HET201 Applied Ethology and Animal Welfare
Showing course contents for the educational year 2015 - 2016 .
Course responsible: Ruth C. Newberry
Teachers: Knut Egil Bøe
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences
Teaching language: NO
Limits of class size:
The minimum number of students is 5; the maximum number of students is 50.
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Autumn parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Autumn parallel.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2003-2004
There will be 2-4 hours of lectures every week on communication and social behaviour, maternal behaviour, behavioural development, fear, stress and coping, ethological needs, the term welfare, welfare indicators, frustrations, behavioural disturbances, effects of the behaviour of the stockperson on the animal, animal ethics, and behaviour and welfare of the most important farm species. These build on the basic introduction given in HET100. Students should not take HET201 before taking HET100. In the third of the course, practical exercises on behavioural observations are conducted in small groups in the animal houses at UMB, Animal Production Experimental Centre. There are responsible advisors among the ethologists at the department. After the exercises, an exercise report is to be produced where the observations are presented and discussed in light of relevant academic information from HET201 and possibly HET100/200. The exercise report is presented briefly to all the students in plenary and will be evaluated. In the last weeks of the period a discussion seminar on animal ethics and animal protection is arranged where a professional ethician, representatives from animal organisations and domestic animal organisations participate. The structure and extent of the colloquia and exercises must be adjusted based on the number of students taking the course.
After completing the course, students are to have the elementary knowledge needed to understand the most important ethological mechanisms behind the behaviour and welfare of domestic animals. The students are to be familiar with animal ethics and be able to use their ethological knowledge in welfare discussions. Students are to be able to describe and explain the most important terms in applied ethology that are related to communication and social behaviour, behaviour development, fear, stress and coping, ethological needs, frustrations, behavioural disturbances, the term welfare, welfare indicators, animal-human interactions as well as animal ethics. In addition, students are to be able to describe and explain normal behaviour and the most important problems when it comes to the behaviour and welfare of cattle, swine, hens, minks and foxes and to some extent sheep and goats. Horses, dogs and cats are not part of the course, but the course gives an important academic background for the education on the ethology of these animal species provided in HFX220. The course also gives an important academic background for the courses HET210, HET300, HET301 and HET303. The students should be able to read and understand scientific texts on ethology written in English. In addition, they are to be able to use the terms in applied ethology when attempting to interpret the welfare level of an individual. The student should know the limitations of such interpretations as well as pinpoint possible measures that may improve the welfare of the animals. The students are also to be able to critically examine the argumentation concerning animal welfare from animal owners and animal welfare organisations. Students are to have experience with systematic observation of the behaviour of a domestic animal species. Students are to be familiar with the different ethical considerations that lie behind the demand for animal welfare. In addition, students are to understand the significance of the role that ethology plays in the determination of welfare requirements for domestic animals. After the course has been completed, the students are to have an understanding of the complexity of behavioural biology and understand the importance of gaining even more competence in ethology if one is to use this subject extensively in a job.
Lectures are given on the most important terms of applied ethology and animal ethics. These topics are discussed in colloquia in light of the behaviour of the individual domestic animal species. Before these colloquia, the students must have read the relevant literature. Each colloquiums problems and syllabus will be handed out by the teacher. The colloquia are lead by the students in small groups. A separate seminar is held on ethics and animal protection with externally invited participants. Here, the students are expected to be active. In small groups, the students conduct behavioural observations of domestic animals at the Animal Production Experimental Centre and submit a report on this.
Except for the lectures, every colloquium topic and every exercise group has a responsible supervisor. An overview is given at the start of the course.
Keeling. L.J. and Gonyou, H.W. (2001). Social Behaviour in Farm Animals. CABI Publlishing. 406 pp.
Exercise reports and presentations count 40 %, and the written examination counts 60 % of the total grade.
The total workload for the students will be 300 hours. A suitable distribution would be: Lectures and the reading of course literature: 150 hours. Colloquia, including preparation and reports: 100 hours. Exercises with reports: 25 hours. Studying for the exam: 25 hours.
Reduction of credits:
Type of course:
Lectures (4 hours per week). Excersises in groups resulting in reports and presentations
The course coordinator discusses course design with the external examiner. The external examiner assesses a selection of the written examinations.
Allowed examination aids: No calculator, no other aids
Examination details: Continuous exam: A - E / Ikke bestått