Animal Sentience

Commentary Type

Invited Commentary


According to Broom (2014), animal welfare is a concept that can be applied to all animals, including single-celled organisms that are obviously not sentient. Such a stance makes it difficult to draw a connection between welfare and sentience, and that is the book’s downfall. Some excellent points are made about sentience and there are very good discussions on animal welfare. However, unless sentience is considered the essential component of welfare, any attempt to link the two phenomena will be unsuccessful — and that, indeed, is the case with this book.

Author Biography

Ian Duncan iduncan@uoguelph.ca is Professor Emeritus and Emeritus Chair in Animal Welfare at the University of Guelph in Canada. He was one of the first to bring a scientific approach to solving welfare problems, developing methods of “asking” animals what they feel about the conditions in which they are kept and the procedures to which they are subjected. http://www.uoguelph.ca/abw/people/#duncan