Browsing by Subject "Animal welfare"

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  • Valros, Anna Elisabet; Hänninen, Laura Talvikki (2018)
    Veterinary students face several ethical challenges during their curriculum. We used the Animal Ethics Dilemma to study animal ethical views of Finnish veterinary students, and also asked them to score the level of pain perception in 13 different species. Based on the 218 respondents, the utilitarian view was the dominating ethical view. Mammals were given higher pain scores than other animals. The proportion of the respect for nature view correlated negatively, and that of the animal rights view positively, with most animal pain scores. Fifth year students had a higher percentage of contractarian view, as compared to 1st and 3rd year students, but this might have been confounded by their age. Several pain perception scorings increased with increasing study year. We conclude that the utilitarian view was clearly dominating, and that ethical views differed only slightly between students at different stages of their studies. Higher pain perception scorings in students at a later stage of their studies might reflect an increased knowledge of animal capacities.
  • Wikman, I.; Hokkanen, A.-H.; Pastell, M.; Kauppinen, T.; Valros, Anna; Hänninen, Laura (2013)
    Pain is an important indicator of poor welfare of livestock. Despite this, pain has largely gone unrecognized in farm animals due to attitudes of producers and veterinarians, although they play a key role in monitoring and managing the perception of animal pain. Producer attitudes toward animal welfare influence livestock management and production. The aim was to quantify dairy producer attitudes to the painfulness of various cattle diseases and disbudding, a painful routine procedure performed on farm to ensure safer handling of cattle. A questionnaire on disbudding-related opinions and practices was sent to 1,000 Finnish dairy producers (response rate: 45%). Attitudes toward disbudding were gauged using a 5-point Likert scale and attitudes to cattle pain scored on an 11-point numerical rating scale. Principal components analysis was used to assess the loadings, which were further tested for differences between producer gender and housing systems with Mann-Whitney U-tests, and between herd milk yield, herd size, and age and work experience of producers with a Kruskal-Wallis test. Four main factors were identified: factor I (“taking disbudding pain seriously”), factor II (“sensitivity to pain caused by cattle diseases”), factor III (“ready to medicate calves myself”), and factor IV (“pro horns”). Female producers took disbudding pain more seriously, were more sensitive to pain caused to cattle by diseases, and were more ready to medicate disbudded calves than male producers. Producers with tie-stalls favored horns over producers with freestalls. Male producers with tie-stalls were sensitive to cattle pain and preferred horns over male producers with freestalls. Female producers with freestalls were more ready to medicate calves, but did not prefer horns more than female producers with tie-stalls. Taking disbudding seriously correlated with sensitivity to pain caused by cattle diseases. Producers with low-milk-yielding herds were less willing to medicate calves and more willing to keep cattle with horns than producers with higher-yielding herds. Older producers were more sensitive to cattle pain than middle-aged and younger producers. No effect was established for taking disbudding pain seriously: the pro-horn factor was associated with work experience, age, and herd size. Women rated pain higher and were more positive toward pain medication for animals than men. Maintaining horns are more important for producers with tie-stalls than for those with freestalls.
  • Kaukonen, Eija; Norring, Marianna; Valros, Anna (2017)
    1. Experiment 1, comparing wood shavings and ground straw bedding with peat, was performed on 7 broiler farms over two consecutive batches during the winter season. Experiment 2, assessing the effect of elevated (30 cm) platforms, was conducted in three farms replicated with 6 consecutive batches. 2. Footpad lesions were inspected at slaughter following the Welfare Quality® (WQ) assessment and official programme. Hock lesions, plumage cleanliness and litter condition were assessed using the WQ assessment. Litter height, pH, moisture and ammonia were determined. 3. Footpad condition on wood shavings appeared to be worse compared with peat using both methods of assessment and was accompanied by inferior hock skin health. WQ assessment resulted in poorer footpad and hock skin condition on ground straw compared with peat. Farms differed in footpad and hock skin condition. Footpad and hock lesions were not affected by platform treatment. Peat appeared more friable than ground straw. The initial pH of wood shavings was higher and moisture was lower than in peat, but at the end of production period there were no differences. Ground straw exhibited higher initial and lower end pH, and was drier in the beginning than peat. Litter condition and quality were not affected by platform treatment. 4. This study provides new knowledge about the applicability of peat as broiler bedding and shows no negative effects of elevated platforms on litter condition or the occurrence of contact dermatitis in commercial environments. The results suggest a complicated relationship between litter condition, moisture and contact dermatitis. Furthermore, it is concluded that the farmer’s ability to manage litter conditions is important, regardless of the chosen litter material. Peat bedding was beneficial for footpad and hock skin health compared with wood shavings and ground straw.
  • Väärikkälä, Sofia; Koskela, Tarja; Hänninen, Laura; Nevas, Mari (2020)
    EU legislation requires the violations of animal welfare standards to be sanctioned. Our aim was to evaluate criminal sanctions concerning violations of cattle and pig welfare on Finnish farms. We analysed 196 court cases heard in Finnish district courts from 2011 to 2016. Almost all the cases (95%) concerned the violations of cattle welfare, of which 61% occurred on small farms. The lack of cleanliness and inadequate feeding and watering were the most common reported violations. The median time span from the known start date of the crime to the judgement was nearly two years. Of the cases, 96% resulted in conviction. The court did not perceive the violations as being highly blameworthy as a small fine and a short conditional imprisonment were the most often imposed sanctions. A ban on the keeping of animals was used as a precautionary measure in half of the cases. Veterinarians were shown to have an important role in the initiation of criminal procedures, providing evidence for the police and acting as witnesses. Therefore, it is crucial to achieve a well-functioning collaboration between veterinarians and the police and prosecutors. The expertise of these authorities on animal welfare legislation should also be emphasized to improve the efficacy of the criminal procedures.
  • Wallace, Emma K.; Herrelko, Elizabeth S.; Koski, Sonja; Vick, Sarah-Jane; Buchanan-Smith, Hannah M.; Slocombe, Katie E. (2019)
    The unique challenges faced by animals living in zoos can lead to the production of anxiety-related behaviours. In this study we aimed to understand what specific factors may cause chimpanzees to display these behaviours. In non-human primates, displacement behaviours, such as self-scratching and yawning, are considered markers of anxiety and stress, and Regurgitation and Reingestion (R/R) is considered an abnormal behaviour with negative consequences for physical health. We examined the possible triggers of R/R, scratching, and yawning in a group of zoo-housed chimpanzees and followed this up with an analysis of long-term data to examine further aspects of R/R behaviour. In the first study we conducted focal observations on 18 adult chimpanzees at Edinburgh Zoo, UK, in addition to all occurrence sampling of visitors using flash photography, screaming and banging on the glass in the exhibit. 158 h of data were analysed and Generalised Linear Mixed Models revealed that yawning was significantly more likely if there was a long period of time since the last feed and when there were moderate numbers of visitors in the zoo. There were trends that yawning was more likely to occur if children screamed and that scratching was more likely to occur if visitors used flash photography. R/R occurred most often within 40 min of a feed, but was not affected by the inter-feed interval preceding that feed, positive or negative social interactions, or visitor numbers or behaviour. As there was no obvious daily trigger for R/R, an analysis of long-term data (2009 to 2015) was conducted to investigate if social or dietary factors affected rates of R/R over a larger timescale. It was found that R/R rates in the months before a significant diet change were not different from R/R rates in the months after, but it was found that R/R rates decreased over the five-year period. Lastly, we found no evidence that the introduction of individuals engaging in R/R lead to resident chimpanzees habitually adopting the behaviour, despite considerable opportunities to observe it. These findings have implications for welfare interventions aimed to reduce R/R and/or anxiety behaviours in captive populations and for the translocation of individuals that are known to engage in R/R between groups.