The HABRI Central Team continues to monitor emerging research and information about the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit our collection of resources, https://habricentral.org/features/covid-19
Who's afraid of the big bad glove? Testing for fear and its correlates in mink
Contributor(s):: Meagher, Rebecca K., Duncan, Ian, Bechard, Allison, Mason, Georgia J.
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...
Playful handling by caretakers reduces fear of humans in the laboratory rat
Contributor(s):: Cloutier, Sylvie, Panksepp, Jaak, Newberry, Ruth C.
Handling of laboratory rats can increase physiological and emotional stress, leading to a fearful relationship with humans. We hypothesized that the affective quality of handling techniques used during routine care influences the animals’ fear of humans. We assessed responses of male...
The influence of access to aerial perches on fearfulness, social behaviour and production parameters in free-range laying hens
Contributor(s):: Donaldson, Caroline Julie, O’Connell, Niamh Elizabeth
The aim of this trial was to determine the influence of aerial perches on welfare and production parameters in free-range laying hens. Five commercial free-range houses, each containing between 7000 and 8000 birds, were used. Each house and range area was split in half to create two treatments....
Does reduction of fearfulness tend to reduce pessimistic-like judgment in lambs?
Contributor(s):: Destrez, Alexandra, Deiss, Véronique, Belzung, Catherine, Lee, Caroline, Boissy, Alain
Recent studies emphasize the role of interactions between emotions and judgment of environment to better assess affective state in animals. Diazepam offers a way to pharmacologically manipulate the affective state. This drug is generally used to reduce negative affective states, mainly by...
Does learning performance in horses relate to fearfulness, baseline stress hormone, and social rank?
Contributor(s):: Christensen, Janne Winther, Ahrendt, Line Peerstrup, Lintrup, Randi, Gaillard, Charlotte, Palme, Rupert, Malmkvist, Jens
The ability of horses to learn and remember new tasks is fundamentally important for their use by humans. Fearfulness may, however, interfere with learning, because stimuli in the environment can overshadow signals from the rider or handler. In addition, prolonged high levels of stress hormones...
Consistency and stability of behavioural fear responses of heifers to different fear-eliciting situations involving humans
Contributor(s):: Mazurek, Mickael, McGee, Mark, Crowe, Mark A., Prendiville, Daniel J., Boivin, Xavier, Earley, Bernadette
This study investigated the consistency and stability of fear responses in housed beef heifers over time using three behavioural tests. The flight (time to join peers and avoidance distance), docility (isolation and handling) and fear (4 phases; responses of isolated heifers in (i), the absence...
Behavioural fear and heart rate responses of horses after exposure to novel objects: Effects of habituation
Contributor(s):: Leiner, Lisa, Fendt, Markus
The emotion fear promotes the fitness of wild animals. In a farm environment, exaggerated fear, e.g., in horses, can cause several problems. Therefore, knowledge about fear in horses helps to prevent or to handle potential fear-inducing situations. The present study investigated which behavioural...
The basic neuroscience of emotional experiences in mammals: The case of subcortical FEAR circuitry and implications for clinical anxiety
Contributor(s):: Panksepp, Jaak, Fuchs, Thomas, Iacobucci, Paolo
Evidence from behavioral neuroscience strongly suggests that the unconditional (innate) capacity to experience fear, along with fear-typical patterns of autonomic and behavioral arousal, arise from specific systems of the brain—the most prominent being a FEAR circuit which courses between the...
Investigating risk factors that predict a dog's fear during veterinary consultations
Contributor(s):: Edwards, P. T., Hazel, S. J., Browne, M., Serpell, J. A., McArthur, M. L., Smith, B. P.
Personality is associated with feeding behavior and performance in dairy calves
Contributor(s):: Neave, H. W., Costa, J. H. C., Weary, D. M., von Keyserlingk, M. A. G.
Associations between qualitative behaviour assessments and measures of leg health, fear and mortality in Norwegian broiler chicken flocks
Contributor(s):: Muri, Karianne, Stubsjøen, Solveig Marie, Vasdal, Guro, Moe, Randi Oppermann, Granquist, Erik Georg
Qualitative behavioural assessments (QBA) is an animal-based welfare measure that has been included in several on-farm welfare assessment protocols, including the Welfare Quality® (WQ) protocol for poultry. However, there is a scarcity of information about how it relates to other animal-based...
Risk factors associated with stranger-directed aggression in domestic dogs
Contributor(s):: Flint, Hannah E., Coe, Jason B., Serpell, James A., Pearl, David L., Niel, Lee
Aggression in dogs is a safety concern both for humans and animals, and can lead to decreased animal welfare in affected dogs due to potential abuse, neglect, relinquishment or euthanasia. We examined risk factors associated with stranger-directed aggression in dogs using the previously...
Behavioural changes induced by handling at different timeframes in Lusitano yearling horses
Contributor(s):: Pereira-Figueiredo, Inês, Costa, Helena, Carro, Juan, Stilwell, George, Rosa, Ilda
Recent interest has focused on the advantage of intensely handling young horses, as a good tool for improving emotional reactivity and thence trainability. Its effectiveness remains controversial, suggesting it might depend on the right timeframe to do so. The present study aimed to evaluate the...
Behavioural testing based breeding policy reduces the prevalence of fear and aggression related behaviour in Rottweilers
Contributor(s):: van der Borg, Joanne A. M., Graat, Elisabeth A. M., Beerda, Bonne
Behavioural testing allows to exclude dogs that are fearful and aggressive from the breeding population, but relatively little is known about the effectiveness of such strategies in practice. From 2001 till 2009 parent purebred Dutch Rottweilers had to pass the Socially Acceptable Behaviour...
Genetics of the Novel Object Test outcome in laying hens
Contributor(s):: Rozempolska-Rucinska, Iwona, Kibala, Lucyna, Prochniak, Tomasz, Zieba, Grzegorz, Lukaszewicz, Marek
The purpose of the study was to answer the question whether the behavioural reactions to a novel object can serve as a criterion in selection toward lowering the fearfulness level in laying hens. Fear can be a harmful emotional state resulting from perceiving of an experience as a potential...
Effects of human contact and intra-specific social learning on tonic immobility in guinea pigs, Cavia porcellus
Contributor(s):: Rocha, Alan Douglas de Lima, Menescal-de-Oliveira, Leda, da Silva, Luis Felipe S.
Social learning is the capacity of animals to acquire adaptive information from others. In the case of fear responses, animals can learn fearful or non-fearful responses by observing the behavior of conspecifics. Tonic immobility (TI) is an anti-predatory behavior elicited during intense fear...
Access to litter during rearing and environmental enrichment during production reduce fearfulness in adult laying hens
Contributor(s):: Brantsæter, Margrethe, Tahamtani, Fernanda M., Nordgreen, Janicke, Sandberg, Ellen, Hansen, Tone Beate, Rodenburg, T. Bas, Moe, Randi Oppermann, Janczak, Andrew Michael
Exaggerated fear-reactions are associated with injurious flying, smothering, feather pecking and other events that compromise animal welfare in laying hens. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that chicks with access to litter during the first five weeks of life would be less fearful...
Assessment of fear-related behaviours displayed by companion dogs (Canis familiaris) in response to social and non-social stimuli
Contributor(s):: Stellato, Anastasia C., Flint, Hannah E., Widowski, Tina M., Serpell, James A., Niel, Lee
Dogs that experience fear in response to everyday stimuli are likely to have reduced welfare, and are at a higher risk for the development of behaviour problems. To properly investigate the causes and consequences of canine fear it is important to correctly identify affected individuals. The aim...
Effect of free-range access, shelter type and weather conditions on free-range use and welfare of slow-growing broiler chickens
Contributor(s):: Stadig, Lisanne M., Rodenburg, T. Bas, Ampe, Bart, Reubens, Bert, Tuyttens, Frank A. M.
Free-range access for broiler chickens can benefit animal welfare because the birds have access to a more natural environment and more opportunities to perform natural behaviours than in indoor systems. Also, they have more space and more environmental enrichment, which could lead to better leg...
Exposing avian embryos to light affects post-hatch anti-predator fear responses
Contributor(s):: Archer, Gregory S., Mench, Joy A.
Environmental stimuli present during incubation can impact the behavior of birds post-hatch. To determine the effect of exposing broiler chicken embryos to light on fear-related behavior post-hatch, we conducted two experiments in which we incubated eggs under various light schedules, and then...