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Opioid control of behaviour in sheep: Effects of morphine and naloxone on food intake, activity and the affective state

By Else Verbeek, Drewe Ferguson, Patrick Quinquet de Monjour, Caroline Lee

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Abstract

The affective states of animals are important determinants of welfare, yet they are poorly understood. Here we investigate opioid involvement in the regulation of behaviours that may be indicative of the arousal and valence components of affective states in sheep. Ewes treated with sterile water (C), a low or high dose of the opioid agonist morphine (M1, M2) or opioid antagonist naloxone (N1, N2; n=8 per treatment) were exposed to a range of different situations, including availability of concentrate feed, grazing in a paddock, novel object test and isolation box test; behavioural indicators, activity and ear postures were assessed. Morphine treated ewes crossed more zones (78.1±5.4 for M1, P=0.025 and 99.3±5.4 for M2, P=0.01) compared to C ewes (37.3±5.4) and vocalized more (49.9±6.5 for M1, P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 142
Issue 1
Pages 18-29
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2012.09.001
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Tags
  1. Affective states
  2. Arousal
  3. Sheep
  4. welfare