In many cases, to improve animal welfare, we must change the behaviour of the people who manage them, care for them, and interact with them. This can be achieved through behaviour change interventions. In this review, we aimed to explore the current state of the behaviour change literature in animal care and interactive settings. We identified significant deficiencies in the design, evaluation, and reporting of these interventions. It was often unclear what behaviours were targeted, how the intervention was designed to work, what was in it, and how it was delivered. Without this information, interventions cannot be rigorously evaluated, built upon by others, or implemented in other settings. Transparent reporting and a structured approach to the design and evaluation of interventions is now required to help the field move forward in a more consistent and robust way. We present such a framework, the “Ten-Task” guide, based on the intervention mapping framework, and demonstrate how its adoption would help progress this field substantially.
Behaviour change interventions may be one of the most promising avenues to improve animal welfare. Yet there has been limited systematic research involving them in animal-related settings. We searched three major databases for studies involving an intervention to change interactive or care-related behaviours in any animal-related setting. Forty-seven papers were included in the review and each paper was coded for specific design and evaluation elements. We found a series of limitations in the quality and consistency of intervention design, evaluation, and reporting. Hence, we present a framework, the “Ten-Task” guide, based on the intervention mapping framework, to guide future work in this field. Adopting this structured approach will improve the quality and efficacy of behaviour change interventions for animal welfare and allow for the field to progress in a harmonious way.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
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