The Four Cs of Psychological Wellbeing: Lessons from Three Decades of Computer-based Environmental Enrichment

Three decades ago, the Animal Welfare Act was amended to require researchers to provide environments that promoted the psychological, as well as the physical, wellbeing of nonhuman primates maintained for research purposes. We developed a computer-task paradigm with the goal of promoting and assessing the psychological wellbeing of rhesus monkeys. Some lessons learned in the […]

Environmental effects on the behavior of zoo-housed lions and tigers, with a case study of the effects of a visual barrier on pacing

Tigers and lions in the wild are nocturnal nonhuman animals who may hunt and mate opportunistically during daylight hours. In captivity, they spend most time on exhibit sleeping or pacing. To better understand their activity budget, this study examined the daily behavior patterns of 2 Sumatran tigers and 3 African lions in different housings. The […]

Is There Evidence of Learned Helplessness in Horses?

Learned helplessness is a psychological condition whereby individuals learn that they have no control over unpleasant or harmful conditions, that their actions are futile, and that they are helpless. In a series of experiments in which dogs were exposed to inescapable shocks, this lack of control subsequently interfered with the ability to learn an avoidance […]

Controllability in Environmental Enrichment for Captive Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)

This study considers the use of nonsocial environmental enrichment by captive chimpanzees at the Primate Foundation of Arizona. The goal was to determine whether a relationship existed between controllability of enrichment items by captive chimpanzees and frequency of use. The study measured controllability, the ability of nonhuman animals to alter aspects of their environment by […]

Effects of predictability on the welfare of captive animals

Variations in the predictability of a stressor have pronounced effects on the behavioural and physiological effects of stress in rats. It is reasonable to expect that variations in the predictability of husbandry routines thought to be aversive to animals might have similar effects on stress indices. Similarly, variations in the predictability of positive events, of […]

Effects of Ratio Reinforcement Schedules on Choice Behavior

Choice behavior under a concurrent VR-FR schedule of reinforcement was investigated in two experiments to test a molar theory of maximization. Hunger-motivated albino rats pressed two bars, one on an FR10 and the other on a VR10 schedule, for a food reward. With the total number of experiences with each bar equated and interalternative switching […]

The assessment and implementation of animal welfare: theory into practice.

This paper reviews the procedures and protocols necessary for the development of a practical programme for the assessment and implementation of animal welfare on farms and in other commercial situations. An effective programme must incorporate measures of both husbandry and welfare. Most current systems are based almost entirely on measures of husbandry provision, e.g. resources […]

Enclosure choice and well-being in giant pandas: is it all about control?

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20064.abs Behavioral and hormonal data were compared for four giant pandas in two management conditions: (1) panda confined to exhibit area and (2) panda given choice to move freely between exhibit and off-exhibit bedroom areas. Pandas displayed fewer signs of behavioral agitation and lower urinary cortisol in the free choice condition. Time active did […]

Maracas for Macaca? Evaluation of three potential enrichment objects in two species of zoo-housed macaques

Abstract 10.1002/1098-2361(2000)19:33.3.CO;2-N One group each of Barbary macaques and stump-tailed macaques, both zoo-housed, received hard replica fruits in three experimental conditions: as empty (“unresponsive”) objects, as maracas that rattled when manipulated (“simple responsive”), and as objects from which food items could be extracted (“foraging devices”). Both groups manipulated the replica fruits most when they functioned […]

Increasing farm animal welfare by positively motivated instrumental behaviour

Rewarded instrumental learning leads to the association of an environmental cue with the positive result of the own activity. Instrumental behaviour includes motivation for a specific reward, anticipation of its successful acquisition and positive appraisal. In this paper, we present theoretical and empirical evidence for the potential of an advanced type of cognitive enrichment, which […]