Björn Forkman

Björn Forkman
University of Copenhagen · Department of Large Animal Sciences

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144
Publications
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Publications

Publications (144)
Article
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Over the past two centuries, the typical life of dogs has changed dramatically, especially in the Global North. Dogs have moved into human homes, becoming human companions. In many respects, this change seems to have led to improvements in dog welfare. However, the shift into family homes from the free-roaming lifestyle characteristic of dogs as th...
Article
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Two kinds of initiatives exist to ensure welfare in broiler production: welfare legislation, where all broiler production in a country or region must comply with legally defined welfare standards; and market driven initiatives, where part of the production must meet specific welfare standards and is sold with a particular label, typically at a pric...
Article
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Current animal welfare protocols focus on demonstrating the absence (or at least low levels) of indicators of poor welfare, potentially creating a mismatch between what is expected by society (an assurance of good animal welfare) and what is actually being delivered (an assurance of the absence of welfare problems). This paper explores how far we h...
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Control of infectious diseases in livestock has often been motivated by food safety concerns and the economic impact on livestock production. However, diseases may also affect animal welfare. We present an approach to quantify the effect of five infectious diseases on animal welfare in cattle (three diseases) and pigs (two diseases). We grouped cli...
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There appear to be growing concerns among experts, NGOs, and members of the public about the welfare of companion dogs. With farm and laboratory animals, legislative initiatives have long been considered valuable tools in the management of welfare whereas the use of legislation to protect companion animal welfare has received less attention. We aim...
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Street dogs are common in southern and eastern parts of Europe. They are often adopted by people living in North European countries, including Denmark. However, these dogs may experience difficulties adjusting to their new life as companion animals, and this may in turn lead to behavioural problems and complications for owners. The objective of thi...
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Captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are well-documented as being prone to behavioural disorders and, as a result, their welfare is the cause of increasing concern. There is therefore a need for an evidence-based approach to the assessment of the welfare of this species and identification of valid welfare indicators is the first step towards achie...
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Background The aim of this study was to investigate if calves’ play behaviour and non-nutritive sucking behaviour, as indirect measures of welfare status, are associated with the age of the calf when group housed, age when observed, age difference within the group, pen size, milk feeding system, current or previous sicknesses, access to dry teat, i...
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A pluralist approach to farm animal welfare, combining animal welfare legislation with market-driven initiatives, has developed in many countries. To enable cross-country comparisons of pig welfare, a number of welfare dimensions, covering the features typically modified in legislative and market-driven welfare initiatives aimed at pig production,...
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Tail-biting occurs pre-weaning, but literature on tail damage during lactation and on the development of damage over time is sparse, especially for non-docked piglets. We assessed the prevalence of tail damage in non-docked piglets in a commercial Danish piggery during the lactation and weaning period, and investigated the within-animal association...
Article
This study aimed to identify current weak points in animal welfare in Danish dairy production at herd level using the Welfare Quality ® (WQ) protocol, and at national level using the Danish Animal Welfare Index (DAWIN) protocol. The DAWIN was developed as a monitoring tool for the welfare of the Danish dairy cow population, derived from the aggrega...
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In dairy production, mastitis is a major problem affecting animal welfare, productivity and economy. Hospital pens are typically not used for cows with mastitis, except for severe cases involving recumbency. This field trial included 47 cows from 3 Danish herds followed for 8 days of which D1-5 involved the experimental housing. After day 5, all co...
Article
Positive stockperson attitudes to his or her animals is associated with a positive behavioural response in the animals and in other indicators assumed to reflect a high level of welfare as well as increased productivity, eg in milk yield. Conversely, negative attitudes have been found to have the opposite effect. However, so far, no attempt has bee...
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The provision of straw to pigs kept in conventional pens with concrete floor improves animal welfare, but the effects of straw on pigs’ performance are unclear. In two steps, we investigated the relationship between amount of straw provided to pigs and measures of performance in a set-up maintaining constant space allowance and controlled room temp...
Article
Antimicrobial use is a commonly applied proxy for animal health and welfare impairment related to disease status in dairy herds. The objective of this study was to estimate the association between antimicrobial use and the results of systematic clinical examinations for metritis and mastitis. Data was collected from 109 Danish dairy herds over a 5-...
Article
Cats have grown in popularity as companion animals, but there are also people who strongly dislike them. Companion cats allowed to roam freely outdoors are seen by some as a nuisance. This paper, drawing on research conducted in Denmark, aims to quantify potentially conflicting attitudes to cats among the public that may feed into cat-related confl...
Article
Diarrhea and respiratory disease are major health problems for dairy calves, often causing calf mortality. Previous studies have found calf mortality to be higher in organic dairy herds compared to conventional herds. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between production system (conventional/organic), season (summer/winter) an...
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Welfare Quality® proposes a system for aggregation according to which the total welfare score for a group of animals is a non-linear effect of the prevalence of welfare scores across the individuals within the group. Three assumptions serve to justify this: (1) experts do not follow a linear reasoning when they assess a welfare problem; (2) it serv...
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National welfare indices of cattle and pigs are constructed in Denmark, and meat inspection data may be used to contribute to these. We select potentially welfare-relevant abattoir recordings and assess the sources of variation within these with a view towards inclusion in the indices. Meat inspection codes were pre-selected based on expert judgeme...
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The present study seeks to investigate the influence of expert affiliation in the weighing procedures within animal welfare assessments. Experts are often gathered with different backgrounds with differing approaches to animal welfare posing a potential pitfall if affiliation groups are not balanced in numbers of experts. At two time points (2012 a...
Conference Paper
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This cross-sectional study investigated risk factors associated with the pen-level prevalence of skin and vulva lesions in loose-housed gestating sows and gilts in Denmark. Twenty-one conventional herds with more than 200 sows were visited from April to December 2015. Herds were chosen by convenience sampling and pens and animals were selected acco...
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Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is a disease caused by the zoonotic parasite Taenia solium lodging in the central nervous system. Both humans and pigs can get NCC. The impact of the disease in pigs has so far been little explored. The aim of this study was to describe the effect of NCC on social and feeding behaviours as well as the pattern of activity as...
Conference Paper
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The Animal Welfare state of Danish Dairy Cow herds has previously been investigated using the Welfare Quality system. Recently, a total of 60 herds have been visited and evaluated within the large Danish Welfare Index Project; the objective of this sub-project is to identify general areas with poor animal welfare. The herds were chosen randomly fro...
Article
A visit to a veterinary clinic can be very stressful for the dog, and stress may interact with pain. The aim of this study was to observe the behavior of dogs in a veterinary clinic and to correlate it with subjective stress assessments by different persons. Systems have already been developed to assess pain in dogs. We tested the behavior of 105 d...
Article
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Neurocysticercosis (NCC) caused by Taenia solium is a serious neurological disease. In humans neurological symptoms have been thoroughly studied and documented, however, there is limited information on clinical signs in pigs infected with T. solium cysticerci. Among the scientific community, it is in fact believed that pigs with NCC rarely show neu...
Article
The objective of this study was to describe the availability and use of designated hospital pens in Danish dairy herds and to analyse the association between availability and use of hospital pens and the herd-level incidence of reported disease treatments. Hospital pens were divided into either 'individual hospital pens' designed for only one anima...
Article
Using training to prepare laboratory animals for biomedical research is one important behavior management task. With increased knowledge about factors influencing training success, training programs may be optimized, resulting in a refinement of primate husbandry. Even when animals are trained under the same conditions there are individual differen...
Conference Paper
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The Danish Animal Welfare Index (DAWIN) is an assessment system that is being created to evaluate animal welfare for dairy cow, calf herds and all pig production systems at a national level. The aim is to collect information on farm level and combine these with registry data to one overall index provided every year to follow up on recent developmen...
Article
This study examined effects of the amount of straw offered on occurrence and severity of gastric lesions in pigs kept in pens (18 pigs, 0.7 m2/pig) with partly slatted flooring and 10, 500 or 1000 g straw/pig/day from 30 kg live weight. The pigs had ad libitum access to dry feed. Forty-five pigs were used, three from each of 15 pens. After euthaniz...
Conference Paper
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The Danish Animal Welfare Index (DAWIN) is partly constructed with data assessed on-farm and is intended to be a multi-criterial, aggregated scoring system. Its development started with evaluating the wide field of animal welfare parameters that can be found in the literature. Following this, the construction of the so-called ‘brutto-list’ was the...
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Mechanical nociceptive threshold (MNT) testing has been used to investigate aspects of painful states in bovine claws. We investigated a handheld tool, where the applied stimulation force was monitored continuously relative to a pre-encoded based target force. The effect on MNT of two pre-testing habituation procedures was performed in two differen...
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Pain compromises the welfare of animals. A prerequisite for being able to alleviate pain is that we are able to recognize it. Potential behavioural signs of pain were investigated for dairy cattle with the aim of constructing a pain scale for use under production conditions. Forty-three cows were selected and fifteen different behaviours were score...
Article
According to European legislation, pigs must have permanent access to sufficient quantity of material to enable manipulation activities. However, few studies have quantified how much straw is needed to fulfil the requirements of growing pigs. We investigated the effect of increasing amount of straw on pigs' manipulation of the straw, and hypothesis...
Article
To investigate preferences of lame cows for flooring and level of social contact, 37 lame, lactating dairy cows (diagnosed with sole ulcer or white line disease) were housed individually for 6 d in experimental hospital pens, where they could choose between 2 equally sized areas (6 m × 4.5 m) with either deep-bedded sand or a rubber surface. On bot...
Conference Paper
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Developing animal welfare indices at farm level is a major challenge. The aim of our project is to go beyond farm level and develop national animal welfare indices for cattle and pigs intended to monitor changes over time in animal welfare. The indices is based on information from cross sectional farm data and existing databases and animal welfare...
Article
When training animals, time is sometimes a limiting factor hampering the use of positive reinforcement training (PRT) exclusively. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a combination of negative and positive reinforcement training (NPRT). Twenty naïve female Rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) were trained in 30 sessions with either PRT...
Article
Human–dog interaction relies to a large extent on nonverbal communication, and it is therefore plausible that human sensitivity to nonverbal signals affects interactions between human and dog. Experience with dogs is also likely to influence human–dog interactions, and it has been suggested that it influences human social skills. The present study...
Technical Report
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The overall aim of the project was to evaluate the use of routinely collected animal based measures (ABMs) for an evaluation of the overall animal welfare in dairy cow herds. ABMs being able to detect worst adverse effects in relation to animal welfare were identified based on the existing literature and expert opinion. The validity and robustness...
Article
Since 10 years, EU-legislation states that ‘pigs must have permanent access to sufficient quantity of material to enable proper investigation and manipulation activities’. While much research has focused on which materials ‘enable proper investigation and manipulation activities’, little has been done to determine what constitutes ‘sufficient quant...
Conference Paper
Danish animal welfare index for Dairy cattle and calves In 2012 Danish politicians decided that Danish animal welfare indexes for cattle and pigs should be developed to support the efforts made in regard to animal welfare on-farm. The indexes should provide a tool to compare the level of welfare on-farm over time. These indexes are now being develo...
Conference Paper
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CONCLUSION Facial expressions of pain can be appreciated in horses with clinical pain and may therefore prove useful for future pain scoring regimes. Furthermore learning to recognize facial expressions of pain is feasible and the agreement between raters after a 20 minutes training session was moderate. The results also indicate that a pain face s...
Conference Paper
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RESULTS Characteristic alterations in facial expressions were observed in all horses. Facial expressions representative for baseline and pain expressions were condensed into explanatory illustrations (see above). CONCLUSION An equine pain face can be recognized in horses during induced moderate pain and may prove useful for identifying pain in hors...
Article
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The nature of the relationship between companion dogs and their owners has important impact on the quality of life for both dog and owner. Identifying factors that affect the dog owner relationship will assist the understanding of how the successful relationship is achieved and how the less successful relationship is mended, with potential benefits...
Article
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Objective The objective of this study was to investigate the existence of an equine pain face and to describe this in detail.Study designSemi-randomized, controlled, crossover trial.AnimalsSix adult horses.Methods Pain was induced with two noxious stimuli, a tourniquet on the antebrachium and topical application of capsaicin. All horses participate...
Article
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Objective To examine the use of handheld methodology to assess mechanical nociceptive threshold (MNT) on cows kept loose-housed.Study designProspective randomized partial cross-over experimental study. A one-factor (test day) design was used to evaluate MNT over time.AnimalsOne hundred and fifteen healthy, loose-housed Danish Holstein cattle.Method...
Article
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Several factors influence how we interpret the behavior of another individual. In the current study, we investigated the effect of level of animal empathy, as well as the level of experience with dogs, on the interpretation of dog behavior. Forty-seven veterinary students participated in the study. Each student filled out a printed questionnaire on...
Article
Welfare assessment protocols using primarily animal-based measures are believed to give valid information about the welfare of animals. However, they tend to be time consuming and therefore costly, thus in practice there is often considerable reluctance to use them. In the present study, the relatively quick to use, simple but non-validated welfare...
Conference Paper
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et al. (2010). "Scandinavian bovine practitioners' attitudes to the use of analgesics in cattle." Veterinary Record 167(7): 256-258. 2) Kielland, C., E. Skjerve, et al. (2010). "Dairy farmer attitudes and empathy toward animals are associated with animal welfare indicators.
Article
The effort to develop methods for assessing animal welfare at farm level has grown dramatically since the end of the 1990s, culminating in the protocols developed by the European-wide project Welfare Quality (R) (WQ). However, these protocols are time consuming and lack transparency in how scores are aggregated into welfare outcomes. The current st...
Article
In this study, the possibility of there being an association between how an owner perceives his/her relationship to their dog and the way the dog experiences the relationship to its owner was investigated using two well-established methods within the anthrozoology literature. Twenty dog–owner dyads participated in the Strange Situation Procedure (S...
Article
This chapter outlines the science behind the development of the Welfare QualityR assessment systems. We concentrate on the animal welfare science and social science discussions upon which the welfare principles and criteria developed in the project are based, rather than on the actual assessment measures and their integration which are detailed in...
Article
Lying down is a highly prioritized behavior in dairy cattle, and previous studies have shown that the type of stall surface has a great effect on the health and welfare of the cow. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of stall surface (rubber mats, mattresses, or sand) on cleanliness, integument alterations on the hocks, lameness,...
Article
The performances of adult laying hens, housed in either a basic or an enriched pen, were investigated in a cognitive bias and an anticipation test. Both tests were designed to measure the assumed emotional state of the birds. The behaviour of birds in each test was compared to see whether both tests provided similar evidence of changed emotional st...