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Abnormal Repetitive Behaviours: Animal Welfare Significance
July 16, 2019
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM CT

WEB-052: Strange repetitive behaviors in confined animals (including those sometimes called stereotypies) have been used as welfare indicators because they are disturbing and fairly easy to assess. it is not certain which behaviors should be included (for example, is wheel-running normal or abnormal?) or how much the heterogeneity of different forms matters, and so I use the deliberately vague term "abnormal repetitive behavior" (ARB) in place of stereotypies. But despite these unknowns, enough is now understood to use ARBs in welfare assessment (where welfare means affective state: moods, and quality of life). To evaluate the validity of ARBs as indicators of welfare, I will review whether they are increased by exposing animals to aversive stimuli and stimuli that are ancestrally bad for fitness. I will show that the prevalence and/or frequency of ARBs typically reflects suboptimal husbandry and uncomfortable clinical conditions, and that they are quite specific to negative states (though perhaps as experienced over the lifetime, rather than just the present state alone). Thus, ARBs are reliable signs of poor welfare. However, bouts of ARB are not necessarily triggered by negative states. So, it is best to use ARB to assess chronic states, not moment to moment changes. Furthermore, general activity can by a confound. Indeed, some negative states never promote ARBs; and in some species, strains and individuals show little ARBs, even in extremis, becoming inactive instead (such that all else being equal, we should not assume that high ARB individuals have worse welfare than low ARB individuals). Together this means that ARBs have poor sensitivity to negative welfare, being prone to false negatives when used as welfare indicators. The absence of ARB is therefore necessary but not sufficient for inferring good welfare. This webinar will prepare attendees how to use ARBs in the welfare assessment of laboratory primates, rats and mice.

The fee is per connection; one connection can be used for site training. If multiple connection are needed, please place and order per connection. Discounts are available by using the Store Order Form PDF when you purchase 5 or more connections. The 1.5-hour time frame will allow for plenty of time to submit your questions, thus giving you a more personalized training experience. Time and date not convenient for you: Share the presentation recording afterward with your staff. AALAS will provide the link to view the webinar recording to all registrants several days after the webinar concludes. Within 1 to 3 business days after ordering the webinar, you will be sent an email with a link to register and view the webinar on the GoToWebinar website.

AALAS CEUs: You can apply for up to 1.5 CEUs for the Technician Certification Registry or CMAR recertification. Please use the forms on the AALAS website or online CEU submission.

RACE CEUs: RACE: This program 37-37251 is approved by the AAVSB RACE to offer a total of 1.00 CE Credit (1.00 max) being available to any one veterinarian: and/or 1.00 Veterinary Technician CE Credits (1.00 max). This RACE approval is for the subject matter category of Medical Program. This approval is valid in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE; however, participants are responsible for ascertaining each board's CE requirements. RACE does not "accredit" or "endorse" or "certify" any program or person, nor does RACE approval validate the content of the program.

Following the webinar, certificate templates will be sent to the individual who registered on behalf of their institution.

  • List Price: $175.00
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Presenter: Professor Georgia Mason

Professor Mason works at the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare at the University of Guelph.


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