Assessing the importance of natural behavior for animal welfare

The concept of natural behavior is a key element in current Dutch policy-making on animal welfare. It emphasizes that animals need positive experiences, in addition to minimized suffering. This paper interprets the concept of natural behavior in the context of the scientific framework for welfare assessment. Natural behavior may be defined as behavior that animals […]

Model of Physiological Stress in Chickens 1. Response Parameters

A model was developed to study stress in chickens. Continuous administration of adrenocorticotropic hormone was employed (ACTH) using physiological mini-osmotic pumps. A validation of controls for this procedure showed that nonhandled (NHCON), sham surgical procedure for pump implantation (SMCON) and surgical implantation of a pump delivering saline (SALCON) were all acceptable controls. Continuous delivery of […]

Defeat is a major stressor in males while social instability is stressful mainly in females: Towards the development of a social stress model in female rats

Social stress models appear useful in elucidating the interrelationship between stress, mood disorders, and drug efficacy. However, reliable social stress models for females are virtually lacking. The aim of this study was to determine stress-related consequences of (a) defeat in aggressive encounters and (b) social instability, in male and female rats. Defeat in male and […]

Rope test may indicate efficacy of tail-biting treatments in growing pigs

Tail biting is a most serious welfare problem in pigs raised for slaughter. In instances of an outbreak of tail biting, scientists have recommended that farmers take measures such as removal of affected animals, provision of enrichment materials and application of repellents to the pigs’ tails. However, no scientific study has ever confirmed the efficacy […]

The physiological consequences of crib-biting in horses in response to an ACTH challenge test

Stereotypies are repetitive and relatively invariant patterns of behavior, which are observed in a wide range of species in captivity. Stereotypic behavior occurs when environmental demands produce a physiological response that, if sustained for an extended period, exceeds the natural physiological regulatory capacity of the organism, particularly in situations that include unpredictability and uncontrollability. One […]

Physiological and behavioral responses to routine procedures in captive common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus)

The effect of routine captive procedures on the welfare of species used as experimental models in biomedical research is of great interest, since stress may alter the generalization and interpretation of results. This study investigated behavioral and endocrine (fecal cortisol) reactivity patterns in common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) adult males (N = 10) and females (N […]