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Measuring Stress & Welfare

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Carrie Ijichi

on 4 June 2018

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Transcript of Measuring Stress & Welfare

Revising the HPA axis and its effects
Cognitive Bias
Orphaned seal pups in rehabilitation are often housed alone.
Case Study
Measuring Stress & Welfare
Lecture B
Learning Outcomes for today
Understand how the bodies natural responses to stress can be used to measure animal welfare
Last time we looked at...
What stress
How to
a stress response
What the bodies
behavioural and physiological responses
to stress are
negative consequences
of long-term stress
Increase in HR and strength of contractions, dilates blood vessels to tissue needing more oxygen, constricts blood vessels to the gut and kidney
Dilates bronchioles to reduce resistance, increases depth and rate of breathing
Provides glucose from liver and muscle cells for energy release to body & brain
Increases arousal & alertness, inhibits non-essential functions such as appetite
Takes nutrients away from bone growth and formation to combat stress
Suppresses immune function and reduces inflammation
Reading for this week
Domestic Animal Behaviour & Welfare (Broom & Fraser, 2007)
Chapter 6 Welfare Assessment
Animal Welfare (Appleby et al. 2011)
Chapter 10.3.3 - 10.5
Welfare Measurement
We shouldn't make
about how animals feel because
their needs are often not the same as ours
This way we can make
informed decisions
about what matters to them and what we should change or provide.
Welfare assessment doesn't just explore what causes stress, it can also assess what
benefits animals
fulfill their needs
Therefore, so we need to find ways to
objectively "ask"
what causes them stress or pleasure.
Normally, they would be with their mother but also many other pups and adults that come and go.
Since isolation is not natural, it may cause pups stress which is unethical but might also limit their rehabilitation progress (leaving them vulnerable to infection, stunted growth etc.)
How would you ask whether isolation is causing the pups stress?
Hint - you might want to make a comparison?!
Behavioural Welfare Measures
Physiological Measures of Welfare
Demand studies
Preference Tests
Immune Response
to Challenge
Physical Measures
Injury Scoring & Lameness
Would you rather have this or that?
Thermal Imaging
Heart rate is not always very reliable but evidence suggests that variability reduces with stress.
Comparing baseline levels to during stress can indicate whether the experience induces a stress response.
HR is affected by physical exertion too
Also, you can ask how generally stressed an animal is using a cortisol challenge.
Core rye temperature in ungulates, dogs, cats etc
Challenge the body with a
pathogen and measure its
Stressed individuals will have a compromised
Disease & Growth
An experiment - shout out when you see the happy face amongst this group...
When we are
, we become more
This makes us
attend to negative cues more than positive ones
makes us more likely to
interpret neutral cues as threatening
- Train using a high & low tone then test them on intermediate tones
- Train using black & white then test on grey shades
- Train in two locations far apart then test in increments in between
The more
a resource, the more you will
for it.
Using this principle, you can
an animal how much a
resource is
to them.
Resource - something with a worth
food types or amount
enriched vs. barren housing
Cost - the price
weighted barrier
number of level presses
Animals in pain show a preference for water
with non-rewarding pain relief so we can ask,
are you in pain?
BUT, animals (like children) don't always choose what's good for them!
Behavioural Observations
How active is the animal?

Are they expressing a healthy range of behaviour?
Are they displaying any abnormal behaviour?
BUT, it varies diurnally and due to excitement.
Body Scoring
Explain the impact that stress, and the animal's response to stress, have on animal welfare
Stewart et al, ANZCCART (2008)

von Borell et al, Physiology & Behaviour (2007)
Mormede et al, Pysiology & Behaviour (2007)
Kanitz et al, Hormones & Behaviour (2014)
Cronin et al, AABS (1991)
(Mills et al 2016; Foster & Ijichi, 2017)
Stewart et al,
Broom, AABS (2006)
Often used in an
applied setting
such as on farm or welfare cases
Increasingly used for
"applied research"
- Rushen, AABS (2003)
Harding & Mendl, Nature (2004)
Mendl et al, AABS (2009)
Stamp Dawkins, Behavioural & Brain Sciences (1990)
- 10th ISES Conference 2014
Stamps Dawkin, Behavioural & Brain Sciences (1990)
Weary et al, AABS (2006)
Too active and the animal may be frightened or stressed...
Too inactive may indicate depression...
Beattie et al, Animal Science (2000)
Noonan et al, AABS (1994)
(Squibb et al, 2018, Lush & Ijichi, 2018)
Full transcript