Analysing small-scale aggregation in animal visits in space and time: the ST-BBD method

Movement behaviour plays an important role in many ecological interactions. As animals move through the environment, they generate movement patterns, which are a combined result of landscape characteristics and species-specific behaviour. Measuring these ranging patterns is being facilitated by technological advances in collection methods, such as GPS collars, that are capturing movement on finer spatial […]

Flocking for food or flockmates?

Animals in groups behave cohesively, even when those animals are domesticated and are housed in limited environments. But how is such group cohesion maintained? Do animals move in an independent manner, according to their own motivations, or in a social manner, with respect to the movements of others? Here, we use a mathematical model to […]

Sustainable animal welfare: does forcing farmers into transition help?

Dutch society is changing, and so is its attitude towards animal welfare. Meat retailers respond by laying down minimum-quality criteria for farmers who wish to supply to supermarkets-forcing them to either aim for higher quality or lose their market. Policy-wise this is a top-down measure that leads to a redistribution of markets. From farmer perspective, […]

Agent-based modelling in applied ethology: An exploratory case study of behavioural dynamics in tail biting in pigs

Understanding behavioural dynamics in pigs is important to assess pig welfare in current intensive pig production systems. Agent-based modelling (ABM) is an approach to gain insight into behavioural dynamics in pigs, but its use in applied ethology and animal welfare science has been limited so far. We used ABM in a case study on tail […]