Program 1 - Animal Welfare Methodology

The community generally accepts the role of the scientific method to solve problems. However, there is considerable uncertainty within science on the concept of animal welfare. Scientists differ in their views on how animal welfare should be measured or judged, with three prominent concepts of animal welfare in the literature: the welfare of animals is judged on the basis of (1) how well the animal is performing from a biological functioning perspective; (2) affective states, such as suffering, pain and other feelings or emotions; and (3) the expression of normal or ‘natural’ behaviours.
In this program, we undertake projects to further our understanding of the relationships between these concepts and methodologies.
Developing ways to measure and increase sow contentment

Investigators:                        R.Doyle, K. Plush, R. Morrison, C. Ralph, G. Cronin, C. Lee, S. Hazel


Funding:                               CRC for High Integrity Australian Pork

Commencement date:           February 2015

Completion date:                  December 2016

This 2 year project will assess the contentment of sows during lactation by using scientific indicators of positive welfare and then developing practical measures for use on farm. This study will also assess the effect enrichment has on the welfare of lactating sows, with the hypothesis being that enrichment will increase the level of contentment a sow experiences during lactation.

Sham-chewing in sows as a novel welfare indicator

Investigators:                        L. Hemsworth, J-L Rault, P. Hemsworth


Funding:                               CRC for High Integrity Australian Pork

Commencement date:          July 2016

Completion date:                  June 2017

This 1 year project will investigate the incidence of sham-chewing in group-housed sows as an indicator of their welfare state.





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