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Lieve Lucia Meers

Lieve Lucia Meers
BIAAT Foundation

About

83
Publications
12,025
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213
Citations
Introduction
Currently working on topics as animal-assisted interventions, animal-assisted therapy and ethology. More information on www.biaat.be
Additional affiliations
October 1991 - October 2011
Ghent University
Position
  • Researcher

Publications

Publications (83)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Animal-assisted interventions (AAIs) include 'animal-assisted therapy' (AAT) in which a therapist sets client-oriented goals, 'animal-assisted activities' (AAA) with recreative goals, and 'animal-assisted education/learning' (AAE/AAL) in which teachers or coaches have learning goals for clients. Many scientific studies suggest that an emotional bon...
Article
Full-text available
CAIs (canine-assisted interventions) include “canine-assisted therapy” in which a therapist sets client-oriented goals, ’canine-assisted activities’ with recreational goals for clients, and ’canine-assisted education/learning’ in which teachers or coaches create learning goals for students or clients. CAIs vary in nearly every way; their only commo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus), the Eurasian Lynx (Lynx lynx) as well as the Europe-an wildcat (Felis silvestris) are iconic European felids. Nevertheless, they are threatened by habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, and prey depletion. The present study investigated how many of these wildlife ambassadors live in Italian zoos and some possibly wel...
Conference Paper
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Dolphin-assisted therapy (DAT) has become very popular because people often hope that close contact with these animals may benefit therapy. One mechanism through which dolphins have been hypothesized to help patients is through ultrasounds emitted during echolocation clicks having healing effects under some circumstances such as sufficient intensit...
Conference Paper
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Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, there has been concern that domestic animals may help spread SARS-Cov-2. This concern also greatly affected human-animal interaction projects such as animal-assisted interventions (AAIs). As a result, institutions and AAI practitioners developed new safety protocols and procedures to help control the spread of t...
Conference Paper
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The welfare of domesticated rabbits is influenced by diverse factors including, standards of husbandry (provision of appropriate food, satiety of hunger and thirst), appropriate housing (resting areas, cage/enclosure size, floor type, hygiene, thermal comfort, shelter), opportunities to exhibit appropriate behaviours (species-specific behaviour, in...
Article
Given the importance of scientifically investigating signs of good welfare and positive emotional states in dogs, the present pilot study aimed to investigate behaviours expressed by whippets and Italian greyhounds when in two positive emotional states, as perceived by their caretakers. A dedicated questionnaire was developed and uploaded on a digi...
Conference Paper
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The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a significant risk of infection, to humans. COVID-19 restrictions were introduced, to control the spread of infection. The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of COVID-19 restrictions, on assistance dogs and their users.
Article
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Although animal-assisted interventions (AAIs) share specific characteristics, their differences can be quite significant (Lajoie, 2003). Most research on AAIs focuses on the human side (Muñoz Lasa et al., 2011). The autonomy and well-being of the animals involved are seldom studied, as well as the possible values of conflict between humans and anim...
Conference Paper
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The investigation of visitors’ profiles and attitudes is a crucial starting point for planning an effective conservation education strategy as it’s pointed out in EAZA Conservation Education Standards. We investigated if Italian visitors are aware of the potential of zoos and ready to support their actions. This abstract focuses on 4 of the 24 ques...
Article
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Humane education is a long-standing field of education that endeavors to nurture kindness, compassion, and concern for nonhuman animals, people, and the environment. Despite its long history, however, few randomized control studies have evaluated its effectiveness to promote the development of relevant outcomes. The current study sought to address...
Conference Paper
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Key Words: EyeTrackerSystem, Children, Dogs, Visual processing.. Eye tracking technology can be a useful tool to explore how people process the images of animals, what parts of the animal conform generalized Areas of Interest (AOI) and if humans seek social information in the same areas as they do in human faces. In our experiment, we studied the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
No conflict of interest to declare. Public awareness of animal welfare continues to change dramatically. To further understand some of these changes, we administered an online survey about attitude toward companion animal welfare and Italian legislation concerning dog bites to 227 (149 women) participants. Answers used a 1 to 5 Likert scale (1=comp...
Conference Paper
Behavioural problems are an important cause of dog relinquishment to shelters and of complaints after adoption. Entrance and stays in shelters can further alter dogs’ behaviours and enhance the probability of displaying behavioural problems. Nonetheless, data on the prevalence and characteristics of behavioural problems in dog shelters are sparse;...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Although animal-assisted interventions (AAIs)-including animal-assisted therapy (AATs), animal-assisted activities (AAAs), or animal-assisted learning (AALs)-have been reported to help rehabilitate criminal offenders, their use here is not well-studied. This exploratory study aims to gather information on AAIs in Italian correctional facilities. Tw...
Conference Paper
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Purpose This study is part of a follow up research (2004 – 2011). The original study was developed and implemented by researchers of Ghent University – Laboratory of Ethology (www.ethology.ugent.be). The aim of this study was to investigate whether nurses of Residential Psychiatric Units (RPUs) (West Flanders, Belgium) already involve animals into...
Article
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The effects of riding style and various management factors on the prevalence of stereotypies and other behavioural problems among 346 mixed-breed saddle horses (phase 1) and 101 Arabian horses (phase 2) were analysed through a questionnaire answered by owners. In phase 1, the questionnaire data were partially validated through 20-min observations o...
Conference Paper
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Introduction Recent scientific and public interest in dog aggression has led several governments to take action in an attempt to prevent such events, including through the use of behavioural tests, despite limited generalisation between contexts (Cristensen et al., 2007). Little research has been done to investigate the effects of the context on do...
Chapter
Ergotherapie met assistentie van dieren. Therapie op maat of mythe? L. Meers, S. Molenberghs, F.O. Ödberg 1. Therapie met assistentie van dieren 2. Hulpverlening met dieren in Vlaanderen - situatieschets 2004-2009 3. Ergotherapie en dieren 4. Therapeutische meerwaarde 5. Besluit 1. Inleiding – Therapie met assistentie van dieren De laatste 20 ja...
Conference Paper
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The jumping stereotypy that voles develop when kept individually in barren cages, emancipates from causal factors between 4-6 months. This study investigates the effect of N-p-Isothiocyanatophenethyl Spiperone (NIPS), a D2-receptor blocker, on this behavior. NIPS is known to block D2-receptors during several days after administration, allowing brid...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of introduction and interruption of an Enhanced Human Interaction Program (EHIP) on shelter dogs’ behaviour and welfare and to apply a novel statistical method to analyse the behavioural data. Twenty-two dogs, which were never subjected to similar programs, were studied. The EHIP consisted of wal...
Article
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We address housing, refinements of husbandry, and some concerns regarding the use of parrots as laboratory animals. Because the duration of a project is most likely brief relative to the lifespan of the bird, among the most important goals is a well-established socialization program to maximize success of rehoming the birds after laboratory housing...
Conference Paper
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In 2004 Matoba and Coultis investigated attitudes about death in humans and pets, among 448 university students in Japan. Since pet ownership and interest in the human-animal bond are increasingly important in Japan, it was postulated that discussing the birth and death of other animals could be an entryway into discussing human birth and death. Fu...
Conference Paper
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Over the last twenty years, a growing number of clinics, health care facilities, educational settings, and riding stables in countries throughout the world have developed animal assisted intervention (AAIs) in which animals are employed to facilitate, augment, or even catalyse programmes that benefit a predetermined need of a group of people. Types...
Conference Paper
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Fourteen horses, aged 4 to 25 years, were studied. They were housed in the same yard and managed similarly. Four horses participated in ‘Animal Assisted Intervention’ programmes. All horses were subjected to two novel object tests (an umbrella, and a bright coloured rubber ball), a person approach test and two handling tests (the horse was led by a...
Conference Paper
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SUMMARY-A set of reactivity tests (including novel object, interaction with people, food withdrawal, handling, feet lifting and oral inspection) was carried out on 10 Arabian horses ridden by women and 10 ridden by men, in order to investigate whether being usually ridden by women or men could influence horse behaviour. Moreover a questionnaire was...
Article
In Italy the law forbids euthanizing shelter dogs unless they are severely ill or dangerous. This has created a problem: many dogs are housed for long periods of time in shelters. It is important to the welfare of these dogs for us to find methods to increase successful adoption rates. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of different m...
Conference Paper
Because of welfare considerations, Belgian police horses are as of 1991 no longer sent to slaughter when they are retired. Instead, they are available for adoption, while remaining property of the Federal Police. Potential adopters are selected according to regulations. Volunteers should be able to provide horses with appropriate housing and manage...
Conference Paper
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‘Human Interaction Program’ (HIP) is an environmental enrichment program in which dogs are walked and petted (Hennessy et al., 1998). However, dogs may form attachment bonds to people after minimal contact and severing these bonds may cause great stress to the dogs (Gasci et al. 2001). We investigated whether a sudden interruption of the HIP would...
Conference Paper
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The aim of this study was to assess factors influencing owners' satisfactions with adopted shelter dogs, and whether a set of temperamental tests could predict post-adoption aggression problems. One hundred and nie dogs, 60 males and 49 females, aged 1 to 8 years, which were admitted at the same Italian shelter, were studied. They were tested upon...
Article
Treatment of stereotypies in human and animal clinics is still empirical due to our incomplete understanding of underlying mechanisms. As a consequence, experimental studies in controlled laboratory conditions are necessary. Bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus), housed in barren laboratory cages, often develop stereotyped up-and-down jumping even b...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Programs involving ‘Animal Assisted Interventions’ (AAI) have recently expanded. These programs implement initiatives involving ‘Animal Assisted Therapy’ in which there are goals and progress records kept, ‘Animal Assisted Activities’ in which there aren’t precisely defined goals or ‘Animal Assisted Learning’ programs in which teachers have goals f...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
For the past 20 years, a growing number of health care facilities, schools and riding stables have engaged in 'Animal Assisted Interventions' programs (AAI). These initiatives include 'Animal Assisted Therapy' in which client oriented goals are set and progress records are kept, 'Animal Assisted Activities' without specific goals for each client an...
Conference Paper
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This study investigated whether a foraging device, the Equiball, influenced the heart rate of 10 stallions (8-10 years), among which are two established wind-sucking horses. The ‘Equiball’ is a modified version of the ‘Edinburgh Foodball’ (British Patent No 9200499.3). It consists of an internal cylinder with a hole into which a suitable amount o...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A proposed form of environmental enrichment for kennelled dogs is increased human interaction (Wells and Hepper, 2000; Henessey et al., 2002). Interrupting human contact may produce adverse effects. Hennessy et al. (1998) demonstrated that human interaction help kennelled dogs cope with stress. Gasci et al. (2001) found that such dogs formed attach...
Conference Paper
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Prolonged exposure to various frustrating conditions can lead to stereotypic behaviour in horses (Redbo et al., 1998). Little is known about immediate triggers inducing stereotypic bouts. This study investigated whether some stimuli present in daily management might influence the frequency of stereotypic behaviour in horses. Twenty-one geldings (s...
Conference Paper
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A good match between dogs and potential adopters is important to promote adoptions and to decrease return rate. The aim of this study was to assess whether adopter's and dog's gender could influence adoption and return rate in normal and problem behaviour dogs. Data pertaining to 641 (300 females, 341 males) normal and 92 (44 females, 48 males) p...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of introduction and interruption of an enhanced human interaction program on long-term sheltered dogs. Twenty-three dogs, which were never subjected to similar programs, were used. The Enhanced Human Interaction Program (EHIP) consisted of walking and petting dogs for 15 minutes. Dogs were divide...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to investigate whether there are differences between Italy and Belgium concerning the relationship between behavioural problems and management of horses. The same questionnaire translated in Italian, Dutch and French, yielded answers about 678 horses in total, i.e. 339 in Italy and 339 in Belgium. Management was found to...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Behavioural problems are among the first causes of dog relinquishment in many countries. In Italy the law forbids euthanasia of shelter dogs unless they represent a proven danger to people or are severely ill. Many problem behaviour dogs do not qualify in those categories and are difficult to re-home. The aim of this study was to assess the rate of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A survey was carried out on 331 horses to assess the influence of training and management on the prevalence of behavioural problems. Stereotypies (prevalence 9.7%) were positively correlated with the main working style (p=0.0026), English ridden horses having a higher prevalence of oral stereotypies than other horses (p=0.0012), and negatively with...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Equine Assisted Intervention (EAI) has expanded into many areas of applications during the past years. Up till now no research has been carried out on the diversity/goals of EAI nor welfare of the horses. Out of the 284 registered riding stables in Flanders, 268 were reached by telephone. Sixty-seven (25%) declared organizing EAI. Eighty-seven per...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In many European countries the high rate of dogs returned to the shelter after adoption is one of the main problems in successfully re-homing dogs. This has a marked negative effect on dog welfare and human-pet relationship. Temporary Adoption Programs, which have been developed to improve sheltered dogs welfare, could help decrease return rate an...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The short-term causality of stable vices has received much less attention than that of long-term factors. To what extent do frequently occurring stimuli in daily management influence the frequency of stereotypy? Are there differences between crib-biting and weaving? Methods Fifteen geldings, aged between 5 and 17 years, were stabled in individual b...
Conference Paper
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It is anecdotally known that dogs are extremely attracted by hoof trimmings and by chestnuts from horses. This study investigated the effect of adding chestnut odor to toys on play duration. Twelve Beagles (6 females, 6 males) were individually housed during the experiment. Spatial constraints resulted in 6 animals (3 females, 3 males) housed in 1,...
Conference Paper
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Introduction Horses usually perform social grooming at a site dorsal of the neck and at the withers (Waring, 1983; Feh and de Mazières, 1993). Allo-grooming has been associated with physiological effects on heart rate (HR) (Lynch and Gantt, 1968; Lynch et al., 1974; Boccia et al., 1989; Aureli et al., 1999), immunity (Gust et al., 1996) and beta-en...
Conference Paper
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In humans, SSRI are used against depression but also against obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Patients either improve after several weeks of treatment or show no response. Luescher (pers. com.) observed it also in dogs. Bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus) housed in barren cages often develop a jumping up-and-down stereotypy. Six-months-old ani...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Conflict-induce stereotypies (CIS) are often used to evaluate welfare. However, little is known about predisposing factors. Fundamental research is needed in order to understand better their true implications. Bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus) housed in barren cages frequently develops CIS, most commonly jumping up-and-down, although some indivi...
Conference Paper
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Four groups of 8 newly mixed fattening pigs were housed in fully slatted pens (3,70 x 2,30m). Subjects which had been previously housed in small groups of 3 were 13 weeks old when introduced into the pens. Food (trough) and water (nipples) were available ad lib. After a control period of 5 days, a foraging device was introduced in the former dungin...
Conference Paper
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Although pigs tend to separate lying and eliminating areas, one of the problems of intensive pig production is the occurrence of dirty lying areas in fattening pig pens resulting in a higher labour input and lower technical results. Slatted floors are hygienic and require less maintenance. The main disadvantage is that they offer little comfort sin...