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Tuesday, May 24 • 08:00 - 09:00
Less frequent indicators of poor health and welfare in ruminants

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While studying animal-based measures to be included in the welfare assessment protocols, researchers often identify potential welfare indicators that do not fulfil the standards. This could be due to low prevalence, ambiguous meaning, lack of inter-observer repeatability, or unknown or controversial validity. For example, stereotypies (repetitive, topographically invariant response sequences that appear to lack any ultimate or proximal function) are often detected in intensively kept ruminants but the welfare significance of these is not clear. The most frequent examples of oral stereotypic behaviour in ruminants are “tongue-playing” observed mostly in heifers and cows, and biting at fences, walls or troughs, which are common in sheep, goats and calves. Another example to be presented is cross and inter-sucking that is relatively common in some dairy farms and has profound implications in udder health. Other examples in small ruminants’ farms are certain agonistic behaviours, isolation from the herd, obliviousness etc… Additionally Qualitive Behaviour Assessment (QBA) will be discussed as a potential positive welfare indicator

avatar for Professor George Stilwell

Professor George Stilwell

Assistant Professor, Veterinary Medicine Faculty - Lisbon University
George Stilwell took his degree in 1986 in Lisbon University. He worked as a practitioner for 15 years before joining the university where he now lectures farm animal clinics. George PhD studies were on pain management in cattle. He is a Diplomate by the European College in Bovine... Read More →

Tuesday May 24, 2016 08:00 - 09:00 ACST
City Room 3 Adelaide Convention Centre