Nutritional Issues in Animal Welfare - (15 Credits)

This module is designed to enable students to appreciate the role played by diets and feeding practice on both the development and the management of nutrition-induced disorders in range of farm, companion and captive wild animals in zoos. In-depth, research-based nutrition case-studies will be used to explore common problems such as metabolic bone diseases in reptiles, diet-induced anaemias, iron-storage overload diseases (e.g. haemosiderosis) in captive wild animals, type-2 diabetes in captive primates, chronic wasting syndrome in captive giraffes, and the effects of feed toxins/anti-nutritional factors on animal health and welfare. Several other areas will also be explored such as the range of feeding behaviours and nutritional adaptations found in animals, including the challenges faced by nutritionists when feeding wild animals held in captive environments. Students will also learn the scientific procedures and tools used by animal welfare inspectors for conducting nutritional status assessments and investigations in animals. Students will also look at nutritional similarities and differences across a variety of animal species including the implications of using the well-studied nutritional needs of domestic animals, and their use as the basis or models for diet design and feeding practice for wild animals in captivity whose nutritional needs are not well researched.