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Who's afraid of the big bad glove? Testing for fear and its correlates in mink

By Rebecca K. Meagher, Ian Duncan, Allison Bechard, Georgia J. Mason

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Abstract

Fear in farm animals is a welfare and economic concern. For Scandinavian mink, the “stick test” is common for assessing fearfulness: a spatula is inserted into the cage and minks’ immediate responses are noted. However, on Ontario farms, fearfulness in the stick test was very rare and aggressive responses were prevalent, rendering this test poor for testing hypotheses related to fear and welfare. We therefore developed a modified version, the “glove test”, where the finger of a handling glove is inserted into the cage. This proved more sensitive than the stick test for detecting fearfulness in Ontario mink (20% vs. 2.5%, P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 133
Issue 3
Pages 254-264
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2011.05.009
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Tags
  1. Fear
  2. mink
  3. reliability
  4. Reproduction
  5. temperament
  6. validity
  7. welfare