Marina A G von Keyserlingk

Marina A G von Keyserlingk
University of British Columbia - Vancouver | UBC · Faculty of Land and Food Systems, Animal Welfare Program

PhD

About

445
Publications
150,772
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16,862
Citations
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January 1998 - December 2013
University of British Columbia - Vancouver

Publications

Publications (445)
Article
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The objective of this study was to assess the effects of intake-based weaning methods and forage type on feeding behavior and growth of dairy calves. Holstein dairy calves (n = 108), housed in 12 groups of 9, were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 weaning treatments: milk reduction based on age (wean-by-age), individual dry matter intake (DMI; wean-by-in...
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...
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Ethical and regulatory oversight of research animals is focused on vertebrates and rarely includes invertebrates. Our aim was to undertake the first study to describe differences in public confidence, trust, and expectations for the oversight of scientists using animals in research. Participants were presented with one of four treatments using a 2...
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...
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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...
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Temperature variability resulting from climate change poses challenges around the world for livestock production and the welfare of the animals in these systems. As animal industries attempt to combat these challenges, it is vital to understand how potential changes implemented by farmers resonate with societal values. The aims of this study were t...
Article
As awareness grows, some traditional management practices used by the dairy industry will be questioned by members of the public. Therefore, to maintain its social license to operate, the industry needs to account for public perspectives when developing future directions. Our aims were to assess attitudes of members of the public toward the managem...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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....
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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
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...
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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
We used an operant conditioning paradigm to test the motivation of non-pregnant dairy heifers to access shade during the summer and autumn months (January to June) in southern Brazil. Dairy heifers (n = 18) were trained to push a weighted gate to access either an experimental area containing both a shaded (simple tree shade and shade cloth) and uns...
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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
Many captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Thailand participate in the tourism industry at attractions known as 'elephant camps.' There has been significant criticism of low welfare venues, where the elephants may experience injuries, poor nutrition, unnatural social environments and aversive handling. Despite increasing concern for animal w...
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
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...
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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
Small, tropical fish are popular companion animals and constitute a major proportion of the vertebrates used in scientific research, but little is known about how they are affected by routine husbandry practices. Manual tank cleanings are a common and potentially stressful maintenance procedure that involves siphoning out a substantial volume of ta...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Integrating technology into agricultural systems has gained considerable traction, particularly over the last half century. Agricultural systems that incorporate the public’s concerns regarding farm animal welfare are more likely to be socially accepted in the long term, a key but often forgotten component of sustainability. Gene editing is a tool...
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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...
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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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Surplus dairy calves consist of all dairy bull calves and any heifer calves not needed as replacements for the milking herd. The fate of these surplus calves varies by region; for example, in Australia and New Zealand they are often sold as “bobby” calves and slaughtered within the first weeks of life; whereas, in North America they are normally so...
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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...
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At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Universities around the world were forced to rapidly transition from face-to-face learning environments to online learning. This paper describes this transition through the lens of a professor responsible for a third year Applied Biology class focused on providing undergraduates with research experience. The p...
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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Simple Summary: This paper aims to identify improvements and gaps in the specific EU regulations for organic farming and whether they promote higher welfare standards for dairy cattle compared to the "minimum standards" set up for conventional farming. Based on the available scientific evidence, we identified areas in the organic regulations where...
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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Implications • Online teaching has been part of animal science departments for more than a decade, but COVID-19 hastened the conversion of many classes to fully virtual experiences. • A virtual classroom will never fully replace the hands-on experiences associated with animal science courses, but the technology enabling online education is advancin...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Many contemporary dairy cattle housing practices are at odds with societal perceptions of positive animal welfare. The public (i.e., those external to the dairy industry) typically emphasizes the importance of naturalness for dairy cattle, such as through provision of pasture, freedom of movement, and the ability to interact socially with conspecif...
Article
A positive relationship between handlers and animals in farm systems is essential because the human–animal relationship has implications for welfare and productivity. For this reason, on-farm animal welfare assessment protocols often include the behavioral response of animals to humans to measure the quality of the human–animal relationship. The ex...
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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...
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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...