Validating indicators of sheep welfare through a consensus of expert opinion

A consensus of expert opinion was used to provide both face and consensual validity to a list of potential indicators of sheep welfare. This approach was used as a first step in the identification of valid welfare indicators for sheep. The consensus methodology of the National Institute of Health, using pre-meeting consultation and focus group […]

Dog behavior but not frontal brain reaction changes in repeated positive interactions with a human: A non-invasive pilot study using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS)

This study was conducted as a pilot test case to investigate potential behavioral and neural indicators of positive emotional states in dogs. These states were induced by subjecting each dog to three types of human interactions (verbal contact only, physical contact only, or both). Each stimulus was repeated 10 times, at 1-min intervals, alternating with […]

What can inactivity (in its various forms) reveal about affective states in non-human animals? A review

Captive/domestic animals are often described as inactive, with the implicit or explicit implication that this high level of inactivity is a welfare problem. Conversely, not being inactive enough may also indicate or cause poor welfare. In humans, too much inactivity can certainly be associated with either negative or positive affective states. In non-human animals, however, […]

Welfare assessment of horses: the AWIN approach

The EU-funded Animal Welfare Indicators (AWIN) research project (2011–2015) aimed to improve animal welfare through the development of practical on-farm animal welfare assessment protocols. The present study describes the application of the AWIN approach to the development of a welfare assessment protocol for horses (Equus caballus). Its development required the following steps: (i) selection of […]

You know what? I’m happy. Cognitive bias is not related to personality but is induced by pair-housing in canaries (Serinus canaria)

Recent studies suggest that cognitive bias could constitute a novel and valid measure of animal welfare. Although interest for a link between personality and cognition is growing, no study to date investigated whether a cognitive bias might be related to the personality of the individuals. We trained 43 domestic canaries (Serinus canaria) to discriminate between […]