Cathy M Dwyer

Cathy M Dwyer
Scotland's Rural College | SRUC · Animal and Veterinary Sciences Research Group (AVS)

Doctor of Philosophy

About

130
Publications
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Publications

Publications (130)
Article
Education to improve knowledge of animal welfare is not a universal component of training for zoo staff, and little is reported about the perspectives of zoo staff on the need for such education. This paper reports results from structured telephone interviews of a diverse sample of eight Chinese and eight European zoo staff about aspects of zoologi...
Article
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Characterising the people that work in zoos is a key element of understanding how zoos might better contribute to conservation activities. The purpose of this study was to investigate demographics, early life experiences and perceptions of zoo staff to the role of the modern zoo. This paper reports the key characteristics and qualitative themes eme...
Article
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Universal frameworks for zoo animal welfare have been suggested. However, there is little evidence of a cross-cultural understanding of zoo animal welfare. This paper reports themes emerging from a qualitative study of international (European and Chinese) zoo professionals on zoo animal welfare issues. Structured telephone interviews were conducted...
Article
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It is widely assumed that working equid husbandry is carried out by men, and women are often not recognised as facilitating equid welfare. The aim of this study is to investigate how working equids contribute to women’s livelihoods in six of the World Horse Welfare programme target communities in Guatemala and determine what roles women have in the...
Article
Horses undergoing veterinary care may perceive the experience to be stressful and their behavioural responses can result in injuries to people involved in their care. Being able to accurately measure the stress response in horses undergoing veterinary care would have potential benefits. Firstly, it may highlight common behavioural indicators that t...
Chapter
This 183-paged book covers ways to improve welfare in situations where there is no large corporate buyer to enforce standards. Many of the chapters in the book cover working equids or village dogs. This requires a totally different approach compared to working with corporate supply managers. Many of the chapters describe successful work in low-inco...
Article
This study investigates for the first time the application of Qualitative Behavioural Assessment (QBA) to the analysis of acute pain expression in castrated lambs. Eighty 2-day-old male lambs were allocated to one of 4 groups (n = 20 per treatment): handled only (control, C), rubber ring castration (RR), short-scrotum castration (SSC) and rubber ri...
Article
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Background The welfare of all animals under human management is an area of consistent public concern, but strategies to improve welfare may vary across species. In this study, expert consensus, using a modified Delphi approach, was used to prioritise welfare issues of farmed and companion animals in the UK. Methods The study involved 117 experts,...
Article
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Equine welfare issues are receiving increasing attention in the UK, but welfare problems can arise from a wide range of causes. In order to identify the most important welfare concerns for horses, we used a Delphi method with 19 equine welfare experts. An initial list of 84 equine welfare issues was generated using an online discussion board and NV...
Article
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Prioritization of animal welfare issues can help identify which areas most require research funding and raise awareness of best practices. A modified Delphi method was used to obtain expert opinion on the highest priority welfare issues for UK farmed livestock. Fifty-eight UK-based experts were recruited onto the study, with a minimum of 3 years ex...
Article
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Background Cats are the most popular pets in the UK, yet relatively little research has been conducted into the welfare of cats living in a home environment. The purpose of this study was to determine and prioritise welfare issues for cats using a Delphi method. Methods Cat welfare experts (n=14) were asked to identify and rank welfare issues for...
Article
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Background Rabbits are the third most popular pet in the UK, but little research into their welfare needs has been conducted. Methods A modified Delphi method was used to generate expert consensus on the most important welfare issues for rabbits in the UK. The study involved 11 experts, recruited from a range of disciplines. The experts generated...
Article
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Until now, most research has focused on the development of indicators of negative welfare, and relatively few studies provide information on valid, reliable, and feasible indicators addressing positive aspects of animal welfare. However, a lack of suffering does not guarantee that animals are experiencing a positive welfare state. The aim of the pr...
Article
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Sheep are managed under a variety of different environments (continually outdoors, partially outdoors with seasonal or diurnal variation, continuously indoors) and for different purposes, which makes assessing welfare challenging. This diversity means that resource-based indicators are not particularly useful and, thus, a welfare assessment scheme...
Article
The pre-natal period is of critical importance in defining how individuals respond to their environment throughout life. Stress experienced by pregnant females has detrimental effects on offspring behaviour, health and productivity. The sheep (Ovis aries) has been used as a model to inform human studies; however, in a farming context, the consequen...
Chapter
Reproductive management is central to the success of sheep farming. Welfare affects reproduction and thus sheep productivity; firstly because poor welfare can impact reproductive performance and secondly because management of rams, ewes and lambs may affect their welfare. In this chapter the effects of environment, nutrition and management on the b...
Article
The vocalizations of nonhuman animals are considered potential indicators of motivational or internal state. In many species, different call types, and structural variation within call types, encode information about physical characteristics such as age or sex, or about variable traits such as motivation. Domestic chickens, Gallus gallus, have an e...
Conference Paper
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Animal welfare is an increasingly relevant aspect of livestock farming for societal and economic reasons. It should also be a requirement for high-quality and sustainable production as assuring optimum welfare helps to minimize losses in animal performance and resource loss. In order to implement these production models it is critical to the livest...
Poster
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Impact of lamb’s pain behaviours on maternal beahviours in ewes.
Poster
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The Animal Welfare Indicators (AWIN) project promoted the development of protocols centred on animal-based indicators to assess welfare in goats, sheep, donkeys, horses and turkeys. An important feature of the project was the adoption of a simple and practical approach to the dissemination of scientific results to general public and stakeholders su...
Conference Paper
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The European Animal Welfare Indicators Project (AWIN) addressed the development, integration and dissemination of animal-based welfare indicators, with an emphasis on pain assessment and pain recognition. In this framework, AWIN researchers developed practical and science-based welfare assessment protocols for sheep, goats, horses, donkeys and turk...
Article
The anticipatory behaviour of animals has been credited with enabling scientists to more closely infer what an animal wants. From a welfare perspective, this knowledge could improve how we care for animals under our management, as information about how animals prioritise rewarding items may guide how we allocate resources effectively. Our goal was...
Article
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The concept that post-natal health and development can be influenced by events that occur in utero originated from epidemiological studies in humans supported by numerous mechanistic (including epigenetic) studies in a variety of model species. Referred to as the ‘developmental origins of health and disease’ or ‘DoHaD’ hypothesis, the prima...
Article
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Neonatal mortality in small ruminant livestock has remained stubbornly unchanging over the past 40 years, and represents a significant loss of farm income, contributes to wastage and affects animal welfare. Scientific knowledge about the biology of neonatal adaptation after birth has been accumulating but does not appear to have had an impact in im...
Article
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Although neonatal farm animals are frequently subjected to painful management procedures, the role of maternal behaviour in pain coping, has not been much studied. We investigated whether ewes were able to distinguish between lambs in pain and those that were not, and whether their behaviour altered depending on the severity of lamb pain. Eighty ma...
Article
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Opinion paper: is there a role for breeding for welfare improvement? - Volume 9 Issue 8 - S. P. Turner, J. Conington, C. M. Dwyer
Article
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The aim of this experiment was to study the effects of pen size and parity on maternal behaviour of twin-bearing Small-Tail Han ewes. A total of 24 ewes were allocated to a 2×2 design (six per pen), with parity (primiparous or multiparous) and pen size (large: 6.0×3.0 m; small: 6.0×1.5 m) as main effects at Linyi University, Shandong Province, Chin...
Article
The prenatal period is of critical importance in defining how individuals respond to their environment throughout life. Stress experienced by pregnant females has been shown to have detrimental effects on offspring behaviour, health and productivity. The sheep has been used extensively as a model species to inform human studies. However, in the far...
Article
Full-text available
Parental care promotes offspring survival and, for livestock species, this care is provided solely by the mother. Maternal behaviour in the sheep has been exceptionally well-studied compared with other species and many of the underpinning biological processes leading to the expression of maternal care are known. In this review the current state of...
Book
Selective breeding poses both threats and opportunities to animal welfare. Modern breeding methods may accelerate the rate of desirable or undesirable genetic change in correlated traits whilst re-focussed selection objectives to meet economic, food security and environmental concerns will likely demand heightened selection pressure on some existin...
Article
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Poor neonatal survival constrains productivity and good welfare. The heritability of survival in sheep is very low, suggesting that genetic progress will be slow. Previously we have shown that a difficult birth and low neonatal lamb vigor are important predictors of future survival. In this study we investigated the heritability of these traits, an...
Article
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The experience of a difficult birth (dystocia) is traumatic and has adverse effects on the newborn in various species. Despite affecting up to 1 in 3 births in dairy cattle, studies on calves have been mostly limited to the first day of life. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of dystocia on the survival to calving, growth t...
Article
The welfare of dairy cows and their calves is compromised following a difficult calving. A better understanding of what happens during a difficult calving is needed to help prevent and alleviate adverse consequences through early diagnosis and/or pain mitigation. The objectives of this study were to investigate the calving progress and parturition...
Article
Extensive sheep farming systems make an important contribution to socio-economic well-being and the 'ecosystem services' that flow from large areas of the UK and elsewhere. They are therefore subject to much policy intervention. However, the animal welfare implications of such interventions and their economic drivers are rarely considered. Under De...
Article
Without effective pain relief, rubber ring castration of lambs is acutely painful and can also produce chronic pain. The potential of novel, smaller rubber rings to reduce this pain substantially has been investigated. Three groups of eight 2-3 day old lambs, were castrated either with conventional rubber rings (cRR), or novel smaller rubber rings...
Article
This study assessed the effect of feeding 0.75 energy requirements between Days 1 and 90 of pregnancy on placental development and feto-placental amino acid status on Day 125 of pregnancy in Scottish Blackface and Suffolk ewes carrying a single fetus. Such moderate nutrient restriction did not affect placental size, placentome number or the distrib...
Article
The neonate's development and survival is dependent upon being vigorous at birth and receiving appropriate maternal care. However, difficulty at delivery can result in less vigorous offspring and maternal care can be altered, probably as a consequence of exhaustion, pain and human intervention. The first 3h after expulsion of the calf were observed...
Article
Birth difficulty and poor lamb vigour are significant causes of perinatal lamb mortality. In this study we investigated whether sheep breeds differing in appearance, muscularity and selection history also had differences in dystocia and lamb vigour, and considered some of the factors that may contribute to the variation in these traits. Data were c...
Article
The goal of this experiment was to detect if maternal care by ewes could be effective in mitigating psychological or physiological stress or pain in their offspring. We hypothesised that ewes are able to recognise when their offspring undergo an adverse experience and will adapt their maternal behaviour to buffer the effect of such events. Thirty-o...
Article
The individual monitoring of dairy cows around the time of calving is important to identify calving difficulties or health problems as early as possible. This study aims to identify whether there are differences in the behaviour before calving, between heifers and cows, and between those that are assisted at calving and those that are not. Behaviou...
Article
Maternal care plays an important role in the survival of offspring in mammals. In the ewe initial maternal care is expressed by nurturing the young and formation of an exclusive olfactory bond with the lamb. After the neonatal period, maternal care is associated with co-operation with sucking interactions, maintenance of a close ewe–lamb relationsh...
Article
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Lamb mortality remains a significant welfare and economic issue for sheep production. Lamb survival is to a degree dependent upon an easy delivery and the expression of appropriate behaviours from both mother and offspring, such as rapid standing, udder seeking and sucking by the lamb. Genetic solutions have the potential to improve birth assistanc...
Article
Dairy cows require individual monitoring around the time of calving to identify any calving difficulties or health problems as early as possible. To assist with the monitoring of parturition, it would be beneficial to understand the behaviour of dairy cows that is associated with normal calving. This study systematically quantified the behaviour of...
Article
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The present study investigated whether the genetic growth characteristics (fast or slow growing, lean or fat) of a mother influences her ability to partition nutrients to developing offspring. A total of sixty-one pregnant mice of three selected lines were used: fast-growing, relatively fat (FF, n 19); fast-growing, relatively lean (FL, n 23); and...
Article
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This study examined the hypothesis that responses of Scottish Blackface (BF, a hill breed) and Suffolk (SUF, a lowland breed) ewes to undernutrition between d 1 and 90 of pregnancy would differ. Over 2 consecutive breeding seasons, ewes (4 pens/treatment; 15 to 20 ewes/pen) were artificially inseminated and from d 1 to 90 after AI allocated to 0.75...
Article
This study investigates the genetic basis of lamb vigour (defined as neonatal lamb activity and sucking ability) and lambing difficulty as potential traits to be included in selection programmes to improve ewe and lamb welfare. Scores for lamb birth difficulty, vigour and sucking ability were collected shortly after birth on 1,520 lambs born in 200...
Article
Current alterations in the farm environment, such as a reduced number of farm workers, may mean that sheep genotypes that are highly dependent on man for nutritional and reproductive success will experience poorer welfare within that environment. In the past 30 years, average flock size has doubled, and flocks of over 1,000 ewes managed by one stoc...
Article
Matheson, S. M., Roden, J., Haresign, W., Bunger, L., Dwyer, C. M. (2010). Selection of sires with good lambing and lamb vigour characteristics within three Suffolk strains. Advances in Animal Biosciences, p170. Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science Annual Conference, 'Food, Feed, Energy and Fibre from Land - A Vision for 2020', Quee...
Article
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Interactions between neonatal lamb vigour and faecal soiling at weaning in three breeds of sheep - Volume 1 Issue 1 - S M Matheson, C M Dwyer, L Bünger, J G M Houdijk
Article
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The experiment measured lamb responses to supplementation of the pregnant ewe diet with vitamin E above requirement. Crossbred ewes were mated with either Suffolk or Texel rams. Twin-bearing ewes were randomly allocated (approximately 21 months of age at allocation) to one of four treatment groups (20 ewes per group, 10 mated with Suffolk and 10 wi...
Article
As a species traditionally managed extensively, at least for some of the year, sheep have received relatively little attention from a welfare perspective. Although extensively managed animals have greater behavioural freedom than those managed intensively, they are still vulnerable to other welfare challenges. Welfare can be considered from the per...
Article
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Out-wintering beef cows reduces annual housing costs and bedding requirements and there is less exposure to diseases associated with housing. However, to counter these benefits cows may be exposed to conditions that pose a significant challenge to welfare, and ways of assessing this are required. Two feeding treatments were applied to four groups o...
Article
This book contains 16 chapters that are divided into 2 main parts. The first part discusses the study and applications of animal behaviour; the genetic and physiological aspects of behaviour; the evolution of behaviour; the effects of domestication on animal behaviour; motivation and organization of behaviour; learning and cognition; social and rep...
Technical Report
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This report considers the issue of climate change adaptation as it applies to the UK livestock sector comprising the beef, dairy, sheep, pigs and poultry industries. Beyond an understanding of direct impacts from warming, a key policy consideration relates to indirect or ancillary costs that might arise incidental to any accelerated private adaptat...
Article
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The current resurgence of interest in foetal programming of post-natal production traits in small ruminants, notably sheep, is embracing reproductive performance, behaviour and the development of the immune system. It is also posing questions regarding effects on appetite and longevity. The earlier known effects on wool production and carcass compo...