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A behavioural study of scrapie-affected sheep

By A. M. Healy, A. J. Hanlon, E. Weavers, J. D. Collins, M. L. Doherty

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The behaviour of 12 sheep, suspected of having scrapie, and 12 clinically normal animals from the Irish Republic was observed over a 6-day period [date not given]. Confirmation of the true disease status of the animals was made at postmortem using both histopathological and immunocytochemical methods. Scrapie and control sheep were each divided into three groups of four animals and housed in separate solid-walled pens in the same building. Behaviour was recorded at 60-second intervals over 30 min observation periods conducted from 0800 to 1600 h using instantaneous scan sampling. Seven of the scrapie animals were confirmed to have the disease following postmortem examination and only their data were used for the analysis of the scrapie group. Scrapie sheep spent significantly more time ingesting concentrate feed (P0.05) but less time feeding on hay than the controls (P0.001). The frequency of mastication and bolus regurgitation were lower in scrapie than control sheep (P0.005). Scrapie-affected animals spent less time standing (19

Date 2002
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 79
Issue 2
Pages 89-102
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/S0168-1591(02)00122-3
Language English
Author Address Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary College of Ireland, University College Dublin, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Irish
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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Abnormal behavior
  2. Aggression
  3. Animal behavior
  4. Animal diseases
  5. Animal health and hygiene
  6. Animal nutrition
  7. Animal welfare
  8. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  9. British Isles
  10. Chewing
  11. Developed countries
  12. Deviant behavior
  13. Europe
  14. Feeding behavior
  15. Ireland
  16. Mammals
  17. OECD countries
  18. pathogens
  19. physical activity
  20. prions
  21. regurgitation
  22. Ruminants
  23. rumination
  24. scrapie
  25. Sheep
  26. Social behavior