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Stereotypies and compulsive behaviours - causes and possibilities of prevention

By F. Kuhne

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Despite the fact that livestock animals like companion pets have adapted through domestication to a life with human beings, they have the same demands on their environment as their feral conspecifics. Therefore, animal husbandry means keeping animals under conditions which are appropriate to the respective species. Livestock are known to respond to non-appropriate surroundings in ways which lead to serious physiological and behavioural problems. If attempts to adapt fail, abnormal behaviour patterns may result. Compulsive disorders or stereotypies often results from repeated or continued sub-optimal environmental conditions that prevent animals from exercising highly motivated behaviour. An animal's behaviour is the result of multifaceted interactions: endogenous and exogenous stimuli, past and present features of the environment, phylogenesis and behavioural ontogeny. It is difficult to assess the well-being of animals under current husbandry conditions simply by using compulsive disorders and stereotypes as welfare indicators. Consequently, it is not always possible to decrease the occurrence of abnormal behaviours and improve the well-being of an animal merely by optimising aspects of the given environment afterwards.

Date 2010
Publication Title Praktische Tierarzt
Volume 91
Issue 12
Pages 1088
ISBN/ISSN 0032-681X
Language German
Author Address Klinikum Veterinarmedizin, Justus-Liebig-Universitat Giessen, Frankfurter Str. 104, 35392 Giessen,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Abnormal behavior
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal diseases
  4. Animal husbandry
  5. Animal rights
  6. Animal welfare
  7. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  8. Causality
  9. Developed countries
  10. Development
  11. Deviant behavior
  12. Domestic animals
  13. Environment
  14. Etiology
  15. Europe
  16. Evolution
  17. Germany
  18. Health
  19. Husbandry
  20. Livestock
  21. misbehavior
  22. OECD countries
  23. ontogeny
  24. prevention