Invited review: Body condition score and its association with dairy cow productivity, health, and welfare

The body condition score (BCS) of a dairy cow is an assessment of the proportion of body fat that it possesses, and it is recognized by animal scientists and producers as being an important factor in dairy cattle management. The scale used to measure BCS differs between countries, but low values always reflect emaciation and […]

Ecological dominance, social competition, and coalitionary arms races: Why humans evolved extraordinary intelligence

Human cognitive abilities are extraordinary. Our large brains are significantly modified from those of our closest relatives, suggesting a history of intense natural selection. The conditions favoring the evolution of human cognitive adaptations, however, remain an enigma. Hypotheses based on traditional ecological demands, such as hunting or climatic variability, have not provided satisfying explanations. Recent […]

The mentalities of gorillas and orangutans

book review: The Mentalities of Gorillas and Orangutans. Comparative Perspectives.Edited by SUE TAYLOR PARKER, ROBERT W. MITCHELL & H. LYN MILES. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1999). Pp. x+419. Price £50.00.

Crib-biting behavior in horses: A review

During the past decade, stereotypic behavior in horses, specifically crib-biting behavior, has received considerable attention in the scientific literature. Epidemiological and experimental studies designed to investigate crib-biting behavior have provided valuable insight into the prevalence, underlying mechanisms, and owner perceptions of the behavior. The findings of these studies have demonstrated how the management of horses […]

Enrichment of laboratory caging for rats- a review

Rats are a well-understood and widely used laboratory species that should be provided with environmentally enriched caging in line with modern animal welfare guidelines. This paper reviews which sources of enrichment are effective and should be prioritised, and how methods for providing enrichment might be selected using rats’ preferences as a guide. Rats demonstrate high […]

Operant animal welfare- productive approaches and persistent difficulties

Operant procedures occupy a prominent role within animal welfare science because they provide information about the strength of animals’ preferences. It is assumed that strongly motivated choices commonly indicate conditions necessary for uncompromised welfare. A review of the literature shows that members of many species will work for access to resources not commonly provided to […]

Measuring Fecal Glucocorticoid Metabolites in Mammals and Birds: The Importance of Validation

In recent years, the noninvasive monitoring of steroid hormone metabolites in feces of mammals and droppings of birds has become an increasingly popular technique. It offers several advantages and has been applied to a variety of species under various settings. However, using this technique to reliably assess an animal’s adrenocortical activity is not that simple […]

Stress in a conservation context: A discussion of glucocorticoid actions and how levels change with conservation-relevant variables

Over the past few decades, there has been a steep increase in the number of conservation-related field studies that measure glucocorticoid hormones (corticosterone or cortisol) as a marker for stress. Endo-crine tools show great potential for informing conservation, however interpretation of results is often complicated. This paper reviews the role of glucocorticoids for non-physiologists, evaluates […]

Understanding Dog Behavior and Welfare: A Review of Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet, by John Bradshaw

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Recreational horse welfare: The relationships between recreational horse owner attributes and recreational horse welfare

In recent years the welfare of recreational horses has become an increasingly important issue, as evident by their high representation in welfare investigations around the world, however, little is known about the welfare of horses used in this capacity. The scientific literature concerning recreational horse welfare has focused primarily on observed welfare problems, measurable welfare […]