Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rescue me: New study finds animals do recover from neglect

Date:
April 23, 2013
Source:
Queen Mary, University of London
Summary:
Animal sanctuaries can play an important role in rehabilitating goats and other animals that have suffered from neglect, according to scientists.

Researchers assessed how the goats judged previously unknown locations, described as ambiguous because they were situated between spaces known to contain food and areas without food.
Credit: Image courtesy of Queen Mary, University of London

Animal sanctuaries can play an important role in rehabilitating goats and other animals that have suffered from neglect, according to scientists at Queen Mary, University of London.

Related Articles


In this first scientific study of rescued animals, the researchers examined moods in 18 goats, nine of which had endured poor welfare, such as inappropriate diet, and lack of space or shelter before arriving at a sanctuary. They created a spatial awareness test, which involved giving the animals an opportunity to look for food, to understand the link between poor welfare and the goats' mental health, by comparing the behaviour of the mistreated goats with that of the goats that had been generally well treated.

The scientists observed whether some goats were faster to explore specific areas that resulted in the reward of food and others that did not. They assessed how the goats judged previously unknown locations, described as ambiguous because they were situated between spaces known to contain food and areas without food.

"Mood can have a huge influence on how the brain processes information. In humans, for example, it's well known that people in positive moods have an optimistic outlook on life, which means they are more resilient to stress. In the same way, measures of optimism and pessimism can provide indicators for an understanding of animal welfare," explains co-author Dr Elodie Briefer from Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences.

It was thought that the goats from the poor welfare group would be more 'pessimistic' and slower than the well-treated goats to explore ambiguous locations for food, where the promise of reward was not guaranteed. However, a surprising result of the study was that female goats that had been mistreated in the past were more optimistic than the other well-treated female goats.

Dr Briefer adds: "In this case, we found that female goats that had been previously neglected were the most optimistic of all the tested animals. They were more optimistic than well-treated females, but also the poorly treated males. This suggests that females may be better at recovering from neglect when released from stress, and might have implications for animal sanctuaries in how they tailor the care they provide for the different sexes."

Dr Alan McElligott, also from Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, said: "The study shows that animal rescue centres, such as Buttercups Sanctuary for Goats, where we collected our data, can provide a vital role in reversing long-term neglect once the animals receive excellent care."

The study was published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science April 23, 2013.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen Mary, University of London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Queen Mary, University of London. "Rescue me: New study finds animals do recover from neglect." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130423091115.htm>.
Queen Mary, University of London. (2013, April 23). Rescue me: New study finds animals do recover from neglect. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130423091115.htm
Queen Mary, University of London. "Rescue me: New study finds animals do recover from neglect." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130423091115.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Arthropod Fossil Might Be Relative Of Spiders, Scorpions

New Arthropod Fossil Might Be Relative Of Spiders, Scorpions

Newsy (Mar. 29, 2015) — A 508-million-year-old arthropod that swam in the Cambrian seas is thought to share a common ancestor with spiders and scorpions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Vietnam Rice Boom Piles Pressure on Farmers and the Environment

Vietnam Rice Boom Piles Pressure on Farmers and the Environment

AFP (Mar. 29, 2015) — Vietnam&apos;s drive to become the world&apos;s leading rice exporter is pushing farmers in the fertile Mekong Delta to the brink, say experts, with mounting costs to the environment. Duration: 02:35 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — A lioness in Pakistan has given birth to five cubs, twice the usual size of a litter. Queen gave birth to two other cubs just nine months ago. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Using motion tracking technology, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are trying to establish an optimum horse riding style to train junior jockeys, as well as enhance safety, health and well-being of both racehorses and jockeys. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins