A Framework to Assess the Impact of New Animal Management Technologies on Welfare: A Case Study of Virtual Fencing

To be ethically acceptable, new husbandry technologies and livestock management systems must maintain or improve animal welfare. To achieve this goal, the design and implementation of new technologies need to harness and complement the learning abilities of animals. Here, from literature on the cognitive activation theory of stress (CATS) we develop a framework to assess […]

Investigating fear in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) using the conditioned-suppression paradigm

Trout learned the operant task of pendulum-pressing for a food-reward in a mean of 4.3 sessions lasting 1 hr. In a separate phase, fish also learned–through classical conditioning–to associate a neutral light cue with an aversive stimulus. When again allowed to pendulum-press for food, after aversive classical conditioning, there was a drop in the rate […]

Training vervet monkeys to avoid electric wires: Is there evidence for social learning?

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20041.abs Before being released into a large park enclosed by an electric fence, a wild-caught vervet group (Chlorocebus aethiops) had to learn to avoid electrified wires in a smaller cage. During this training, we observed the group continuously for 12 consecutive days to investigate if social learning was involved in the learning process. Results […]

Role of different colours of aposematic insects in learning, memory and generalization of naïve bird predators

Among the various properties of visual warning signals, colour seems to be especially important for avian predators. We tested the role of particular colours of an aposematic insect (firebug, Pyrrhocoris apterus; Heteroptera: Pyrrhocoridae) in unlearned avoidance, learning, memory and generalization of a naïve avian predator (great tit, Parus major). The wild type of the firebug […]

Pain and stress in crustaceans?

We consider evidence that crustaceans might experience pain and stress in ways that are analogous to those of vertebrates. Various criteria are applied that might indicate a potential for pain experience: (1) a suitable central nervous system and receptors, (2) avoidance learning, (3) protective motor reactions that might include reduced use of the affected area, […]

Evidence for pain in decapod crustaceans

Vast numbers of decapods are used in human food and currently subject to extreme treatments and there is concern that they might experience pain. If pain is indicated then a positive change in the care afforded to this group has the potential to produce a major advance in animal welfare. However, it is difficult to […]