Behavioral responses to emotional challenges in female rats living in a seminatural environment: The role of estrogen receptors

Estrogen receptors (ERs) are involved in sexual as well as non-sexual behaviors. In the present study we assessed the effects of stimuli inducing positive or negative affect on sociosexual, exploratory and fear-related behaviors of female rats housed in groups (4 females, 3 males) in a seminatural environment. Ovariectomized females were treated with oil, 17β‑estradiol benzoate […]

Pilot study evaluating surface temperature in dogs with or without fear-based aggression

The use of a standardized physiological measure in veterinary behavior evaluations would improve both accuracy of the diagnosis and monitoring of the treatment response. Infrared thermography (IRT) is a noninvasive, remote assessment tool used primarily in research to evaluate changes in surface body temperature resulting from underlying physiological processes. IRT has not been examined widely […]

Identification of fear behaviors shown by puppies in response to nonsocial stimuli

Understanding fear behavior in puppies is important for dog welfare, prevention of behavioral issues, and ensuring research assessments are accurate. Further research is necessary to determine which specific behaviors puppies show when they are fearful and whether these behaviors are similar to those seen in older dogs. We assessed which puppy behaviors are associated with […]

Environmental enrichment affects the fear and exploratory responses to novelty of young Amazon parrots

The development of techniques to reduce fear responses of captive animals is important because fear is generally considered an undesirable emotional state that is related to increased risk of injury and decreased biological functioning. We tested the effects of environmental enrichments designed to increase the physical complexity of the cage and to provide opportunities for […]

The effect of positive or negative handling on the behavioural and physiological responses of nonlactating heifers

This experiment investigated the effects of positive and negative tactile handling on the stress physiology and behaviour of dairy heifers. Forty-eight 5–14-month-old nonlactating Holstein–Friesian heifers were allocated to one of two handling treatments, either positive or negative tactile handling, over four time replicates. Handlingwas imposed twice daily, 2–5 min per session and involved moving animals […]

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 […]

Science-based assessment of animal welfare: farm animals

Animal welfare is to do with the feelings experienced by animals: the absence of strong negative feelings, usually called suffering, and (probably) the presence of positive feelings, usually called pleasure. In any assessment of welfare, it is these feelings that should be assessed. Because feelings are subjective, they cannot be investigated directly. However, there are […]

Effects of environmental stressors on deep body temperature and activity levels in silver fox vixens (Vulpes vulpes)

The present study was performed to investigate the effects of 14 different environmental stimuli on stress-induced hyperthermia (SIH). and levels of locomotor activity in six (three infanticidal, three non-infanticidal. 2.5-year-old silver fox vixens. The effects of contact with humans) six experiments; handling for 5 min, handling of neighbouring animal for 5 min, presence of one […]

Black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) in U.S. zoos: I. individual behavior profiles and their relationship to breeding success

Abstract This is the first part of a multi-zoo study to analyze the effects of captive environments on black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) behavior, breeding success, and well-being. We estimated the reliability and validity of a standardized method of cross-institutional assessment of the behavior of individual rhinoceros. In 1994 and 1995, we asked zookeepers at 19 […]

Temperament, stereotypies and anticipatory behaviour as measures of welfare in mink

A farm mink population of 290 1-year-old wild-coloured females was scanned for stereotyped behaviour in October 2003. At the same time the temperament of the individuals was established with a stick test. Some of the females performed no stereotypies in 54 scans and this fraction of the population, 73 individuals, included significantly more fearful animals […]