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Agriculture 2018, 8(8), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8080127

Why Pain Is Still a Welfare Issue for Farm Animals, and How Facial Expression Could Be the Answer

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Chester, Parkgate Rd, Chester CH1 4BJ, UK
Received: 12 July 2018 / Revised: 28 July 2018 / Accepted: 8 August 2018 / Published: 11 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethology and Animal Welfare)
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Abstract

Pain is a sensory and emotional experience that significantly affects animal welfare and has negative impacts on the economics of farming. Pain is often associated with common production diseases such as lameness and mastitis, as well as introduced to the animal through routine husbandry practices such as castration and tail docking. Farm animals are prey species which tend not to overtly express pain or weakness, making recognizing and evaluating pain incredibly difficult. Current methods of pain assessment do not provide information on what the animal is experiencing at that moment in time, only that its experience is having a long term negative impact on its behavior and biological functioning. Measures that provide reliable information about the animals’ affective state in that moment are urgently required; facial expression as a pain assessment tool has this ability. Automation of the detection and analysis of facial expression is currently in development, providing further incentive to use these methods in animal welfare assessment. View Full-Text
Keywords: pain; production animals; facial expression; welfare pain; production animals; facial expression; welfare
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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McLennan, K.M. Why Pain Is Still a Welfare Issue for Farm Animals, and How Facial Expression Could Be the Answer. Agriculture 2018, 8, 127.

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