Behavioral patterns of laboratory Mongolian gerbils by sex and housing condition: a case study with an emphasis on sleeping patterns

The behavioral patterns of Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus) housed individually and in same-sex groups (siblings) were characterized. Gerbils were continuously video-recorded 24 hours (day 1) and 120 hours (day 5) after housing conditions were established (no environmental enrichment was implemented). Video samples totaling 2016 minutes were scored to obtain measures of maintenance (drinking, sleeping, grooming, and eating), locomotor […]

Housing conditions and behavioural problems of indoor cats as assessed by their owners

Housing conditions and behavioural problems of a sample of 1177 cats were described by their 550 owners. Indications for inadequate housing in the light of species-specific needs were analysed. A total of 65.1% of the cats were Domestic European Shorthairs and 78.7% were castrated animals. A total of 87% of the responding cat owners were […]

The effects of ambient temperature and population density on aggression of two inbred strains of mice

I. 240 Male mice from the aggressive C57BL/I05 strain and non-aggressive A/J strain were subjected to temperatures of I8.3°C, 2I.I°C, 26.7°C, 32.2°C or 35°C for 24 hours. 2. The mice were then crowded in groups of 8 into enclosures with floor areas of 0.09, 0.2I, or 0.38 m2. 3. The frequency of aggression acts (biting […]

The influence of a camouflage net barrier on the behaviour, welfare and public perceptions of zoo-housed gorillas

Visitors to zoos can be a potential source of stress to captive-housed primates, resulting in increased abnormal behaviour and intra-group aggression. Finding a way to screen primates from human visitors may be one method of decreasing stress and enhancing animal welfare. For this study, the behaviour of six zoo-housed gorillas was studied for one month […]

Tonic immobility in Anolis carolinensis: Effects of time and conditions of captivity

Changes in the tonic immobility (TI) response in Anolis carolinensis were investigated as a function of duration and condition of captivity in five experiments. Although anoles ultimately show significant decreases in durations of immobility with repeated elicitations of the response, there was an increase in both the mean and variance of immobility durations of subjects […]

Telemetry as a method for measuring the impact of housing conditions on rats’ welfare

Various tools have been developed over previous years to study the welfare of laboratory animals. These include preference tests, which are commonly used to evaluate housing environments. Preference tests, however, have some pitfalls: they supply information only on the animals’ present preferences, and they allow the animal the choice only between the options offered. Other […]

Clinical pathology and cardiovascular parameters are not influenced by housing rats under increased environmental complexity

Since the release of the revised Appendix A from the Council of Europe for housing of laboratory animals there have been claims that laboratory animals should be housed under more complex conditions; known popularly as enrichment. A number of studies have expressed concerns that this may increase uncontrollable variation in the animals, thereby creating the […]

Housing with Females Increases Testosterone and Cortisol Levels in Captive Groups of Black-Handed Spider Monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi)

The black-handed spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) is a seasonal reproducer that requires a seclusiveness to copulate and has a fusion–fission social system. These features impose important restrictions to achieve reproduction of captive animals. We investigated if group composition in captive spider monkeys has any endocrine effects. We compared testosterone and cortisol concentrations during the mating […]

Housing conditions do not alter cognitive bias but affect serum cortisol, qualitative behaviour assessment and wounds on the carcass in pigs

Measures of animal emotions are essential to assess animal welfare. Recently, the cognitive bias technique has been proposed as a measure of animal affective state. This technique is based on the premise that subjects in negative affective states make more negative judgements about ambiguous stimuli than subjects in positive affective states. In the present study, […]

Development of a new welfare assessment protocol for practical application in long-term dog shelters

In many European shelters, dogs may spend many years confined. A poor environment and inappropriate management may lead to a low quality of life. The absence of harmonised European regulatory frameworks defining the minimum requirements for shelter facilities makes the definition of welfare standards for kennelled dogs challenging. Here, a new protocol was developed and […]