D.G.M. Wood-Gush Memorial lecture: Why has there not been more progress in animal welfare research?

Four possible answers to the question of why there has not been more progress in animal welfare research are discussed: (1) that the subject matter might be beyond the scope of scientific enquiry; (2) that the commonly employed approaches and methodologies might be faulty; (3) that the approaches are sound but that more time is […]

The use of olfactory and other cues for social recognition by juvenile pigs

Social recognition is essential for the maintenance of a stable group structure. Failure to recognise familiar conspecifics in social groups of juvenile pigs may initiate agonistic encounters that can compromise welfare and productivity. Current housing systems may allow build up of atmospheric ammonia that might, in turn, interfere with the olfactory system and compromise olfactory […]

Disruptive effects of standard husbandry practice on laboratory rat social discrimination

Elements of husbandry procedures, such as handling, may disrupt rodent social behaviour. Such effects may be contingent upon the familiarity between individuals and upon the quality and quantity of the disruption. We investigated this issue using laboratory rats. We placed 36 rats into groups of three. At the point of group formation, and at 24 […]

Long-term social memory in the laboratory rat (Rattus norvegicus)

A key question in the management of group-housed captive animals is how long can an individual be removed from a social group and still be reintroduced with minimal social upheaval. In order to answer this question we require a knowledge of how long cage-mates, following a specified period of group-housing, can remember one another after […]

Transport of Animals Between Rooms: A Little-Noted Aspect of Laboratory Procedure That May Interfere With Memory

This study investigated the effects of transporting animals from the experimental room to the animal facility in between experimental sessions, aprocedure routinely employed in experimental research, on long-term social recognition memory. By using the intruder–resident paradigm, independent groups of Wistar rats exposed to a 2-h encounter with an adult intruder were transported from the experimental […]

Male risk taking, female odors, and the role of estrogen receptors

Male risk-taking and decision making are affected by sex-related cues, with men making riskier choices and decisions after exposure to either women or stimuli associated with women. In non-human species females and, or their cues can also increase male risk taking. Under the ecologically relevant condition of predation threat, brief exposure of male mice to […]

Social recognition is context dependent in single male prairie voles

Single males might benefit from knowing the identity of neighbouring males when establishing and defending boundaries. Similarly, males should discriminate between individual females if this leads to more reproductive opportunities. Contextual social cues may alter the value of learning identity. Knowing the identity of competitors that intrude into an animal’s territory may be more salient […]