Incorporating the Philosophy of Technology into Animal Welfare Assessment
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Changes in attitudes towards how animals are housed in agriculture are currently under question in the public eye-particularly for laying hens. Many arguments from the rights and utilitarian viewpoints have been made for changing environmental conditions and managerial practices for animals in an effort to respect the interests of the animal and better their welfare. Yet, these arguments have been based upon belief systems that were developed from information that can be collected by human perception only. Technological advancements can facilitate animal welfare assessment by providing humans with new information about what the animal perceives. Yet, little has been discussed surrounding the thought process behind which technologies are conceived, how they are developed, and why they are implemented. Here, using the laying hen as a model, we turn to the philosophy of technology to address what role technological advancements may have in our capacity to understand animals, how technology can affect their welfare, and what role technology may play in furthering animal welfare assessment. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
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