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Full-Text Articles in Organisms

Reducing Food Scarcity: The Benefits Of Urban Farming, S.A. Claudell, Emilio Mejia Dec 2023

Reducing Food Scarcity: The Benefits Of Urban Farming, S.A. Claudell, Emilio Mejia

Journal of Nonprofit Innovation

Urban farming can enhance the lives of communities and help reduce food scarcity. This paper presents a conceptual prototype of an efficient urban farming community that can be scaled for a single apartment building or an entire community across all global geoeconomics regions, including densely populated cities and rural, developing towns and communities. When deployed in coordination with smart crop choices, local farm support, and efficient transportation then the result isn’t just sustainability, but also increasing fresh produce accessibility, optimizing nutritional value, eliminating the use of ‘forever chemicals’, reducing transportation costs, and fostering global environmental benefits.

Imagine Doris, who is …


The Potential For Dickeya Dianthicola To Be Vectored By Two Common Insect Pests Of Potatoes, Jonas K. Insinga Dec 2019

The Potential For Dickeya Dianthicola To Be Vectored By Two Common Insect Pests Of Potatoes, Jonas K. Insinga

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Dickeya dianthicola (Samson) causing blackleg and soft rot was first detected in potatoes grown in Maine in 2014. Previous work has suggested that insects, particularly aphids, may be able to vector bacteria in this genus between plants, but no conclusive work has been done to confirm this theory. In order to determine whether insect-mediated transmission is likely to occur in potato fields, two model potato pests common in Maine were used: the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decimlineata Say) and the green peach aphids (Myzus persicae Sulzer). Olfactometry and recruitment experiments evaluated if either insect discriminates between infected and …


Effect Of Macrograzers (Campostoma Spp. And Faxonius Spp.) On Periphyton In Ozark Streams With Considerations Given To Macrograzer Biomass, Phosphorus, And Season: Mensurative And Manipulative Studies, Kayla R. Sayre Dec 2018

Effect Of Macrograzers (Campostoma Spp. And Faxonius Spp.) On Periphyton In Ozark Streams With Considerations Given To Macrograzer Biomass, Phosphorus, And Season: Mensurative And Manipulative Studies, Kayla R. Sayre

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Nutrient and benthic algal biomass relationships can guide numeric nutrient criteria development in lotic systems. However, herbivorous macrograzers may confound this relationship by reducing the slope of the positive relationship between nutrients and periphyton biomass in streams. I conducted a mensurative field study to determine if stoneroller and crayfish abundance related to algal biomass at varying nutrient concentrations and manipulated macrograzer presence with electrical exclosures in streams to examine macrograzer effects on algal biomass and understand whether these effects on periphyton varied with total phosphorus (TP) or season. Macrograzer density was quantified across a TP gradient (n=15 streams; range = …


Goats Favour Personal Over Social Information In An Experimental Foraging Task, Luigi Baciadonna, Alan G. Mcelligott, Elodie F. Briefer Sep 2016

Goats Favour Personal Over Social Information In An Experimental Foraging Task, Luigi Baciadonna, Alan G. Mcelligott, Elodie F. Briefer

Elodie Briefer, PhD

Animals can use their environments more efficiently by selecting particular sources of information (personal or social), according to specific situations. Group-living animals may benefit from gaining information based on the behaviour of other individuals. Indeed, social information is assumed to be faster and less costly to use than personal information, thus increasing foraging efficiency. However, when food sources change seasonally or are randomly distributed, individual information may become more reliable than social information. The aim of this study was to test the use of conflicting personal versus social information in goats (Capra hircus), in a foraging task.We found that goats …


Rescued Goats At A Sanctuary Display Positive Mood After Former Neglect, Elodie F. Briefer, Alan G. Mcelligott Sep 2016

Rescued Goats At A Sanctuary Display Positive Mood After Former Neglect, Elodie F. Briefer, Alan G. Mcelligott

Elodie Briefer, PhD

Moods influence cognitive processes in that people in positive moods expect more positive events to occur and less negative ones (“optimistic bias”), whereas the opposite happens for people in negative moods (“pessimistic bias”). The evidence for an effect of mood on cognitive bias is also increasing in animals, suggesting that measures of optimism and pessimism could provide useful indicators of animal welfare. For obvious ethical reasons, serious poor treatments cannot be easily replicated in large mammals in order to study their long-term effects on moods. In this study, we tested the long-term effects (>2 years) of prior poor welfare …


Emotions In Goats: Mapping Physiological, Behavioural And Vocal Profiles, Elodie F. Briefer, Federico Tettamanti, Alan G. Mcelligott Sep 2016

Emotions In Goats: Mapping Physiological, Behavioural And Vocal Profiles, Elodie F. Briefer, Federico Tettamanti, Alan G. Mcelligott

Elodie Briefer, PhD

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 different ways. It is thus crucial to assess their effects on biological parameters simultaneously, so that accurate indicators of arousal and valence can be identified. To find convenient and noninvasive tools to assess emotions in goats, Capra hircus, we measured physiological, behavioural and vocal responses …


Social Knowledge, Keith Jensen, Joan B. Silk, Kristin Andrews, Redouan Bshary, Dorothy L. Cheney, Nathan Emery, Charlotte K. Hemelrijk, Kay Holekamp, Derek C. Penn, Josef Perner, Christoph Teufel Sep 2016

Social Knowledge, Keith Jensen, Joan B. Silk, Kristin Andrews, Redouan Bshary, Dorothy L. Cheney, Nathan Emery, Charlotte K. Hemelrijk, Kay Holekamp, Derek C. Penn, Josef Perner, Christoph Teufel

Kristin Andrews, PhD

The social milieus of animals can be complex, ranging from almost completely asocial to monogamous pairs (no mean feat) to entire societies. To adapt to a constantly shifting environment of individuals striving toward their own goals, animals appear to have evolved specialized cognitive abilities. As appealing and intuitive as the idea of social cognition is, just defi ning it is diffi cult. We attempted to delineate social cognition, speculate on its adaptive value, and come to an understanding of what we mean when we talk about complexity. Transitive inference was often brought up as an example of a cognitive ability …


Play And The Evolution Of Fairness: A Game Theory Model, Lee Alan Dugatkin, Marc Bekoff Sep 2016

Play And The Evolution Of Fairness: A Game Theory Model, Lee Alan Dugatkin, Marc Bekoff

Marc Bekoff, PhD

Bekoff [J. Consci. Stud. 8 (2001) 81] argued that mammalian social play is a useful behavioral phenotype on which to concentrate in order to learn more about the evolution of fairness. Here, we build a game theoretical model designed to formalize some of the ideas laid out by Bekoff, and to examine whether ‘fair’ strategies can in fact be evolutionarily stable. The models we present examine fairness at two different developmental stages during an individual’s ontogeny, and hence we create four strategies--fair at time 1/fair at time 2, not fair at time 1/not fair at time 2, fair at time …


Wild Justice And Fair Play: Cooperation, Forgiveness, And Morality In Animals, Marc Bekoff Sep 2016

Wild Justice And Fair Play: Cooperation, Forgiveness, And Morality In Animals, Marc Bekoff

Marc Bekoff, PhD

In this paper I argue that we can learn much about ‘wild justice’ and the evolutionary origins of social morality – behaving fairly – by studying social play behavior in group-living animals, and that interdisciplinary cooperation will help immensely. In our efforts to learn more about the evolution of morality we need to broaden our comparative research to include animals other than non-human primates. If one is a good Darwinian, it is premature to claim that only humans can be empathic and moral beings. By asking the question ‘What is it like to be another animal?’ we can discover rules …


Wild Justice Redux: What We Know About Social Justice In Animals And Why It Matters, Jessica Pierce, Marc Bekoff Sep 2016

Wild Justice Redux: What We Know About Social Justice In Animals And Why It Matters, Jessica Pierce, Marc Bekoff

Marc Bekoff, PhD

Social justice in animals is beginning to attract interest in a broad range of academic disciplines. Justice is an important area of study because it may help explain social dynamics among individuals living in tightly- knit groups, as well as social interactions among individuals who only occasionally meet. In this paper, we provide an overview of what is currently known about social justice in animals and offer an agenda for further research. We provide working definitions of key terms, outline some central research questions, and explore some of the challenges of studying social justice in animals, as well as the …


The Evolution Of Animal Play, Emotions, And Social Morality: On Science, Theology, Spirituality, Personhood, And Love, Marc Bekoff Sep 2016

The Evolution Of Animal Play, Emotions, And Social Morality: On Science, Theology, Spirituality, Personhood, And Love, Marc Bekoff

Marc Bekoff, PhD

My essay first takes me into the arena in which science, spirituality, and theology meet. I comment on the enterprise of science and how scientists could well benefit from reciprocal interactions with theologians and religious leaders. Next, I discuss the evolution of social morality and the ways in which various aspects of social play behavior relate to the notion of “behaving fairly.” The contributions of spiritual and religious perspectives are important in our coming to a fuller understanding of the evolution of morality. I go on to discuss animal emotions, the concept of personhood, and how our special relationships with …


Behavioral Ecology Of Coyotes: Social Organization, Rearing Patterns, Space Use, And Resource Defense, Marc Bekoff, Michael C. Wells Sep 2016

Behavioral Ecology Of Coyotes: Social Organization, Rearing Patterns, Space Use, And Resource Defense, Marc Bekoff, Michael C. Wells

Marc Bekoff, PhD

Two groups of coyotes in which genealogical relationships were known were studied in the Grand Teton National Park, outside of Jackson, Wyoming, U.S.A., from 1977-1982. One group, a pack consisting of parents and some non-dispersing and non-breeding offspring, defended a territory and the food (mainly elk carrion) contained within it, especially during winter, and also had helpers at den sites (5 of 6 were males). The other group, a mated resident pair, all of whose young dispersed during the first year of life, did not defend a territory and never had helpers at dens. Delayed dispersal and retention of some …


An Observational Study Of Coyote (Canis Latrans) Scent-Marking And Territoriality In Yellowstone National Park, Joseph J. Allen, Marc Bekoff, Robert L. Crabtree Sep 2016

An Observational Study Of Coyote (Canis Latrans) Scent-Marking And Territoriality In Yellowstone National Park, Joseph J. Allen, Marc Bekoff, Robert L. Crabtree

Marc Bekoff, PhD

Free-ranging coyotes (Canis latrans) living in neighboring packs were observed in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, from Jan. to May 1997. Through direct observation, we recorded the location of coyote scent marks and information regarding the identity of the marking animal. Patterns of scent-marking were then analyzed spatially and demographically. All of the evidence from the present study supports a strong relationship between scent-marking and territoriality in these coyotes, and all predictions were met. A preponderance of scent marks was found in the periphery of territories. Most of those marks were raised-leg urinations (RLUs) and forward-lean urinations …


Social Ecology And Behavior Of Coyotes, Marc Bekoff, Michael C. Wells Sep 2016

Social Ecology And Behavior Of Coyotes, Marc Bekoff, Michael C. Wells

Marc Bekoff, PhD

Behavioral patterns are subject to natural selection and behavior like any other attributes of an animal, which contributes to individual survival. The chapter summarizes a long-term study of coyotes that was conducted in the Grand Teton National Park, in the northwest comer of Wyoming. There is remarkable agreement in the results stemming from a limited number of field projects concerned with the social behavior and behavioral ecology of coyotes, and some general principles concerning social ecology, scent marking, predatory behavior, time budgeting, and reproductive and care-giving patterns can be developed that are applicable not only to coyotes but to many …


The Development Of Social Interaction, Play, And Metacommunication In Mammals: An Ethological Perspective, Marc Bekoff Sep 2016

The Development Of Social Interaction, Play, And Metacommunication In Mammals: An Ethological Perspective, Marc Bekoff

Marc Bekoff, PhD

Analysis of the dynamics of the ontogeny of social interaction is of critical importance in order that behavioral development may be comprehended in its own right, and the relationship between infant and adult behavior understood. In this review, general concepts of behavioral development in mammals are discussed and analyzed, and the many variables that are involved are considered. When it is impossible to control or observe the social interaction of the developing organism in its natural environment, captive subjects should be used. There is increasing evidence that results obtained with the latter are related to social organization observed in the …


Mammalian Play: Training For The Unexpected, Marek Špinka, Ruth C. Newberry, Marc Bekoff Sep 2016

Mammalian Play: Training For The Unexpected, Marek Špinka, Ruth C. Newberry, Marc Bekoff

Marc Bekoff, PhD

In this review, we present a new conceptual framework for the study of play behavior, a hitherto puzzling array of seemingly purposeless and unrelated behavioral elements that are recognizable as play throughout the mammalian lineage. Our major new functional hypothesis is that play enables animals to develop flexible kinematic and emotional responses to unexpected events in which they experience a sudden loss of control. Specifically, we propose that play functions to increase the versatility of movements used to recover from sudden shock such as loss of balance and falling over, and to enhance the ability of animals to cope emotionally …


Fallow Deer Polyandry Is Related To Fertilization Insurance, Elodie F. Briefer, Mary E. Farrell, Thomas J. Hayden, Alan G. Mcelligott Aug 2016

Fallow Deer Polyandry Is Related To Fertilization Insurance, Elodie F. Briefer, Mary E. Farrell, Thomas J. Hayden, Alan G. Mcelligott

Elodie Briefer, PhD

Polyandry is widespread, but its adaptive significance is not fully understood. The hypotheses used to explain its persistence have rarely been tested in the wild and particularly for large, long-lived mammals. We investigated polyandry in fallow deer, using female mating and reproduction data gathered over 10 years. Females of this species produce a single offspring (monotocous) and can live to 23 years old. Overall, polyandry was evident in 12 % of females and the long-term, consistent proportion of polyandrous females observed, suggests that monandry and polyandry represent alternative mating strategies. Females were more likely to be polyandrous when their first …


Behavior Of A Solitary Sociable Female Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops Truncatus) Off The Coast Of Kent, Southeast England, Sonja Eisfeld, Mark P. Simmonds, Laura R. Stansfield Jul 2016

Behavior Of A Solitary Sociable Female Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops Truncatus) Off The Coast Of Kent, Southeast England, Sonja Eisfeld, Mark P. Simmonds, Laura R. Stansfield

Mark P. Simmonds, OBE

This article provides a report of the behavior of a solitary sociable dolphin studied on the southeast coast of England in 2007. This is the first study of its kind in which behavior of such a nonhuman animal was systematically studied. By the time of this study, this young female was highly interactive with people in the water. People accompanied the dolphin for 18.4% of the 100 hr of observation, and their presence changed her behavior. The study recorded 39 different behaviors; feeding and resting behaviors declined in frequency in the presence of people. In addition, the dolphin exhibited behavior …


Resolving Animal Distress And Pain: Principles And Examples Of Good Practice In Various Fields Of Research, Alicia Karas, Matthew C. Leach, Karl A. Andrutis, Kathleen Conlee, John P. Gluck, Andrew N. Rowan, Martin L. Stephens Jul 2016

Resolving Animal Distress And Pain: Principles And Examples Of Good Practice In Various Fields Of Research, Alicia Karas, Matthew C. Leach, Karl A. Andrutis, Kathleen Conlee, John P. Gluck, Andrew N. Rowan, Martin L. Stephens

Martin Stephens, PhD

Pain and distress are central topics in legislation, regulations, and standards regarding the use of animals in research. However, in practice, pain has received greatly increased attention in recent years, while attention to distress has lagged far behind, especially for distress that is not induced by pain. A contributing factor is that there is less information readily available on distress, including practical information on its recognition, assessment and alleviation.

This chapter attempts to help fill that void by reversing the usual pattern and giving greater attention to distress than to pain. In addition, we also bypass the pain versus distress …


Use Of Qualitative Behaviour Assessment As An Indicator Of Welfare In Donkeys, Michela Minero, Emanuela Dalla Costa, Francesca Dai, Leigh Anne Margaret Murray, Elisabetta Canali, Françoise Wemelsfelder Jun 2016

Use Of Qualitative Behaviour Assessment As An Indicator Of Welfare In Donkeys, Michela Minero, Emanuela Dalla Costa, Francesca Dai, Leigh Anne Margaret Murray, Elisabetta Canali, Françoise Wemelsfelder

Françoise Wemelsfelder, PhD

One of the objectives of the Animal Welfare Indicators project was to develop animal-based indicators to assess donkey welfare, including their emotional state. This study aimed to develop a fixed rating scale of Qualitative Behaviour Assessment (QBA) for donkeys, to evaluate the inter-observer reliability when applied on-farm, and to assess whether the QBA outcomes correlate to other welfare measures.

A fixed list of 16 descriptors was designed on the basis of a consultation in a focus group. The fixed list was then used by four trained observers to score nine 2 min videos of groups of donkeys owned by six …


On-Farm Qualitative Behaviour Assessment Of Dairy Goats In Different Housing Conditions, Lilia Grosso, Monica Battini, Françoise Wemelsfelder, Sara Barbieri, Michela Minero, Emanuela Dalla Costa, Silvana Mattiello Jun 2016

On-Farm Qualitative Behaviour Assessment Of Dairy Goats In Different Housing Conditions, Lilia Grosso, Monica Battini, Françoise Wemelsfelder, Sara Barbieri, Michela Minero, Emanuela Dalla Costa, Silvana Mattiello

Françoise Wemelsfelder, PhD

This study reports the results of the first investigation on the use of Qualitative Behaviour Assessment (QBA) in dairy goats, using a fixed-list of descriptors specifically developed for this species. It aimed to verify whether QBA can be reliably used by observers with different backgrounds to differentiate between the emotional states of goats kept under different environmental conditions. Two trained observers simultaneously assessed 16 dairy goat farms (8 “Housed” (H) farms, where animals were observed in free stall pens, and 8 “Pasture” (P) farms, where animals were observed in open ranges), using a list of 16 QBA descriptors that were …


The Sensitivity Of Qba Assessments Of Sheep Behavioural Expression To Variations In Visual Or Verbal Information Provided To Observers, P. A. Fleming, S. L. Wickham, C. A. Stockman, E. Verbeek, L. Matthews, F. Wemelsfelder Jun 2016

The Sensitivity Of Qba Assessments Of Sheep Behavioural Expression To Variations In Visual Or Verbal Information Provided To Observers, P. A. Fleming, S. L. Wickham, C. A. Stockman, E. Verbeek, L. Matthews, F. Wemelsfelder

Françoise Wemelsfelder, PhD

Qualitative behavioural assessment (QBA) is based on observers’ ability to capture the dynamic complexity of an animal’s demeanour as it interacts with the environment, in terms such as tense, anxious or relaxed. Sensitivity to context is part of QBA’s integrative capacity and discriminatory power; however, when not properly managed it can also be a source of undesirable variability and bias. This study investigated the sensitivity of QBA to variations in the visual or verbal information provided to observers, using free-choice profiling (FCP) methodology. FCP allows observers to generate their own descriptive terms for animal demeanour, against which each animal’s expressions …


Socialising Piglets In Lactation Positively Affects Their Post-Weaning Behaviour, Talia Morgan, John Pluske, David Miller, Teresa Collins, Anne L. Barnes, Françoise Wemelsfelder, Patricia A. Fleming Jun 2016

Socialising Piglets In Lactation Positively Affects Their Post-Weaning Behaviour, Talia Morgan, John Pluske, David Miller, Teresa Collins, Anne L. Barnes, Françoise Wemelsfelder, Patricia A. Fleming

Françoise Wemelsfelder, PhD

Although commercial farrowing sheds keep individual litters separated, previous studies have suggested that housing systems that allow socialisation of piglets pre-weaning can reduce aggression after weaning. This study tested whether pigs socialised with non-littermates pre-weaning would show less aggression during mixing at weaning (when piglets are taken from their sows and mixed in group housing), and whether socialisation influenced the time budgets or behavioural expression of piglets at weaning. In total, 353 piglets were followed from birth through to one week after weaning. Piglets from 24 sows were allowed to socialise in groups of four litters (‘socialised’ treatment group) from …


Signs Of Mood And Anxiety Disorders In Chimpanzees, Hope Ferdowsian, Debra Durham, Charles Kimwele, Godelieve Kranendonk, Emily Otali, Timothy Akugizibwe, J. B. Mulcahy, Lilly Ajarova, Cassie Meré Johnson Jun 2016

Signs Of Mood And Anxiety Disorders In Chimpanzees, Hope Ferdowsian, Debra Durham, Charles Kimwele, Godelieve Kranendonk, Emily Otali, Timothy Akugizibwe, J. B. Mulcahy, Lilly Ajarova, Cassie Meré Johnson

Debra Durham, PhD

Background: In humans, traumatic experiences are sometimes followed by psychiatric disorders. In chimpanzees, studies have demonstrated an association between traumatic events and the emergence of behavioral disturbances resembling posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. We addressed the following central question: Do chimpanzees develop posttraumatic symptoms, in the form of abnormal behaviors, which cluster into syndromes similar to those described in human mood and anxiety disorders?

Methodology/Principal Findings: In phase 1 of this study, we accessed case reports of chimpanzees who had been reportedly subjected to traumatic events, such as maternal separation, social isolation, experimentation, or similar experiences. We applied and …


Vigilance And Predation Risk In Gunnison’S Prairie Dogs (Cynomys Gunnisoni), J. L. Verdolin, C. N. Slobodchikoff Jun 2016

Vigilance And Predation Risk In Gunnison’S Prairie Dogs (Cynomys Gunnisoni), J. L. Verdolin, C. N. Slobodchikoff

Con Slobodchikoff, PhD

Group living in animals is believed to confer advantages related to a decrease in predation risk and an energetic trade-off between vigilance and foraging efficiency. Eight Gunnison’s prairie dog, Cynomys gunnisoni, colonies in Flagstaff, Arizona (elevation 2300 m), were studied from April to August 2000 to examine the adaptive significance of colonial living in the context of predation risk and antipredator behavioral strategies. Each colony was sampled once every 10 days for a period of 3 h. Upright and quadrepedal vigilance was recorded using scan samples. All predation events were recorded. Results suggest that vigilant behavior in Gunnison’s prairie dogs …


Resources, Not Kinship, Determine Social Patterning In The Territorial Gunnison’S Prairie Dog (Cynomys Gunnisoni), J. L. Verdolin, C. N. Slobodchikoff Jun 2016

Resources, Not Kinship, Determine Social Patterning In The Territorial Gunnison’S Prairie Dog (Cynomys Gunnisoni), J. L. Verdolin, C. N. Slobodchikoff

Con Slobodchikoff, PhD

In this study, we describe patterns of relatedness in Gunnison’s prairie dog (Cynomys gunnisoni) social groups. Kin selection is often cited as a mechanism for the evolution and maintenance of social groups, and Gunnison’s prairie dog females are occasionally described as being strongly philopatric. Overall, randomization tests revealed that females within territorial groups were not more closely related to each other than expected at random. A similar pattern was found among males and between males and females, indicating that there was no sex-biased dispersal occurring in these populations. Ecological variables measured in this study, such as food abundance and food …


Male Territoriality In A Social Sciurid, Cynomys Gunnisoni: What Do Patterns Of Paternity Tell Us?, J. L. Verdolin, C. N. Slobodchikoff Jun 2016

Male Territoriality In A Social Sciurid, Cynomys Gunnisoni: What Do Patterns Of Paternity Tell Us?, J. L. Verdolin, C. N. Slobodchikoff

Con Slobodchikoff, PhD

In many social sciurids, male territoriality confers significant mating advantages. We evaluated resident male paternity in Gunnison’s prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni), a colonial ground-dwelling sciurid, where males and females cooperatively defend territories. Contrary to findings reported for other social sciurids, our results show that territorial resident males do not gain significant reproductive advantages. Resident males sired the majority of offspring from their respective territories only 10.5% of the time. A single non-resident male sired equal or greater number of offspring than any single resident male 71.2% of the time. While adult males were more likely to sire a greater number …


Qualitative Behavioural Assessment Of The Motivation For Feed In Sheep In Response To Altered Body Condition Score, C. A. Stockman, T. Collins, A. L. Barnes, D. Miller, S. L. Wickham, E. Verbeek, L. Matthews, D. Ferguson, F. Wemelsfelder, P. A. Fleming Jun 2016

Qualitative Behavioural Assessment Of The Motivation For Feed In Sheep In Response To Altered Body Condition Score, C. A. Stockman, T. Collins, A. L. Barnes, D. Miller, S. L. Wickham, E. Verbeek, L. Matthews, D. Ferguson, F. Wemelsfelder, P. A. Fleming

Françoise Wemelsfelder, PhD

Qualitative behavioural assessment (QBA) has been used to quantify the expressive behaviour of animals, and operant tests have been used to quantify measures of behavioural need. In this study we compared measures of behavioural expression and behaviour in operant tests. We examined the behavioural expression of pregnant ewes of body condition score (BCS) 2 and 3. The ewes were exposed to a feed motivation test in which they received a food reward. Pregnant ewes (48–70 days gestation) were assessed during a food motivation test after they had been maintained at BCS 3 (n = 7) or given a decreasing plane …


The Scientific Validity Of Subjective Concepts In Models Of Animal Welfare, Françoise Wemelsfelder Jun 2016

The Scientific Validity Of Subjective Concepts In Models Of Animal Welfare, Françoise Wemelsfelder

Françoise Wemelsfelder, PhD

This paper takes a closer look at the subjectivity/objectivity relationship, as it plays a role in the science of animal welfare. It argues that subjective, experiential states in animals such as well-being and suffering are, contrary to what is often assumed, open to empirical observation and scientific assessment. The presumably purely private, inaccessible nature of such states is not an inherent property of these states, but derives from their misguided conception as ‘causal objects’ in mechanistic models of behaviour. This inevitably endows subjective experience with a ‘hidden’ status. However, subjective experience should be approached on its own conceptual grounds, i.e. …


Inter-Observer Reliability Of Qualitative Behavioural Assessments Of Sheep, Clare Phythian, Eleni Michalopoulou, Jennifer Duncan, Françoise Wemelsfelder Jun 2016

Inter-Observer Reliability Of Qualitative Behavioural Assessments Of Sheep, Clare Phythian, Eleni Michalopoulou, Jennifer Duncan, Françoise Wemelsfelder

Françoise Wemelsfelder, PhD

Qualitative Behaviour Assessment (QBA) is whole-animal methodology that assesses the expressive qualities of animal demeanour using descriptors such as ‘relaxed’, ‘anxious’ or ‘content’. This study aimed to examine the inter-observer reliability of 12 fixed-list QBA descriptors for sheep that had been generated in a previous Free-Choice Profiling study by experienced animal welfare inspectors, based on the same video footage used in the current study. The 12 QBA terms were scored by two different assessor groups consisting of two veterinary science students and four veterinary surgeons (Group 1), and seven farm assurance inspectors (Group 2). The two assessor groups met and …