Animal models of behavioral dysfunctions: Basic concepts and classifications, and an evaluation strategy

In behavioral neurosciences, such as neurobiology and biopsychology, animal models make it possible to investigate brain–behavior relations, with the aim of gaining insight into normal and abnormal human behavior and its underlying neuronal and neuroendocrinological processes. Different types of animal models of behavioral dysfunctions are reviewed in this article. In order to determine the precise […]

Do zoos and aquariums promote attitude change in visitors? A critical evaluation of the american zoo and aquarium study

Modern-day zoos and aquariums market themselves as places of education and conservation. A recent study conducted by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) (Falk et al., 2007) is being widely heralded as the fi rst direct evidence that visits to zoos and aquariums produce long-term positive eff ects on people’s attitudes toward other animals. […]

Fluctuating asymmetry as an animal welfare indicator — A review of methodology and validity

It has been suggested that fluctuating asymmetry (FA) reflects an animal’s ability to cope with the sum of challenges during its growing period and, thus, is a potential welfare indicator. In this review we investigate the evidence of associations between FA and other welfare indicators measured at the level of the individual and of effects […]

Reactivity to humans and fearfulness tests: Field validation in Polish Cold Blood Horses

The aim of the present paper was to examine in field conditions the feasibility of the experimentally developed behavioural tests for assessment of two temperamental traits of cold blood horses: fearfulness and reactivity to humans. The predictive, convergent and discriminant validity of the tests was evaluated. Fifty-three Polish Cold Blood Horses (CBHs) were tested with […]

Who’s afraid of the big bad glove? Testing for fear and its correlates in mink

Fear in farm animals is a welfare and economic concern. For Scandinavian mink, the “stick test” is common for assessing fearfulness: a spatula is inserted into the cage and minks’ immediate responses are noted. However, on Ontario farms, fearfulness in the stick test was very rare and aggressive responses were prevalent, rendering this test poor […]

Inter-observer and test-retest reliability of on-farm behavioural observations in veal calves

The objective of this study was to investigate inter-observer and test-retest reliability of different behavioural observations to be used in an on-farm, animal welfare monitoring system for veal calves. Twenty-three veal calf farms, varying in size, housing system, feeding regime and age of the calves were visited twice with two observers, simultaneously. Behavioural tests were […]

On-farm welfare assessment in cattle- validity, reliability and feasibility issues and future perspectives with special regard to the Welfare Quality® approach

This paper discusses the current state of development of on-farm cattle welfare assessment systems with special regard to the approach of Welfare Quality® that focuses on animal-related measures. The central criteria validity, reliability and feasibility are considered with regard to selected welfare measures. All welfare measures incorporated into the Welfare Quality® protocol possess face validity, […]

Development and testing of a novel instrument to measure health-related quality of life (HRQL) of farmed pigs and promote welfare enhancement (Part 2)

The development of a novel structured questionnaire instrument to measure health-related quality of life (HRQL) in individual farmed pigs was described previously (companion paper). The instrument embraces the measurement of positive welfare, and was developed with farmers and stockpersons, for use by them on-farm. This paper describes the development of a scoring methodology for the […]

Validating indicators of sheep welfare through a consensus of expert opinion

A consensus of expert opinion was used to provide both face and consensual validity to a list of potential indicators of sheep welfare. This approach was used as a first step in the identification of valid welfare indicators for sheep. The consensus methodology of the National Institute of Health, using pre-meeting consultation and focus group […]

Personality in felids: A review

Although there has been an increase in felid personality research, much more work is needed, with only 20 published studies, 17 of which focused on the domestic cat. Most studies show important implications for this type of research, but there is no consensus on terminology, method, or conclusions for felids, even at the species level. […]