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Physiol Behav. 2007 Oct 22;92(3):340-74.

A critical review of fear tests used on cattle, pigs, sheep, poultry and horses.

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Department of Large Animal Sciences, Roy Vet Agricult Univ, 1870 Frederiksberg, Denmark.


Fear is arguably the most commonly investigated emotion in domestic animals. In the current review we attempt to establish the level of repeatability and validity found for fear tests used on cattle, pigs, sheep and goats, poultry and horses. We focus the review on the three most common types of fear tests: the arena test (open field), the novel object test, and the restraint test. For some tests, e.g. tonic immobility in poultry, there is a good and broad literature on factors that affect the outcome of the test, the validity of the test and its age dependency. However, there are comparatively few of these well defined and validated tests and what is especially missing for most tests is information on the robustness, i.e., what aspects can be changed without affecting the validity of the tests. The relative absence of standardized tests hampers the development of applied ethology as a science.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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