Elaboration of a Judgment Bias Test suitable for dairy heifers

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterAcademic

Abstract

Animal welfare integrates animal affect, i.e. the positive and negative states experienced by an animal. Scientists recognize Judgment Bias Test (JBT) as one of the best existing methods to assess animal affect. JBT investigates the link between affect and cognition. Individuals in a positive affective state are more optimistic than individuals in a negative affective state: they assess an ambiguous situation more positively. In practice, individuals are trained to associate one cue to a reward and another to a punisher. Their response to an ambiguous cue is then tested. Animals are assumed to be in a positive affective state if they associate the ambiguous cue to the reward instead of the punisher (and vice versa). JBT has been applied to many species, but never to adult cattle. A JBT for dairy cattle will be created to lay the foundations for the elaboration of an on-farm tool to assess cattle welfare. The validity of JBT relies on the animals’ motivation, the sensitivity of the test and the preserved ambiguity of the cue over testing sessions. A feed which maintains cows’ motivation for the JBT will be identified through preference and run-way tests. The sensitivity of three JBTs associated with different punishers inducing frustration, fear or pain will be compared. The most sensitive test.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2018
EventWIAS Science Day 2018: WIASS: Work on your Impact in Animal Science and Society - Orion, Wageningen, Netherlands
Duration: 5 Feb 20185 Feb 2018

Conference

ConferenceWIAS Science Day 2018
CountryNetherlands
CityWageningen
Period5/02/185/02/18

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