ASC212 Animal Behaviour, Welfare and Ethics (8)

This subject provides a broad introduction to the study of animal behaviour, animal ethics and animal welfare science. The behaviour of an animal is one of the most obvious and widely adopted indicators of its welfare. This subject introduces students to the fundamental processes controlling behaviour, and will assist in interpreting what observed normal and abnormal behaviour patterns indicate about animal welfare. This subject also introduces students to the study of animal welfare which, in simple terms, aims to provide the scientific evidence to answer the question of how animals should be treated. The latter question is actually an ethical question, and this subject will introduce the principles of animal ethics. Knowledge of animal ethics will allow students to defend and reflect on their own ethical judgements, and critique those of others regarding the use of animals.


Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ASC212. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Bachelor of Animal Science (Honours) Integrated Honours

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to apply knowledge of fundamental animal behaviour processes to interpret normal and abnormal behaviour patterns;
  • be able to discuss the principles of animal ethics, defend one's own ethical judgements and critique those of others regarding the treatment of animals; and
  • be able to recognise the main indicators of welfare and synthesise a response based on those indices that could be used to describe the welfare of the animal.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Fundamental processes in behaviour including: adaptation, function, proximate and ultimate mechanisms in behaviour, development, learning and motivation;
  • Animal ethics and the basis for our moral concern for animals including: ethical concepts, ethical reasoning and language, ethical viewpoints and concepts in animal welfare;
  • Common indicators of animal welfare; and
  • Approaches to combining indicators of welfare to evaluate the welfare state.

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.