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Emotional states and emotional contagion in pigs after exposure to a positive and negative treatment

By Inonge Reimert, Stephanie Fong, T. Bas Rodenburg, J. Elizabeth Bolhuis

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Abstract

After-effects of events that elicit an emotional state on both the animals that experienced these events and on their group members have only scarcely been studied. We investigated effects of a positive vs. negative treatment on the behaviour and emotional state of pigs and their naive pen mates afterwards. Behaviour of 96 pigs was observed in the home pen for 5min on two different days (day 2 and 18), directly after two pigs per pen (N=16) had been subjected to a positive or negative treatment in a test room. On day 2, treated pigs lay down more (30.78±4.07 vs. 15.25±3.74% of time, P=0.01), walked less (17.91±2.82 vs. 26.87±2.32% of time, P=0.02) and explored the pen less (12.30±1.34 vs. 18.29±1.71% of time, P=0.01) after the negative compared to the positive treatment. Naive pigs simultaneously also lay more (45.67±6.00 vs. 18.79±5.88% of time, P=0.003), walked less (6.33±0.80 vs. 12.83±1.74% of time, P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 193
Pages 37-42
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2017.03.009
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Tags
  1. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  2. Emotions
  3. Empathy
  4. Pigs