common categories for studying animal cognition include:
•    Memory
•    Attention
•    Using tools and weapons
•    Problem solving and reasoning
•    Consciousness
•    Language development and use
One of the biggest challenges to research is to find a way to study the animals in their own habitat with the right type of test. With ongoing research into this very interesting subject it is very possible that other categories and types of animal cognition will continue to evolve and increase our knowledge of their abilities. Some ressources: Ure.dkExcel kursus

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Lovely animals

Animals are great!

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