Validation of a method for assessment of an acute pain in lambs

Acute pain following different methods of rubber ring castration and tail docking (CTD) was assessed using behavioural and physiological methods. Validity was determined by showing how accurately lambs were allocated, to their appropriate treatment groups. Six groups of seven lambs, 5–6 days old, were subjected to treatments, ranked before the experiment, by the amount of […]

Emotionality in growing pigs: Is the open field a valid test?

The ability to assess emotionality is important within animal welfare research. Yet, for farm animals, few tests of emotionality have been well validated. Here we investigated the construct validity of behavioural measures of pig emotionality in an open-field test by manipulating the experiences of pigs in three ways. In Experiment One (pharmacological manipulation), pigs pre-treated […]

Seasonal and altitudinal effects on glucocorticoid metabolites in a wild primate (Theropithecus gelada)

Behavioral ecologists are increasingly adopting sophisticated non-invasive methods for measuring glucocorticoids from “excreta” because samples are easy to collect, animals are left undisturbed, and measures may be more reflective of external events than serum samples. Some of the most common predictors for hormone profiles in wild animals are seasonal changes in ecology and behavior. For […]

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 […]

Development and validation of a quality of life assessment tool for use in kennelled dogs (Canis familiaris)

There is currently no objective and validated quality of life assessment tool available to assess the quality of life of domestic dogs in kennels. This study aimed to develop a validated scoring system to assess the quality of life of dogs kennelled in rehoming centres. Objective animal-based measures of welfare and quality of life, identified […]

Reproductive activity in the peninsular pronghorn determined from excreted gonadal steroid metabolites

Fecal hormone monitoring was employed to better define annual patterns of reproductive steroid metabolites from a breeding pair of peninsular pronghorn (Antilocapra americana peninsularis) maintained at the Los Angeles Zoo. Notably in the female, increased excretion of estrogen metabolites occurred during the breeding season (Jun–Aug), and a biphasic pattern in progestagen activity was measured during […]

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, […]

Acute ACTH-induced elevations of circulating cortisol do not affect hair cortisol concentrations in calves

In recent times, the detection of cortisol in hair is intended to be used as an animal-based indicator for the assessment of chronic stress. However, the relationship between the ability to report average values of long-term circulating cortisol concentrations and the sensitivity to acute peaks of cortisol is still unclear. To gain insight into this […]

Initial outcomes of a harmonized approach to collect welfare data in sport and leisure horses

A truthful snapshot of horse welfare conditions is a prerequisite for predicting the impact of any actions intended to improve the quality of life of horses. This can be achieved when welfare information, gathered by different assessors in diverse geographical areas, is valid, comparable and collected in a harmonized way. This paper aims to present […]

Validation of scan sampling techniques for behavioural observations of pastured lambs

The study of farm animal behaviour is a critical tool for assessing animal welfare. Collecting behavioural data with continuous sampling or short scan sampling intervals (eg every 60th second) is considered ideal as this provides the most complete and accurate dataset; however, these methods are also time and labour intensive. Longer sampling intervals provide an […]