932011 Journal club Tierhaltung

Vortragende/r (Mitwirkende/r)
Hintze, Sara , Kull, Kristina
Angeboten im Semester
Wintersemester 2022/23
Unterrichts-/ Lehrsprachen


If we want to improve the welfare of farmed animals, we need to understand how they feel. Unfortunately, the animals cannot tell us that directly, so we need to infer their feelings from physiology, behaviour and cognition. Knowledge of the emotional states of farmed animals has the potential to highlight mismatches between husbandry practices and the needs of the animals.

In this journal club, we will discuss scientific articles relevant for the field of farmed animal affective states, cognition and welfare. Potential topics include facial expressions, vocalisations and stress hormones in farmed animals, for example. Students are encouraged to suggest own topics, e.g. concerning their own (future) master projects. Every participant is expected to present a scientific article and prepare for the discussions.

Inhaltliche Voraussetzungen (erwartete Kenntnisse)

No, but willingness to critically read and discuss scientific literature is expected.


There are two main course objectives. The first one is to discuss in detail what implications do affective states and cognitive characteristics of farmed animals have for current farming practices. For example, what does it mean for inquisitive social animals, such as pigs, to be kept in barren environments which lack mental stimulation? The second objective is to gain more experience in critically evaluating scientific publications. For example, we will address questions related to the methods used (e.g. what would the student do differently, if they were to repeat the experiments?) and style (e.g. is the text clearly presented and well organised?). Additionally, we will discuss about the (im-)possible interpretations of research results, and about conclusions that may (not) be drawn.
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