Emily Patterson-Kane Purdue University

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Cognition and Welfare of the Pig

Publish Date: 04/09/2010

Concerns about the welfare of pigs and other farm animals are growing and it is frequently suggested that modern production practices may cause physical and mental suffering to animals. Criticisms such as these are based on underlying beliefs that animals have mental capabilities that enable them not only to be aware of what is happening to them, but to also have a vested interest in how they are treated. This consequently determines whether they experience positive or negative emotional states. Presumably, then, if pigs are treated in ways that they find to be aversive, and over which they have no control, they are as likely to suffer physically as psychologically, and this in turn may reduce the level of welfare they experience [3,14].


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