Animal Welfare as Preventative Medicine

Antimicrobial resistance is a major threat to both human and animal health, but reduction of use raises issues of how standards of animal health and welfare can be maintained without them. This turns the spotlight onto the role of good management and higher standards of animal welfare as drug-free ways of improving immune function and […]

Animal pleasure and its moral significance

This paper presents arguments for, and evidence in support of, the important role of pleasure in animals’ lives, and outlines its considerable significance to humankind’s relationship to other animals. In the realms of animal sentience, almost all scholarly discussion revolves around its negative aspects: pain, stress, distress, and suffering. By contrast, the positive aspects of […]

Effects of haloperidol, a dopamine D2-like receptor antagonist, on reward-related behaviors in laying hens

In order to investigate the involvement of dopaminergic transmission in the regulation of reward-related behaviors in laying hens, the effects of systemic injections of dopamine D2-like receptor antagonist haloperidol (0.3, 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 mg/kg s.c.) 30 min prior to a conditioned cue signaling a reward were tested and compared to the effects of a saline injection. […]

Effects of human handling during early rearing on the behaviour of dairy calves

We examined the effects of daily positive or negative human handling on the behaviour of Holstein-Friesian dairy calves (n = 20 calves per treatment, five calves per group). The response to humans and indicators of positive emotions were examined at four weeks of age. Calves that received positive handling approached a familiar handler within 1 […]

Indicators of positive and negative emotions and emotional contagion in pigs

Abstract For the welfare of group-housed animals, such as pigs, the emotional state of an individual pig is relevant, but also the extent to which pen mates are affected by the distress or pleasure of other individuals, i.e. emotional contagion, a simple form of empathy. Therefore, indicators of positive and negative emotions were investigated in […]

Nasal temperatures in dairy cows are influenced by positive emotional state

Understanding how animals express positive emotions is an important area of focus for animal welfare science, yet it is widely neglected. Emotions can be either positive or negative in valence, depending on the rewarding or punishing nature of the stimulus, and they can vary in the degree of arousal or excitement. Previous literature has shown […]

Can ear postures reliably measure the positive emotional state of cows?

Animal welfare science is increasingly concerned with the promotion of positive emotions in animals, yet little is known about how to measure them. We examined whether ear postures in dairy cows were reliable indicators of a low arousal, positive emotional state. We conducted a total of 381, 15 min focal observations, across a group of […]

Emotions in goats: mapping physiological, behavioural and vocal profiles

Emotions are important because they enable the selection of appropriate behavioural decisions in response to external or internal events. Techniques for understanding and assessing animal emotions, and particularly positive ones, are lacking. Emotions can be characterized by two dimensions: their arousal (bodily excitation) and their valence (negative or positive). Both dimensions can affect emotions in […]

Measuring positive emotions in cows: Do visible eye whites tell us anything?

Insight into the emotional lives of animals is of utmost importance to the welfare of the billions of animals in our care, yet little is known about how to measure these states. Scientific understanding of how to measure and interpret positive emotional states is particularly lacking, although recent years have seen a notable increase in […]