Science topic

Animal Welfare - Science topic

The protection of animals in laboratories or other specific environments by promoting their health through better nutrition, housing, and care.
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Intentional cruelty to animals is strongly correlated with other crimes including violence against people.I wil conduct my research on Animal Cruelty facts and stats,Laws and how it can be stop.
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It's very much important but neglected topic in today's world. In the recent pandemic also animals have been neglected. At this period so much animals are having suffered hunger a lot. There was no one you could feed them and the NGO's also gon shut down too. There was no one beside them so is very important topic about to talk or research.
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Humanity has historically not valued common fish in the same ways as other more charismatic species, particularly land and sea mammals. The physical characteristics of an animal, its habitat type, its commercial value, and ideas about property in animals all may have influenced popular perceptions of aquatic versus terrestrial species. These issues have, in turn, greatly influenced regulatory and conservation efforts for some species.
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Dear Francesco Nardelli interesting question. I never thought about this. Please have a look at the following recent link:
Seaspiracy shows why we must treat fish not as seafood, but as wildlife
(published April 7, 2021)
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I’m new in the field of measuring heart rate and heart rate variability. I’m particularly interested in measuring heart rate in dogs and sheep in connection to stress. I would be very grateful for some advice regarding the equipment for monitoring the heart rate-what monitors do you use, what do I have to pay attention to (there are so many heart beat monitors on the market-which one is good and why…)?
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Polar is the best way to go. The chest belt is worth trying. I recommend contacting directly Polar, they have the longest experience with measuring ECG recordings.
It would be worth to try microcomputer-based devices (Raspberry Pi and similar ones). What you need is a microcomputer, wifi, and electrodes on a chest belt. It can cost in the order of tens of dollars.
Some colleagues from electronic faculty can put it together. 12 bits wide potential recordings exported into the CSV file will serve as a satisfactory input for any software evaluating ECG recordings.
When you got ECG, you can use complexity measures to follow the complexity of the ECGs. It gives much more data than HRV.
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Dear Scientists
Animal welfare meat demand is increasing day by day in market. Normally, animal welfare meat price is higher than non-welfare meat. Some people try to adulterate welfare meat by non welfare meat for their more benefit. So we trying to established a efficient analytical method to distinguish between welfare and non welfare meat in market. Do you have any idea regarding this please give me suggestions.
Thank you
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Dear Zharif Zulkarnail
Thank you for your idea. We have tried PCA analysis based on elemental composition "Elemental composition of pork meat from conventional and animal welfare farms by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) and ICP-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and their authentication via multivariate chemometric analysis" . We are trying better chemical method for distinguishing between animal welfare and non welfare meat.
Thank you
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Dear Colleagues,
Please see the following link and information for more details. If you are thinking about submitting, please feel free to reach out to me directly here or at edjfern@gmail.com.
The modern field of Applied Animal Behavior has brought about two major advances in the behavioral welfare of animals: (1) The use of environmental/behavioral enrichment, and (2) the implementation of voluntary training procedures to improve human-animal interactions. Both these practices have their roots in behavior analysis and learning theory. However, few studies have examined the learning effects observed in the application of these practices. For instance, most implementations of operant conditioning to the training of animals is done without measurement of the learning process. Likewise, the effects of enrichment, while originally proposed as a form of behavioral engineering to modify learned behavior, is almost exclusively measured in terms of its pre- vs. post-enrichment effect. Both modern advances thus miss a significant result of their implementation: How behavior is shaped by these environmental manipulations.
The following special issue looks to address how learning theory has been applied and measured to address the welfare of animals. Original manuscripts that examine any aspect of how learning theory has been applied to improve the lives of animals, from studies of behavioral training procedures to the modification of behavior as a result of some environmental change, are welcome submissions. Specific interest will be given to papers that use within-subject methodology to measure changes in behavior over time, as well as papers that address how behavior analysis has served the welfare of animals and can better contribute to the field.
Dr. Eduardo J. Fernandez Ms. Sabrina Brando Guest Editors
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i cannot add anything personally, but Stevan Harnad at Universite du Quebec a Montreal would be a good person to contact.
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Here's a question that extends beyond applied animal behavior researchers, with hopefully a few researchers or even librarians with expertise in massive article searches that might be able to provide some help. The basics are this: We started a meta-analysis of enrichment about a decade ago:
The idea was to extend the three enrichment meta-analyses that looked at what effect enrichment had on stereotypic behavior in zoo animals (Shyne, 2006; Swaisgood & Shepherdson, 2005; Swaisgood & Shepherdson, 2006) to more than just stereotypies and in more settings than zoos. We were looking at the effects of enrichment on all different behaviors (e.g., foraging, inactivity, social) as well as across numerous species and in zoos, shelters, farms, stables, labs, etc. At the start of this project (2010), we managed to find 12,000 articles that were limited to 150 papers mainly by using the Google Scholar "OR" function (i.e., enrichment OR stereotypy OR welfare OR behavior...), and then limiting it to (a) peer-reviewed publications that (b) did some type of enrichment to baseline independent variable manipulation, and (c) measured at least one type of behavioral effect.
The difficulty we have run into is this: Google Scholar only allows any query to produce 1000 searches. And there have been a lot more studies done since 2010, with anywhere from 23,000 to 50k+, depending on how we exclude terms. We can search by year for each, but that is less effective. And, we could include other search engines, like Web of Science, to produce more accurate results. I just feel like we're going about this in a less optimal way if we start limiting searches by year. So that is essentially it:
What is the most optimal way to produce a large meta-analytic search on peer-reviewed publications that have examined the effects of environmental/behavioral enrichment on (a) any kind of behavior (b) in any setting?
It has to be at least partially experimental since we require a non-enriched baseline measure for comparison. Other than that, we would like to find all the papers we can, probably in the range of 250 - 500, and then start doing our meta-analysis on what those papers have to say about enrichment used with different species/taxa, different types of enrichment, different settings, and so on. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
References:
Shyne (2006). Meta‐analytic review of the effects of enrichment on stereotypic behavior in zoo mammals. Zoo Biol, 25(4), 317-337.
Swaisgood, R. R., & Shepherdson, D. J. (2005). Scientific approaches to enrichment and stereotypies in zoo animals: what's been done and where should we go next?. Zoo Biol, 24(6), 499-518.
Swaisgood, R., & Shepherdson, D. (2006). Environmental enrichment as a strategy for mitigating stereotypies in zoo animals: a literature review and meta-analysis. Stereotypic Animal Behaviour: Fundamentals and Applications to Welfare. CABI, 256-285.
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New Institute Proposed in India, IDDRI (Indian Disease Dissemination Research Institute). Some details are available at
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good proposition
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What parameter we can use to assess the feeding welfare of goats besides Body condition scoring, Rumen fill scoring in migratory or pastoral production
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Roger Mason Thank you sir for your blessings
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I am looking for a way to asses animal welfare in a zoological institution on a longer term. I was wondering if anyone has used AWAG before, and what their experiences were?
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Take a look for animal welfare in zoos:
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Thank you for inviting me to publish in this respected journal. Hope you more and more success and I am ready to cooperate 
Emad
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 Please I need more information about it because I need it for my own research.
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Please take a look at the following PDF attachments.
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In 1997 Dolly the sheep was introduced to the world by biologists Keith Campbell, Ian Wilmut and colleagues. Not just any lamb, Dolly was a clone. Rather than being made from a sperm and an egg, she originated from a mammary gland cell of another, no-longer-living, six-year-old Fynn Dorset ewe.
With her birth, a scientific and societal revolution was also born.
Some prominent scientists raised doubts; it was too good to be true. But more animals were cloned: first the laboratory mouse, then cows, goats, pigs, horses, even dogs, ferrets and camels. By early 2000, the issue was settled: Dolly was real and cloning adults was possible. Is it ethical doing so and why has there been no organized opposition to it ?
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Interesting question following
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I've seen a number of publications investigating video enrichment with chimpanzees, but I have been asked to gather sources on the use of tvs with other primate species.
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Dear Michelle,
I recommend you to contact Dra. Cristiane Schilbach Pizzutto . She's a very well known specialist that works with enrichment and animal behaviour in primates.
She's else the president of the Animal Welfare Committee of the Veterinarian Council here.
Best regards.
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I am currently doing research about environmental enrichment for crocodilians for an internship, but I'm having trouble finding information about this theme.
Does anyone know of any studies or research to suggest?
Thanks!
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I would suggest that you contact the Reptile Keepers at the zoos/aquariums that have good populations/displays of a number of crocodilians. They are often conducting research on behavioral enrichment, know of unpublished work, and have ideas on what not to do. One way to find the keepers easily is to find out who keeps the breeders log or the taxonomic group information and they can get you good contact information.
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A judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal - SA Predator Breeders Association (SAPBA) v Minister of Environmental Affairs  found that the Minister of Environmental Affairs, inter alia, did not have the legislative mandate to regulate ethical or animal welfare matters, or issues not related to conservation.
However the Minister is legally mandated in terms of NEMBA to ensure,  the “protection of species that are threatened or in need of protection to ensure their survival in the wild”, and “that the utilisation of biodiversity is managed in an ecologically sustainable way”.
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That's a great question. Philosophically, animal law and environmental law respond to different imperatives, and legally they have different objects. Environment is an intrinsically anthropic concept, after all the environment is what surrounds men. The protection of biodiversity, in international law and in most national legal systems, typically is considered part of environmental law, and as such it not concerned by the wellbeing of wildlife, but by its conservation for anthropic reasons (moral, economical, etc). Even though animal law has many links with environmental law, is a different branch of law.
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Seeking advice on pre-slaughter pig handling
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This link of article is helpful
Greeting
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I'm starting a discipline on Ethnozootechnics for graduate students. I am looking for resources in this area. Let me give you some examples:
- McCORKLE, M. An Introduction to Ethnoveterinarian research and development. J. Ethnobiol., v.6, n.1, p.129-149, 1986.
- BOZZOLO, G. Appellations d’origine contrôlée et productions animales : références et guide pratique sur les A.O.C. Paris: Tech. et Doc. Lavoisier, 184p.
- DIGARD, J-P. L'homme et les animaux domestiques. Anthropologie d'une passion. Paris: Fayard, 2009.
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Our journal Ethnoentomology specialises on ethnoentomology and cultural entomology. www.ethnoentomology.cz
The Group of Eastern-European Ethnobiologists is also very interesting. They organise Eastern European Ethnobiology Workshops every couple of years.
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PLEASE NOTE: this research is for research in The Netherlands, the UK and Sweden only- while potentially we could expand it to other countries, these three countries are a limit for now.
I am writing an ERC Consolidator Grant 2017 proposal provisionally titled 'Environmental Education: Evaluation of European Education Programs from an Ecocentric Perspective. If there are any interested partners in the field of environmental education and education for sustainable development in The Netherlands, the UK and Sweden, could you please email me with the expression of your interest and experience in this area? Please see short summary below:
This research will investigate the measures of success of environmental education (EE) and education for sustainable development (ESD) in a comparative European context from an ecocentric perspective. EE refers to formally organized programs that take place in schools or protected nature areas, promoting environmental awareness, encouraging sustainable behaviours, and disseminating specific kinds of knowledge about environment. Ecocentric perspective refers to an ethical position that human beings are part of ecosystem, and that integrity of an ecosystem is essential to environmental sustainability. Earlier practice of EE was often instructed by the ecocentric position. Although varying in national contexts, EE was mostly targeted at enabling social change towards green economy and a more sustainable society as well as promoting environmental awareness and positive ecological attitudes characteristic of an ecocentric perspective. The Belgrade Charter identifies the goal of environmental education as: “To develop a world population that is aware of, and concerned about, the environment and its associated problems, and which has the knowledge, skills, attitudes, motivations and commitment to work individually and collectively toward solutions of current problems and the prevention of new ones.” This type of education corresponded with ecocentric aims of safeguarding environmental sustainability for humans and nonhumans alike, and included conservation education, outdoor education, education for deep ecology, post-humanist education, and animal rights education. These types of EE typically combined care for individual animals, entire habitats, as well as people, thus focusing on unity between environmental ethics, animal welfare, and human interests.
Since the completion of the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005 – 2014) initiated by UNESCO many EE scholars have hailed the emergence of the education for sustainable development (ESD) as a progressive transition in the field. Yet, there are very few studies providing empirical evidence of efficacy of EE/ESD in cross-European perspective as far as developing a population ‘that is aware of, and concerned about, the environment and its associated problems’. Also, a large part of ‘sustainability’ education is dominated by anthropocentric concerns intertwined with social and economic objectives, placing environmental protection, at best, as one of many possible positions .
This research aims to address both theoretical as well as practical implications of EE and ESD (further referred to as EE/ESD) practice through cross-European comparison.
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Dear Helen
, I am very much interested in this research , as I am doing LLM Environmental Law , at University of Sussex- United Kingdom
Thank you for providing further details . 
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I'm writing a report for an assignment on the animal welfare issue regarding the rehabilitation of grey squirrels here in the UK. I'm trying to find sources of information from both sides of the argument and one point that I'm struggling to argue for is why we should, one of the points I'm trying to elaborate on is this question.  
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The short answer is 'no'. A longer answer is as follows: Species naturally change their ranges over time, usually just by small amounts - invading areas contiguous with where they lived before - but sometimes by long-distance dispersal even across ocean gaps. Monkeys reached South America from Africa, presumably by rafting on trees washed out to sea, for example. Over 30 million years [please check that number!] they have radiated into many new species, adapted to their new environment, and their competitors (sloths, marsupials etc.) and predators. Clearly they are now native, and so will the descendants of grey squirrels in Europe be after 30 million years. So 'yes', at some point between 0 and 30 million years. Where you draw the line is pretty arbitrary. Is the dingo native in Australia after 4000 [again check!) year? No, but it is on its way: genetically and behaviorally distinct from the dogs that came with people, but still the same species.
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I'm trying to ascertain the actual rate of morbidity/mortality resulting directly or indirectly from the use of instrumentation on free-ranging animals.  Most 'negative' results are not published.  I'd like to assess the scale of this gap in our knowledge to improve procedures.  If anyone has anecdotal information or can suggest sources I'd be very grateful.  Thanks.
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Oups, my apologies for missing the s! I am sorry to hear that conservation efforts came to a halt. Sadly, it won't be the first ones doomed by lack of political will and law enforcement...
As for the communication of your results, pre-prints can be an option if you want to discuss your methods and findings in more details with the community.
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Does anyone have experience or know of any published literature (scientific or technical) on the rehabilitation and reintroduction of orphaned rhinos?
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Dave Druce is the ecologist of the park and should be able to direct you to the correct person at game capture
Dr Dave J. Druce
Park Ecologist (Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park)
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
Hluhluwe Research Centre
Tel: +27 (0) 35 562 0606
Cell: +27 (0) 82 315 7249
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I am preparing a paper and presentation on human behaviour change in relation to animal welfare, and wanted to look at any research that has been undertaken applying this theory to animal welfare
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Many thanks for the help, much appreciated
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I'm interested in starting a discussion about using animal training for husbandry and other purposes as a form of enrichment itself. Many authors have proposed the idea (Desmond & Laule; Melfi, etc.), but I'm particularly interested in experimental examinations of this phenomenon. If training can function as a form of enrichment, what welfare benefits would we expect to see? Reduced stereotypies? Increased general activity? Time spent foraging? Increased non-aberrant social behaviors? What about species differences? And possibly most important, if training is enriching, what about it is responsible for that effect? I can think of at least several potential causal factors: (a) social interactions with the trainer(s), (b) extra feeding/foraging opportunities, and (c) increased activity (depending on what behavior(s) are being trained). Are there any other causal variables that might be responsible for this effect, if there is such an effect? 
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Hi Eduardo.
What a great subject!  I am not aware of any studies on the following, but anecdotally, I have seen training increase the self-confidence of anxious animals.  Such animals are initially difficult to train because positive reinforcement training requires that an animal do something in order to be rewarded.  Anxious animals tend to freeze when they are put into situations that demand that they act, so it's difficult (comparatively speaking) to get them to do something for which they can be rewarded.  In other words, training for them is initially not enriching --- it's stressful.  Once they figure out the rules of the game, though, they become eager to participate, because while they are participating, they have some control over what happens in their lives.  Performing a behavior becomes a way of demanding a treat.  Such control improves the welfare of all animals, but it has seemed to me that it is especially beneficial for those with anxious personalities.  I'd guess this effect would occur even with Skinner box training, but it would certainly fit in with the cognitive bias testing mentioned above.  I would expect cognitive bias to become more positive as an anxious animal gains more confidence.  Anyway, I'd love to see this hypothesis explored scientifically.
In essence, training teaches an animal to think about controlling its environment, so an animal that has learned trial-and-error is probably more likely to benefit from other enrichment tools (e.g., foraging devices) or to find ways to enrich itself.  An animal that has learned to think in this way could be able to benefit from more complicated enrichment devices that would take up more of its time.  I would expect that the brain changes seen in animals in enriched environments would be even more obvious in animals enriched through training.
For the period of time it is being trained, an animal does not experience the boredom of confinement.  Making human interactions positive reduces stress and provides some social stimuli for isolated animals.  These factors combined (and probably others that don't come immediately to mind) should help reduce stereotypies.  It would be easy to check something of that type.
I think there are all sorts of ways to explore training as enrichment.  If you are training husbandry behaviors, you would be killing two birds with one stone (so to speak) --- or maybe even three birds, because husbandry-trained animals reduce handler stress, too.  Best of luck to you in your endeavors.
Wendy 
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I'm most interested in application outsideof Europe and/or in extensive conditions
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Dr Osho department of animal production and health Federal University of Technology Akure,  Nigeria and Professor I Adebayo of the department of animal health and production of the Federal University of Technology Akure,  Nigeria 
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A large antibody producer has been accused of repeated animal welfare violations; see: http://speakingofresearch.com/2014/03/28/santa-cruz-biotechnology-bad-behavior/ .
How should the scientific community respond when the companies they use for supplies are accused of serious misconduct?
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See my Leiden University blog Animal Rights in Anthropology (based on recent book Culture and Conservation: Beyond Anthropocentrism) :http://www.leidenanthropologyblog.nl/articles/Beyond-multispecies-ethnography-Engaging-anthropology-with-animal-rights  
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How can I calculate the sample size for an animal trial? How many animals per group would be statistically significant for generalization of the results?
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Hi, regardless the element of the sample if they are files, records, animals, lab resutls or people, the sample size is calculated similarly.
To do power analysis to estimate your sample size, you have to write your hypothesis, and based on that you decide what statistical test you will use. It should be one of the inferential statistics. so you need to determine the following: alpha {standard to be .05}, power [standard to be .80], effect size {small, moderate, or large, each test has its own value, you can find these values in the net}. Then download free programs to calculate the sample size such as G. power.
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The debate over animal awareness and consciousness at the time of death has been well studied: this is not what I am interested in.
I am specifically interested in food production and methods of animal husbandry and slaughter. Literature that explores business related issues is of interest: economics of animal welfare, process technologies, food auditing, regulation and certification etc.
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Dear friend,
I have a suggestion to you., there several articles in this area, but i h@ve another suggestion. There is one of the best distinguished proffesors in Iran with the name of Prof. M. J. Zamir who is my supervisor and have several valid books not only in this field but also in others.
He will be a valuable source for researches, his page is:
Regards,
Mehdi
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We are doing a study of the portrayal of cats in popular culture as background research for a project examining differing responses from stakeholders to issues of cat welfare compared with responses to other animal welfare issues. Cats and dogs are often presented as binary oppositions, with cats more commonly carrying negative connotations. Does this influence response to welfare issues in the real world?
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negative or positive presentation of animals is  purely culture specific and not amenable to generalizations and stereotypical pigeonholing .
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The only commercially available system I know of is StepMetrix from Boumatic. Other companies have systems under development, however, I am interested in knowing of products that are currently marketed.
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Hi Vivi,
I am actually doing  a review of lameness detection/diagnosis tools/technologies at the moment. So far, as far as I have read in the literature, only the StepMatrix, and some pedometers and accelerometers as someone has mentioned, are commercially available. This is not to say there are not others, they have just not been demonstrated as such in the literature as being commercially available.
Vivi, I would be interested to read the report regarding farmers using technologies for lameness detection.
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The stray dogs are a hazard in developing countries and same is true in India. The earlier methods of eliminating the dogs are considered barbaric by the animal welfare activists. The capture -neuter - release strategy is not proving effective due to a really large population of stray dogs on the streets and the associated costs. That's why the question is being raised to find a reasonable and cost effective solution.
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The OIE (World Animal Health Organization) provides guidance for free roaming dogs, which be accessed online:
OIE, 2014. Stray dog population control, Chapter 7.7 OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code - Version 7 - 07/07/2014. 
You may also wish to examine the recommendations of the International Companion Animal Management Coalition, Humane Dog Population Management Guidance, which describes several strategies using case studies,one of which is catch, neuter, release. 
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Rehabilitation of stray/abandoned cattle may have various aspects like fodder availability, disease control and compatibility of the livestock being housed together. Any study regarding these and other allied aspects.
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In Colombia we have a law that request the construction of municipal pens to house cattle and other farm animals that are in the city.  Actually this is just a law but the real situation is the municipal pens do not exist in many cities.  Abandoned cows are given to farmers or to abattoirs.
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It seems to be a more frequently occurring concern of the general public. I am now looking at what the scientific community thinks about the animal welfare and environmental impacts. As well as the opinions and which approaches are taken, since the aquatic environment is, yet alone, less well monitorable.
What would be good sources?
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Jonathan -- apology accepted.  I am familiar with some of your work -- keep it up but always be careful with the words that you use because there are many in this business with an agenda to 'prove' their preconceived beliefs that are not evidence-based.
I do not think that there is any one in the business who denies the existence of nociceptors or the fact that they synapse with tracts that go to the brain and initiate nocifensive behaviour.
I also am of the opinion that whether or not they are aware has no bearing on the welfare question.  All fish workers should always be concerned for the welfare of the fish they are working with independent of any potential awareness.
don
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If so, is this the scoring system that is used as part of the Welfare Quality Protocol for Pigs?
Or does the type of scoring system used vary among studies?
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Pork Production, sow longevity, culling practices breeding sows, confinement and lameness,
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I am working with that, Terry and may tell you the improvements are great.
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Measuring how rural farmers in South Africa perceive the importance of animal welfare
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Dear Tim,
Search for Welfare Quality, a European project to objectify and measure animal welfare in pig husbandry. That may give you insight.
Best regards, Robert.
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I'm looking for incidences of both successes and failures, particularly with apes. I am aware for the success of the golden lion tamarin reintroduction program. Others I know of (no sources though) are the Perth Zoo orangutan reintroductions (Temara - success?), Semeru (failure, died snakebite). Also the recent problems with the Aspinall gorilla reintroductions (details, news sources would help here). Any additional info appreciated.
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Hi Bruce. Thanks for the article.
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I am looking at environmental enrichment on captive chimpanzees by evaluating enrichment devices being used in UK zoos. I was wondering if anybody could help me outline some of the ways manipulable environmental enrichment can encourage natural behaviour in chimpanzees and possibly the potential limitations of manipulable environmental enrichment devices.
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Personally, doing research in zoos, the biggest enrichment impact I can think of is forage feeding accmopanied by natural bedding (e.g., mulch). Primate have to spend a much larger portion of time searching for food producing activity budgets (for foraging) that are more in-line with what is seen in the wild. Other naturalist manipulanda include browse (promotes more appropriate nest-building/resting behaviors, also feeding/foraging), probe-mounds (for chimps, promote tool-use feeding).
There's a large literature for this field. You may also benefit from looking at the biomedical enrichment literature (promoting species-typical behavior). Many of the devices/enrichments are not naturalistic but have been associated with more species-typical behavior profiles & activity budgets after being introduced.
Another issue may not be the nature of the enrichment but the practicalities or its presentation (e.g., how presented, predictability, accessibility).
Just a few (recent)
Birkett, L. P., & Newton-Fisher, N. E. (2011). How abnormal is the behaviour of captive, zoo-living chimpanzees?. PLoS One, 6(6), e20101.
Mas, J., Stafford, R., & Jensvold, M. L. (2013). Captive chimpanzee preference for environmental enrichment: naturalistic vs. artificial.
Zaragoza, F., Ibáñez, M., Mas, B., Laiglesia, S., & Anzola, B. (2011). Influence of environmental enrichment in captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes spp.) and gorillas (gorilla gorilla gorilla): behavior and faecal cortisol levels. Revista Científica, 21(5), 447-456.
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Thinking of just specifying one, the freedom to express most natural behaviours. 
Ensure of how it could be evaluated in a scientific way. Any help would be greatly appricated. 
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A tip! The EU Project "Welfare Quality" has developed a different and more specific concept of animal Welfare, which builds from the 5 freedoms. It's called "The 12 criteria of animal welfare", it is avaiable through google. It is invented to be applied to assessing welfare of farm animals but indeed the criteria it can be applied to all domestic animals.
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I got my PhD in energy engineering, but I did quite a bit of environmental studies research on the side. I think about things differently than most people, and question conventional wisdom. I have dozens of ideas for papers that I think could get significant attention on topics like ecological footprint, economics of CO2 reduction, water, transportation, urban planning, food, waste, animal welfare, and biodiversity. But I don’t have enough time to do them myself, so I am looking for an environmental studies collaborator. Does anyone know someone like this?
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Hello Dr David
It is very interesting to look on the topics. I am currently working on understanding forest biophysical parameters using synthetic aperture radar. I am interested in studying more about ecological footprint and economics of CO2 reduction. Hope we could speak more and work out further.
Mohamed Musthafa
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The main purpose of the document is to provide students interested in applied animal behavior research a tool for finding graduate programs that they might be interested in, as well as giving faculty and other persons a more systematic and comprehensive tool for advising students about their graduate school options. Categorical variables include: (a) university, (b) state/country, (c) department, (d) degrees, (e) people [i.e., potential mentors], (f) setting, and (g) research description. Please feel free to ask questions about this file and any of the categories listed, as well as suggesting new categories, potential changes to the document, and last but not least, any institutions/facilities you know of that are not currently listed in the document.
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If a specific teaching programme is offered (e.g. a MS), I would suggest the closing date to apply and the fees.
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I'm currently trying to analyze the welfare of working dogs in a variety of roles and I'm curious if anyone has looked into different types of behavioral evaluations and their validity in a variety of situations. Specifically, is there a preference, in terms of accuracy, between owner-reported questionnaires versus in-person behavioral assessments?
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Owner reported and in person behavioural assessments differ, but it is controversial as to which is better. The two do not correlate particularly well (they tend to have high sensitivity OR specificity, but not both). The presence of absence of the owner during behavioural testing does have a huge effect on the observed behaviour. Probably the best quality "in-person" welfare assessment I know of was by Palestrini, where they videotaped dogs at home alone, however you would need to do it in the presence of the owner too unless you just want to look for separation anxiety. Owner reported behavioural assessments can be good for finding the presence of behaviour problems using the CBARQ, but I don't think you will get a great correlation with any measure of underlying welfare as measured by other techniques. This is not to say it is incorrect however, as it could be said that dogs with behaviour problems (aggression, phobias, separation anxiety) are more likely to have compromised welfare and so in this sense it will give you some answers. For measuring temperament or behavioural traits, I believe that assessment in a behavioural paradigm is superior. Perhaps you could instead look at whether dogs recently bred for working (such as the border collie or kelpie) are more likely to have behavior problems if they do not have a "job" to do. Owners are likely to notice these behaviour problems because they are a problem to the owner too and not just the dog (in most situations). You would be more likely to get a meaningful answer from this question, and it would be applicable. I think that a lot of these highly driven working dogs do not cope well in the home environment without a job to do! I think we notice this present clinically as behaviour problems such as phobias, aggression and separation anxiety. I hope this helps.
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The larvae that we are using are post-larvae, or settlement-stage larvae, ~1cm. They are an unprotected species.
We catch them and run in-situ behavioral experiments in the French Mediterranean Sea. I don't know if we should ask for permission from animal ethics- does anyone have any idea?
Thanks.
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Just a note: Art.9 on wild animals is not particularly relevant if your aim is to do work of ecological relevance, especially if it is in natural environments. I guess this article is mostly aimed at medical and laboratory work, like most of the regulations on animal experimentation.
I would ask someone who are in charge of the ethical permits at the institution that provides them. They should know. If you do work without permit, when you really should have one, most journals will not accept that work for publication (and it may be that your institution will lose its permit to work on animals, if you are caught doing research without permits)- in general you have to provide the license number in the paper.
As it is post-larvae, I would guess that you do need some kind of permit.
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I'm planning to do fear conditioning and a Morris water maze on mice in my experiment, but both tests seem to be stressful for animals.
Would these two tests interfere with each other?
If it's ok to do both, what is the appropriate sequence and interval between them?
Thanks.
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Yes both tests are very stressful for mouse but firstly train your mice - as all these procedures usually require some training exercise so that mouse knows what he needs to do to recover/survive/escape. It helps if you know your mice too...you might check out the International Mouse Phenotyping Resource of Standardised Screens for specific details of methods
If you plan to do these experiments on the same cohort of mice I think I would do the water maze first because it triggers survival instinct and they will  associate you with rescue &  will trust you more. Fear conditioning is best done in mice that live in small groups together so that they can reassure each other that all is OK now they have returned to their home cage. Solitary housed mice don't have the luxury of reassurance from another mouse so it will be more stressful for them ! Good luck
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What is the best forced moulting method, considering the animal welfare?
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Most of the farmers prefer to keep their hens to late production period for higher egg weight and economic aspects rather than substituting them with new birds. The traditional molting methods including feed removal have been criticized by welfare groups. But the feed removal (fasting) is still the most common method to induce a molt in chicken layers.
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I'm looking for some discussion on definitional and practical differences (if any) between these two terms. I've always considered therm relatively synonymous and used them so. In the literature from different fields I've seen them used both synonymously and/or selectively/preferentially (i.e., only one term, e.g., lab animal wellbeing vs. zoo animal welfare). In an admittedly short Google search I've not found any literature defining them as the same or different (and how/why). The only implied difference that I've even found was on the AMVA website - they seem to use welfare to refer to the animals holistic state of living/"being" and use wellbeing to refer to individual components that make up welfare (e.g., physical health/wellbeing, psychological wellbeing). Any help, comments, links, or references to literature are appreciated.
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  • Welfare is a wider term reflecting what is expected from the environment (e.g. humans towards animals) to respect the needs of individual (animal, child, employee).
  • Wellbeing is subjective state, that is correlated with welfare, but does not relate directly (some wealthy people experience poor wellbeing), and some poor individuals are happy. Sick animals experience often good care, and welfare, but the wellbeing is (due to sickness) quite bad.
Some animal lit:
Barber, J. C. E. (2009). Programmatic approaches to assessing and improving animal welfare in zoos and aquariums. Zoo Biology, 28(6), 519–30. doi:10.1002/zoo.20260
Panzera, M. (2013). Sickness and Abnormal Behaviors as Indicators of Animal Suffering. Relations. Beyond Anthropocentrism, 1(June), 23–31. doi:10.7358/rela-2013-001-panz
Scott, E. M., Nolan, A. M., & Fitzpatrick, J. L. (2001). Conceptual and Methodological Issues Related to Welfare Assessment: A Framework for Measurement. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section A - Animal Science, 51(sup030), 5–10. doi:10.1080/090647001316922983
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Dear all,
We are trying to investigate the effect of chronic exposure of a specific drug on mice. The NPS will be given chronically.
I have found in literature:
In Expose System from Scirec and Inhalation Tower from Buxco.
Has anyone experience with any of these systems with pros and cons?
What is really interesting for me is the type of restrainer Allay vs. Net and the fact if the mice are allowed to breathe normally or not for animal welfare reasons.
A response would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
Best Regards,
SG
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Dear Daniela,
indeed I have considered a whole body system because the animals are more free and you could provide NPS such in the humans. I assume that intratracheal would not have the same distribuition as given via aerosol. Additionally, in the WBP chamber some behavior could be conducted such freezing responses and increase in respiratory rate could be assessed as measure of fear.
What do you think since you long experience also with Dr. Hen and other behavioral groups?
Thanks,
Stefano
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I have been working on the relationship between autophagy and cardiovascular diseases using KO mice. I found some proteins change when the mice are injected with mites of LPS. I used LethalDose 50% of lps to observe the mice Mortality rate.
How can I implement the revisions that the animal welfare gave me which contains the 3R principle? Do you have any advice?
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Hi Zi,
for the replacement, just consider that LD50 is not accepted anymore in Europe as experimental method, apart from Regulatory studies. Hence , you shoud try to set up a good in viro test to check the best concentration to test in vivo.
For the reduction, I would suggest, as mentioned before, to carry out the power analysis accordind to the statystical test you want to use; this website from Prof. Festing could help you a lot http://www.3rs-reduction.co.uk/.
For the replacement, decide the humane endpoints of your experiment (examples are % of weight loss in 48hs, particular behaviour, dehydration, inability to move hind legs or others): if your animals pass that point you should euthanize them; give them a good enrichment and provide analgesics.
Hope it helps, good luck!
Viola
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I am going to start a feeding experiment on sheep under heat exposure.
I want to determine the circulatory plasma insulin and thyroxine hormone. It would be highly appreciated if anybody can help with a detailed laboratory procedure for these two hormones. The procedure can be ELISA or any other non-isotopic technique.
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hi ..i am experianced  in CLIA method ,its really good.both insulin and free t3,freet4 and Tsh like immune assays are good in that.
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I want to do experiments on animals and I need to write a protocol following guidelines similar to SPIRIT but for animals. Do such guidelines currently exist?
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Might check out this site for reference to US FDA CFR 21 regulations. Hope this helps.
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For the first time in more than a decade, I will be doing deep ocean trawling on a non-federal ship, and I will be a PI on the project, so my university is insisting I write up an IACUC protocol for the deepwater trawling methods that will collect fish. Has anyone else had to do this? How do you account for/justify the large numbers of individual fish that will be collected in the net hauls? Since my specimens come from the deep sea, the vast majority are dead on arrival to the deck, so the prior head of our IACUC just had me do a tissue protocol and consider it a transfer of materials from the government. The new chair of our IACUC may be looking for something more this time, especially since this time it will not be the federal government killing the fish. So, I could use any advice or suggestions out there.
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Chip, I think they are concerned about the number as well. The one person I spoke to gasped when I said out project could result in 250,000 fishes over a 3-year period. I can make some arguments about how we have reduced the number of fishes taken compared to previous work, but the question is will they accept that.
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I'm organizing a symposium for the 2014 American Society of Primatologists meeting, exploring primate-human interface, interaction, & relationships across settings. I will be specifically addressing primate-human interactions & relationships in zoos. I am familiar with the findings of visitor effect studies (i.e. majority report humans = stressful). However, I'd like to examine the costs & benefits of interactions from multiple perspectives, e.g., animal welfare & behavior, visitor experience, keeper experience, research design & outcomes. I'd like to compile a benefit/cost list even if people do not have the research data to support these - personal experience is great.
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Hi Josh...I think you are familiar with the work we do here at the Lester Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes at Lincoln Park Zoo. Human-animal interactions are among several areas of interest for us and we have looked at this from several perspectives. (a) We have found relatively little effect of crowds on our apes' behavior across 10 years of study...we are writing up a paper right now that will summarize those findings; (b) Chelluri et al. (2013) describes an aspect of keeper-animal interaction in that even unscheduled, informal but positive interactions can have unintended consequences for the animals; (c) We examined the influence of building design on visitor behavior (e.g. Ross et al., 2012) but also have a forthcoming paper in final revisions that demonstrates that progressive building design can positively influence visitor attitudes about zoo apes and wildlife in general. To say that zoos have no positive effects on visitors is, in my view, shortsighted. The question is more aptly framed around evaluating potential positive and negative effects.
There is alot of work out there on the potential negative effects of zoo visitors on primate behavior/welfare but there is good reason to evaluate each of these studies in light of the specific facilities. Facilities that provide appropriate choices for zoo animals often do not have the negative effects described in some studies (see Ross et al., 2005 for a commentary on such a study).
In any case, it's an interesting field of study and I am glad you and others are taking a broad view of the potential questions. Sorry I will miss the ASP symposium.
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Please give me an idea.
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First and foremost you should consult with your animal care/veterinary staff for advice and training. Another poster has provided a JOVE link - there are multiple protocol videos posted.
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What is a reliable Time Depth Recorder for accurate analysis of juvenile hawksbill sea turtle diving patterns over a 3 month time period? A short term study, please.
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We've used Lotek LTD 100 TDRs in the past on both nesting loggerheads and immature Kemp's ridleys. Looks like the current model is LAT 1000 series but check first with company for marine turtles.
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I think concussion and post-concussion syndrome in man is due to malfunction of the vestibular system in the inner ear, nothing to do with the brain. It occurs to me that a good way to test this is in fish. Fish can be rendered unconscious by electric shock, blow on the head, loud sound (fish bomb, pistol shrimp, etc). I think the general presumption is that this is mediated by damage to the brain, but it is surely more plausible to assume this is mediated by damage to the peripheral organs of balance and/or hearing. I was watching Orca on the TV last night, who had worked out that slapping the water stunned their prey. I am not familiar with the animal literature, but is there any evidence on whether the peripheral sensory or central neural theory best explains the concussion.
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I have rather belatedly discovered that electrical stunning is used in the slaughter of poultry and farm animals. However, the same question arises. Is the unconsciousness due to activation of the brain or of the vestibular organs? My preliminary enquiries do not lead me to suppose that this question has been posed, let alone answered.
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I need to determine if enrichment activities (manipulable objects, boxes etc.) benefit the welfare of a chimpanzee group that lives in an enriched enclosure.
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There is a huge literature on the subject, as earlier comments have made clear, but some of it is problematic, methodologically. For example, the usual design is the simplest: Before-After comparison (A-B), but better is A-B-A, to see if return to baseline or not. Further, most studies don't use comprehensive ethograms or activity budgets, but concentrate on a few (e.g.) dissipation of bad habits or enhancement of good habits. This does not allow for trade-off complications, e.g. increase in foraging may come at cost of socialising. Further, few studies consider the possibility that 'enrichment' may be stressful, e.g. adding food-vending devices that may increase rates of agonism. Finally, although the main independent variable (usually introduced objects) may be clear, the dependent variables may be less so. Are rates of behavioural output validated with regard to natural behavioural patterns?
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I am creating a new course in Conservation Behavior for Honors students who already have a background in behavioral ecology. Does anybody have good suggestions of (affordable) textbooks and/or good introductory articles on this important topic? I like the "Primer of Conservation Behavior" by Blumstein and Fernandez-Juricic, but the price may be prohibitive to my students. I'm hoping to make it a very applied course in which they have to do background research and propose ways in which the principles of Behavioral Ecology can be used to aid conservation efforts (e.g., captive animal management, relocation programs, or human-wildlife conflict). If you have created a similar course, I'd love to hear what did/did not work for you!
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You might find this conceptual framework paper useful too:
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I want to register the spatial distribution of indoor (intensive) housed poultry (by some tracer chickens). Who has experience with a specific lightweight navigation device for poultry? What about the duration of the data storage or other problems? Who has some suggestions?
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Hello Bert! first, how many chickens will you monitor? and do you want to do it with cameras, is it an ethology work?
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Traditionally people in the horse industry refer to unwanted/undesriable behaviors as vices, but in research some of these behaviours are referred to as stereotypic behaviours. The word vice has negative connertations for example, the Oxford dictionary provides an unsavoury defintion specifically for stable vices 'a bad or neurotic habit of stabled horses, typically arising as a result of boredom'. Is it likely that banding all undesirable behaviour as vices does not help the owner to understand the underlying causes of such behaviours and actually encourages anthropomorphism to the detriment of equine welfare? Should there be a move to re-define these behaviours or help owners understand the terminology they are using?
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I agree with Linda,
Aristotle describes human characteristics in terms of vices and the opposite - virtues. Sadly, people's language shapes attitudes as we know in humans, hence all the fuss about being PC (Politically Correct for the computer boffins). I never really understood the logic of describing crib biting and weaving in horses as vices, but it led to the most horrendous surgery in horses when the cause was thought to be a negative mental state, the animal having a vice to displeasure the owner. We have advanced a little bit since then, but think of the adjectives we use to describe foxes (cunning, sly, evil, pest etc) in order to reinforce our views of the animal. Let's leave vices in the history box where they now belong, and call them stereotypic behaviours with varying causes that should be tackled.
Best to all,
David
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I am doing a behaviour study on the behaviour of captive parma wallabies in mixed-species exhibits but most information about the animal is quite old. If anyone knows of any more recent studies on the species, I'd love to hear from you. Thanks
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Jessica: I checked with my staff and they tell me that they see the head quivering fairly frequently with both parma wallabies and red kangaroos. They seem to do it for no particular reason- it doesn't seem to be a stress response or a breeding behavior. We've never seen any of the macropods spray urine at each other. Keep in mind, however, that our parma wallabies (although recently descended with wild caught imports) have never been housed with more than one mature male in the mob. Our red kangaroos, on the other hand, are descendants of many generations of captive breeding. We've had more than one adult male in that mob, but old was older and probably did not pose much of a social threat to the breeding male.
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Does anyone have a check sheet used to assess the welfare of cats at a distance? This project is not about capture and handling so flea burdens, cortisol and disease screening are out. The obvious stuff like condition and injuries/lameness etc. is pretty straight forward and already included but what else could be included (e.g. approach tests etc.). Does anyone have something they use already?
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This is not species specific but is worth a read for anyone starting from scratch and setting up welfare assessment protocols so it may have some useful info or references for you.
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Does anyone know any article that addresses this issue? The first finds of my current research has shown that Holstein cows prefer to lie down by the feeder under direct solar radiation rather than walk to a artificial shade structure when it is relatively far from the feeder. On the other hand, when a natural shade is avaiable in a same distance from the feeder the cows move to it seeking protection from solar radiation. Have anyone ever read or find results like this?
Thank you!
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There is a well-knowwn behavioral principle called "the goal gradient effect" that may be relevant here. An example that has been in the psychology literature for more than 50 yrs. is the observation that when rats are trained to run down a runway for food, the closer they come to the goal box, the faster they run. In other words, proximity plays a role in determining the strength of a reinforcer. When you pit the shade reinforcer against the food reinforcer you are essentially testing the reinforcers' relative strengths.
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In a recent paper in Animal, it has been showed that:
- only a few percentage of non-castrated pigs develop boar taint
- most consumers are not able to detect this taint
- reducing the slaughter weight would reduce even more the prevalence of boar taint
So what are we waiting for to write a law forbidding pig castration without anaesthesia (the currently most used method)? Even more, why do not we simply forbid castration and reduce slaughter weight to reduce boar taint prevalence?
All these measures would only reduce the still huge differences of welfare treatment between farm animals and any other animals in our societies.
Does anybody know about current laws going in this direction?
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Christophe,
I completely agree. I would prefer an ending of castration rather than a support of castration with anaesthesia. As we have seen there are attempts to make a commercially available anaesthesia for use by farmers to perform castration without pain. However, the favoured method of induction of unconsciousness is CO2. This is what I am objecting to as it is very unreliable as an induction agent due to user error (it is easy to get it wrong), it has a high mortality associated with it, and it provides no post-castration pain relief which is essential.
There was another paper in Animal (the same journal) recommending this technique, which I wrote in and objected to. I had to fight with the editor to get the letter published but I think it is really important that if we are working towards animal welfare we do so with a reliable evidence base.
I attach the link to my letter below.
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When we talk about animal welfare my question is what kind (species, class, phylum) of animals we are dealing with? E.g. only vertebrates or also invertebrates? If invertebrates all of them or only certain ones?
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Dear Colleges
In my opinion all species of animals (mammals, birds, some invertebrates such as octopus) may experience pain. However, as far I know we have evidences (anatomical, physiologic, behavioural etc) of animal consciousness similar to us humans for the vertebrates. So, I am suggesting that we must focus our concerns on the welfare of vertebrate animals but it does not mean that invertebrates are completly out of this debate
The best definition of animal welfare, in my view, was provided by professor David Fraser of UBC in his book "Understanding Animal Welfare" that is the following: "An animal has a good life if it is healthy and thriving, without distortions (genetic, hormonal, dietary or other) that enhance one aspect of its bodily functioning to detriment of others; if its behavioural and physiological systems are not pushed to such extremes that there is a breakdown, or significant risk of breakdown, in health or development; if it can enjoy life, and if negative states - pain, fear, frustration and others - are not so severe or prolonged as to constitute suffering; if it is free to live under circumstances that it might itself choose; and if it is not prevented from doing those things that it is strongly motivated to do" Thanks for your attention.
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I mean, for cattle, sheep, goat, pig, horse etc
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Five freedoms in addition to a naturalistic environment.
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I conducted my PhD research at free stall barn with about 400. Cows were separated in four pens, approximately about 100 in each. Cows were of Czech Flekviech Cattle. Interesting thing that we noticed, was that cows started to crowd during summer period. They usually crowded in one part of the barn. The most illogical thing in that, that they crowded during the hottest period of the day. When it was to expect that they need more space and air, to get over the high temperatures and low living condition. People who knows about heat stress in cattle, could understand what I want to say?
Did anybody have any information or experience with this?
Thanks in advance, Miljan
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Dear Miljan Erbez
I also experienced this problem. I think most probably it because of increasing the population of sucking flies in that period of time. As i saw in dairy farms which involved with this problem, the cows overcrowding in a very small space and hiding theirs heads and bodies.