Rapid animal welfare assessment: an archaeological approach
Schork, I and Young, RJ 2014, 'Rapid animal welfare assessment: an archaeological approach' , Biology Letters, 10 , p. 20140390.
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The welfare of an individual depends on its capacity to overcome suboptimal conditions in its environment; otherwise, its physical and psychological health becomes compromised. A situation that clearly indicates lack of control of the environment is the expression of abnormal behaviours, such as stereotypies. This study aimed to verify the well-being of police horses using a new rapid form of welfare assessment: an archaeological approach. To this end, we sampled and quantified marks found on the stables, deposited as a result of abnormal behaviour. We cross-referenced these physical marks with veterinary records of diseases, such as colic, known to be associated with stress. A total of 46 horseswere sampled and the results showed a significant medium-strength, positive correlation between bite mark frequency on stable doors and the incidence of colic. Aweak significant positive correlation was found between length of scratch marks (from pawing) and the incidence of lameness.We conclude that these marks reflect the accumulated expression of abnormal behaviour and can provide rapid insight into the welfare of individual animals.
|Themes:||Built and Human Environment|
|Schools:||Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Biology Letters|
|Publisher:||Royal Society, The|
|Funders:||CAPES, CNPq, FAPEMIG|
|Depositing User:||Professor Robert Young|
|Date Deposited:||20 Jan 2015 10:22|
|Last Modified:||21 Mar 2016 08:49|
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