Impact UK Location: Paignton

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Improving the Psychological Wellbeing of Captive Animals

Summary of the impact

Thousands of animals are housed in captive conditions worldwide, often to the detriment of their mental well-being. Scientists at Queen's Animal Behaviour Centre have spent the last 20 years developing new ways of improving the psychological welfare of animals housed in captivity. Their research has shown that classical music and scents such as lavender in dog shelters calms the animals, and that shielding zoo-housed gorillas from visitors with camouflage netting over the viewing windows, prevents great apes from becoming agitated. The impact of this research extends to guidelines and regulations set by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the UK's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Australian Government's National Health and Medical Research Council. Commercial impact includes CDs of music composed specifically for dogs, now widely available to buy on the open market, and being utilised in 1700+ rescue shelters and by over 150,000 pet owners around the globe.

Submitting Institution

Queen's University Belfast

Unit of Assessment

Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience

Summary Impact Type


Research Subject Area(s)

Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences: Veterinary Sciences
Medical and Health Sciences: Public Health and Health Services
Psychology and Cognitive Sciences: Other Psychology and Cognitive Sciences

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