China perspective: Emerging interest in animal behaviour and welfare science

J. Bao, Y. Li

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations


The development of interest in animal behaviour and welfare science in China mirrors the political and economic changes in the country over the last three decades. Traditionally, animal farming in China was small-scale and family-based with the main purpose of feeding the family rather than supplying food to society. At that time, the health status, productivity and efficiency of farm animals were usually overlooked. As large-scale confinement production systems were introduced from western countries in 1980s, problems in animal health and animal behaviour emerged. In seeking solutions to the problems, Chinese scientists started to teach and research 'Applied Ethology' at universities. After joining the WTO in 2001, China has been challenged on animal welfare issues in international markets. In domestic markets, Chinese consumers generally believe that improving animal welfare would improve the food safety of animal products, such as meat and eggs. As a result, research in applied ethology and animal welfare is better funded now as compared to 20 years ago. The presence of international organisations for animal welfare, animal protection and animal rights in China has encouraged Chinese citizens to get involved in animal welfare and protection. The Chinese government has constituted laws for animal protection. This chapter describes historical, political and economic impacts on the development of animal behaviour and welfare science in China.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAnimals and Us
Subtitle of host publication50 Years and More of Applied Ethology
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9789086868285
ISBN (Print)9789086862825
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Animal welfare
  • Applied ethology
  • China


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