Daniel M Weary

Daniel M Weary
University of British Columbia - Vancouver | UBC · Faculty of Land and Food Systems

D. Phil.

About

543
Publications
164,599
Reads
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23,955
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 1997 - present
University of British Columbia - Vancouver
Position
  • Chair
January 1992 - August 1997
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Position
  • Researcher
January 1990 - January 1991
Queen's University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
September 1985 - August 1988
University of Oxford
Field of study
  • Zoology
May 1984 - August 1985
McGill University
Field of study
  • Biology
September 1981 - May 1984
McGill University
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (543)
Article
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There is growing interest in gene editing farm animals. Some alterations could benefit animal welfare (e.g., improved heat tolerance in cattle with the “slick” gene), the environment (e.g., reducing methane emissions from cattle with induced pluripotent stem cells), and productivity (e.g., higher weight gains in cattle with the “double muscling” ge...
Article
Individual variation in responses to commonly used tests of anxiety and spatial memory is often reported. While this variation is frequently considered to be ‘noise’, evidence suggests that it is, at least partially, related to consistent individual differences in behavioral responses (i.e., personality). The same tests used to assess anxiety are o...
Article
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Both male and female calves that are not required in the dairy herd sometimes receive inadequate care on dairy farms. Veterinarians work with farmers to improve animal care, and farmers often view veterinarians as trusted advisors; however, little is known about the attitudes of veterinarians on surplus calves. This study investigated the perspecti...
Article
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Lameness assessments are commonly conducted at a single point in time, but such assessments are subject to multiple sources of error. We conducted a longitudinal study, assessing the gait of 282 lactating dairy cows weekly during the first 12 wk of lactation, with the aim of assessing how lameness prevalence changed in relation to case definition a...
Article
Lameness is a common condition in dairy cows. Free-choice access to pasture may benefit lame cows by providing a softer and more comfortable lying and standing surface; however, the effects of this system on lameness have not yet been explored. We evaluated whether a 7-wk period of free-choice pasture access would improve lameness recovery and affe...
Article
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Transition period (±3 wk around calving) diseases are prevalent in dairy systems. In this review we describe the physiological and behavioral changes experienced by cows during the transition period and during the dry period leading up to this. Our narrative review examines risk factors associated with these diseases in zero-grazing and grazing sys...
Article
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The hole-board test has been used to assess working and reference memory in a variety of species, but not in cattle. We developed and applied a modified hole-board test for dairy calves. Fifteen bottles were evenly spaced along three walls of a test arena; 11 of these were empty and 4 were ‘baited’ with milk. Calves were exposed daily (over an 11-d...
Article
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Public opinion can affect the adoption of genome editing technologies. In food production, genome editing can be applied to a wide range of applications, in different species and with different purposes. This study analyzed how the public responds to five different applications of genome editing, varying the species involved and the proposed purpos...
Article
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Environmental enrichment has been widely studied in rodents, but there is no consensus on what enrichment should look like or what it should achieve. Inconsistent use of the term “enrichment” creates challenges in drawing conclusions about the quality of an environment, which may slow housing improvements for laboratory animals. Many review article...
Article
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‘Animal welfare' (动物福利) is a foreign term in China, and stakeholder interpretations can affect receptiveness to the concept. Our aim was to explore workers' perceptions of animal welfare on two dairies in China. We used a mini-ethnographic case study design, with the first author (MC) living for 38 days on one farm and 23 days on a second farm. MC...
Article
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The provision of pasture and outdoor access for dairy cattle differs around the globe. For example, in Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia, dairy farms are largely pasture based, whereas dairy farms in the United States and Canada are largely confinement based. There is a high level of public support for pasture and outdoor access for dairy cows, a...
Article
Early cow-calf separation followed by individual housing of calves is standard practice on dairy farms. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that as awareness grows the public will oppose these practices, which could compromise the dairy industry's social license. Despite disagreement among different stakeholders over weighting and evaluati...
Chapter
In modern science, however, applied animal behavior is a remarkably new field. Animal machines created such a strong public reaction that the British government set up a technical committee to investigate the welfare of farm animals. Animal behavior has been applied in efforts to reduce harm to animals caused by human actions. One of the major appl...
Article
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One response to calls for increased openness in animal research is to make protocols publicly accessible, but it is unclear what type of input the public would provide if given this opportunity. In this study we invited public responses to five different research projects, using non-technical summaries intended for lay audiences. Our aim was to ass...
Article
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Calf rearing practices differ among farms, including feeding and weaning methods. These differences may relate to how dairy producers view these practices and evaluate their own success. The aim of this study was to investigate perspectives of dairy producers on calf rearing, focusing on calf weaning and how they characterized weaning success. We i...
Article
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Adult dairy cattle show a preference for outdoor spaces during summer nights, but little is known about such preferences for dairy calves. Our aim was to determine the preferences of dairy calves for outdoor access during their first 11 wk of age in summer conditions. Calves were paired (n = 10) at 7 d of age and placed in one of 10 pens (7.32 × 2....
Article
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An animal’s social position within a group can influence its ability to perform important behaviours like eating and resting, but little is known about how social position affects the ability to express what are arguably less important but still rewarding behaviors, such as grooming. We set out to assess if dominance measured at the feeder is assoc...
Article
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Most dairy calves are housed individually in the first weeks and sometimes months of their lives. Lack of social interaction can negatively impact feed intake, social skills, coping abilities, and cognitive performance, but the motivation of calves to seek companionship has seldom been investigated. In this study, 10 Holstein bull calves (Bos tauru...
Poster
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The objective of this study was to assess the motivation of young calves for a social partner. Calves were presented (without prior training) with two gates they could push, giving access to either a pen with a social partner or a similar but empty pen. Every time calves pushed for one of the pens, additional weight was attached to its gate. Over 1...
Article
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Dairy cows are often subjected to multiple post-partum stressors but how these stressors impact cows’ affective states remain poorly understood. Negative affective states are often associated with reduced expression of low-resilience behaviors, so we explored whether cows would reduce their use of a brush after calving. Before calving, cows were of...
Article
Cows typically defecate while standing. Freestalls are designed to position standing cows such that their feces fall into the alley. Cows sometimes defecate while lying down, increasing the risk that feces contaminate the stall surface. We conducted 2 studies investigating cow-level and environmental factors associated with defecating while recumbe...
Article
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Dairy cattle can experience problems adjusting to freestalls when first introduced, resulting in a marked reduction in lying time and increased abnormal behaviors such as lying in the alley or lying backward in a stall. Our objective was to evaluate 2 strategies to ease the transition of heifers to freestalls: using an older, experienced heifer as...
Article
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Laboratory mice are typically housed in “shoebox" cages that limit the expression of natural behaviours. Temporary access to more complex environments (playpens) may improve their welfare. We aimed to assess if access to playpens is rewarding for conventionally-housed mice and to document mouse behaviour during playpen access. Female C57BL/6J, BALB...
Article
Social referents provide information that aid in farmer decision making. Some social referents, such as veterinarians, have been well studied in the context of dairy farms, but others have not and the role of social referents may change across management practices. This study aimed to understand (1) who farmers consult when making management decisi...
Article
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Many male dairy calves are castrated when reared for beef production, but for dairy breeds the assessment of the longer-lasting pain associated with this procedure has received little scientific attention. In this study we assessed 2 methods: surgical (n = 10 calves) and rubber ring (n = 11). All calves were castrated at 28 d of age using multimoda...
Article
Humans express stable differences in pessimism that render some individuals more vulnerable to stressors and mood disorders. We explored whether non-human animals express stable individual differences in expectations (assessed via judgment bias tests) and whether these differences relate to susceptibility to stressors. Judgment bias tests do not di...
Article
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One important type of animal welfare concern is “natural living” (i.e., that animals are able to express natural behaviours that are important to them, and to engage with aspects of the natural world that they find important). The aims of this narrative review were to describe the behavioural development of calves (Bos taurus) in natural settings a...
Article
Weaned dairy heifers are often housed in environments with few appropriate outlets for grooming or oral manipulation. Our objective was to characterize brush use by naive heifers, including patterns over time. In phase 1, groups of 4 heifers (n = 13 groups, 146.4 ± 9.1 d old, mean ± standard deviation; SD) were introduced to a bedded pack pen with...
Article
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Institutions that conduct animal research are often obliged to release some information under various legal or regulatory frameworks. However, within an institution, perspectives on sharing information with the broader public are not well documented. Inside animal facilities, managers exist at the interface between the people who conduct animal res...
Article
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Evidence indicates that carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) induces negative affective states (including anxiety, fear and distress) in laboratory rodents, but many countries still accept it for euthanasia. Alternative methods (e.g. inhalant anaesthetic) may represent a refinement over CO 2 but are not widely adopted. We conducted an online survey of Canadian a...
Article
Dairy cows are highly motivated to access pasture, especially at night in summer. When pasture is not available, dairy cows show a partial preference for alternative types of outdoor access, spending half the night outside in summer on an outdoor sand or wood chip pack. However, many dairy farms do not provide cows outside access. To better underst...
Article
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Many dairy cattle worldwide are housed in tiestalls, meaning that they are tethered by the neck to individual stalls. On some farms, tied cattle are permitted seasonal access to pasture, but otherwise their movements are restricted compared with cows housed in freestall barns or other loose housing systems. The aim of this systematic review is to s...
Article
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Studies performed on individual research farms have reported that dairy cattle developing sole hemorrhages or sole ulcers in peak to mid lactation spent more time standing during the weeks around calving. The aim of this prospective observational longitudinal study was to evaluate whether this relationship is evident in commercial dairy herds. A co...
Article
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The practice of rearing cows and calves together is gaining popularity on dairy farms, with different systems currently under assessment in mainland Europe, the United Kingdom, and Oceania. Research into the effects of cow–calf rearing has primarily focused on direct health and welfare implications, and little work has examined the role of differen...
Article
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Modern freestall barns for dairy cattle have been constructed with considerations for dairy cow cleanliness; partitions and other stall features such as neck rails are designed to reduce manure contamination of bedding and decrease farm labor. However, cows prefer to lie in more open spaces, including on bedded packs and pasture. We created an “alt...
Article
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Rats ( Rattus norvegicus ) bred for research are typically confined with their litters until weaning, but will spend time away from pups when given the opportunity. We aimed to assess how dam welfare is affected by the ability to escape from their pups. Rat dams (n = 16) were housed in cages either with or without an elevated loft. We measured time...
Article
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Interventions that aim to help farmers change on-farm practices recommend that advisors communicate effectively with farmers, work collaboratively to set goals and provide farmers with resources that are applicable to the farm context. We developed an intervention that aimed to help farmers modify and use a standard operating procedure (SOP) for co...
Article
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Dairy farm systems have intensified to meet growing demands for animal products, but public opposition to this intensification has also grown due, in part, to concerns about animal welfare. One approach to addressing challenges in agricultural systems has been through the addition of new technologies, including genetic modification. Previous studie...
Article
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Farm management can directly and indirectly affect animal care. We explored how farm management affected animal care on two large dairy farms in China (anonymized as Farm A and Farm B). We used a mini-ethnographic case study design whereby the first author lived for 38 days on Farm A and 23 days on Farm B. She conducted participant observation and...
Article
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Students completing advanced degrees in dairy or animal science may go on to have a major impact on the food animal agriculture industries. The aim of this study was to better understand student views of the future of dairying, including changes in practices affecting animal care on farms as well as perceived public perceptions. We conducted 6 focu...
Article
Concern over the welfare of captive animals is growing. Captivity is often associated with frequent exposure to stressors, which may be the source of persistent negative affective states. We argue that captivity may lead to depressive-like states and call for more research on this topic. Free 50 days access here: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1cv...
Article
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People often express concern for the welfare of farm animals, but research on this topic has relied upon self-report. Facial expressions provide a quantifiable measure of emotional response that may be less susceptible to social desirability bias and other issues associated with self-report. Viewing other humans in pain elicits facial expressions i...
Article
Conventional locomotion scoring is a subjective, absolute, and discrete assessment of locomotion. Here we assess pairwise comparison scoring to improve upon the limited intra- and interobserver consistency typical of conventional locomotion scoring. Five observers performed conventional 4-level locomotion scoring using 50 video recordings of dairy...
Article
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Cattle are subjected to routine procedures that require restraint and close contact to humans, which are both potentially aversive to the animal. Positive reinforcement training techniques may affect how animals perceive and respond to these procedures. The objectives of the current study were to describe a positive reinforcement regimen used to tr...
Article
This study evaluated feed intake, milk yield, and subclinical ketosis in dairy cows in early lactation fed 2 different diets postpartum. Cows are typically offered a high-energy ration immediately after calving. We compared a conventional high-energy total mixed ration (TMR) with a transition ration that contained chopped straw. We predicted that a...
Article
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Pain induces deficits in appreciation of rewards (i.e. anhedonia) and variation in response to pain may be partly explained by individual differences in general expectations (i.e. optimism). Dairy calves are routinely subjected to painful procedures such as hot-iron disbud-ding. We tested if female Holstein calves (n = 17) display signs of anhedoni...
Article
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Dairy farms are increasing in size and moving from family to external labor. As such, dairy farmers now have the responsibilities of a human resource manager in addition to caring for their animals. The objective of this paper was to review literature in 5 areas of human resource management of a dairy farm: (1) professional accreditation and profes...
Article
The primary aim of this prospective experimental study was to evaluate how the social environment after calving influenced standing behavior in primiparous cows. At calving, primiparous cows were mixed with familiar peers in a low-stocked pen (≤33% stocking density; n = 22) or mixed with unknown older cows at 100% stocking density (n = 20). All stu...
Article
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Intensively housed dairy cattle are commonly regrouped (mixed into a new social group) as part of routine farm procedures. This stressful procedure triggers heightened levels of agonistic behaviors and disrupts animals' time budgets. However, little is known regarding the effects of regrouping on cattle's affective states. The aim of this study was...
Article
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Cauterization by hot iron and application of caustic paste are 2 common methods of disbudding calves. In this study, we compared the affective experience of these 2 procedures on young dairy calves using conditioned place aversion. Male dairy calves (n = 14; 7 ± 2 d old) were disbudded by both thermal and chemical methods (1 horn bud at a time, 48...
Article
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Standard operating procedures (SOP) are increasingly required on farms participating in animal welfare assurance programs, such as the Dairy Farmers of Canada's proAction initiative and the National Dairy FARM Program in the United States. However, little is known about the use of SOP on farms and who is involved in their development. Literature fr...
Article
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Similar to the situation in many countries, the dairy industry in Canada is challenged by the need to adapt to changing societal demands. An industry-led initiative (Dairy Farmers of Canada's proAction Initative, known as proAction) was developed to respond to this challenge, providing mandatory national standards for on-farm practices. Farmers are...
Article
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Early cow-calf separation prevents much of cows’ natural maternal behaviour. Early separation is thought to prevent the development of a cow-calf bond. To assess this bond, we measured motivation of dairy cows to reunite with their calf. To vary the degree of bonding, some cows were allowed continued contact with their calf and others were separate...
Article
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Regrouping is associated with increased aggression, and disruption of time-budgets. Individuals vary in how well they cope with social stress. Our objective was to describe individual differences in agonistic behavior in dairy heifers after regrouping, and determine how time-budget and behavioral synchronization were affected by these coping strate...
Article
A number of studies have investigated anticipatory behaviour in animals as a measure of sensitivity to reward or as an expression of emotional state. A common feature of many studies is that they base inferences on seemingly arbitrary measures, for example, the frequency of behavioural transitions (ie number of times an animal switches between diff...
Article
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The aim of this review is to summarize evidence regarding rat emotional experiences during carbon dioxide (CO2) exposure. The studies reviewed show that CO2 exposure is aversive to rats, and that rats respond to CO2 exposure with active and passive defense behaviors. Plasma corticosterone and bradycardia increased in rats exposed to CO2. As with an...
Article
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Lameness is a major welfare problem in the dairy industry. Environmental factors, such as flooring surface, as well as cow-level factors, such as udder fill, can influence gait. The aim of the current study was to test whether motivation to walk affects gait attributes and whether this effect differs between lame and sound cows. We trained cows to...
Article
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Dairy cattle are particularly susceptible to metritis, hyperketonemia (HYK), and mastitis in the weeks after calving. These high-prevalence transition diseases adversely affect animal welfare, milk production, and profitability. Our aim was to use prepartum behavior to predict which cows have an increased risk of developing these conditions after c...
Article
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Simple Summary: Competition for feed is a social stressor for dairy cows and is associated with an increased risk of illness. We investigated how cows trade off the motivation to feed together with group mates against the risk of competitive interactions at the feeder, and in this way identified each individual's competition strategy. We then relat...
Article
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Despite scientific interest in animal empathy, and growing public concern for farm animal welfare, the empathic abilities of farm animals remain under researched. In this study, we investigated empathic responses of young Holstein dairy calves to conspecifics recovering from hot-iron disbudding, a painful procedure common on dairy farms. A combinat...
Article
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Pasture access for dairy cows is highly valued both by cows and the public at large. When pasture access is not feasible, farmers can provide cows with alternative forms of outdoor access, such as an outdoor bedded pack, that may be easier to implement on some farms. We reviewed the literature on how lying, standing, walking, feeding, social, and e...
Article
Dairy cows are often diagnosed with fever without showing clinical symptoms of disease. The aim of this study was to investigate changes in feeding, social, and lying behaviors of cows with fever but without clinical disease, as compared with healthy cows. After parturition, dairy cows of mixed parities were housed in a dynamic group of 20. In the...
Article
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Food neophobia, i.e. the avoidance of novel foods, is common in ruminants and may provide a biologically relevant and practical way to test individual responses to novelty or challenge. We aimed to determine if behavioural responses in a food neophobia test (exposure to a novel total mixed ration) reflected boldness and exploratory personality trai...
Article
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Cognitive challenges may provide a form of enrichment to improve the welfare of captive animals. Primates, dolphins, and goats will voluntarily participate in learning tasks suggesting that these are rewarding, but little work has been conducted on livestock species. We investigated the motivation of 10 pairs of Holstein heifers to experience learn...
Article
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Personality is often defined as the behaviour of individual animals that is consistent across contexts and over time. Personality traits may become unstable during stages of ontogeny from infancy to adulthood, especially during major periods of development such as around the time of sexual maturation. The personality of domesticated farm animals ha...
Article
Heat-stressed dairy cows on pasture will compete for resources that aid cooling, but it is not known how heat stress affects the competition for water by indoor-housed cows. The aim of this observational study was to evaluate how heat stress affects the behavior of indoor-housed cows at the drinker at both group and cow levels. For 3 wk after calvi...