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Determination of correction factors for observation of steretype in WelFur before feeding or at the end of the day

Project: Research

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Stereotypic behaviour in mink is best observed during a period of increased activity prior to feeding or during postponed feeding. This is therefore the procedure in the welfare assessment protocol WelFur-Mink that is now being implemented in all of Europe. Sometimes, however, it is not possible to observe before feeding. The best alternative time of observation has been suggested to be at the period of increasing activity before sunset during the winter, or as the last observation of the day, during the summer and autumn assessment periods. In order to assess the need for a correction factor that should align the prevalence of stereotypic behaviour before sunset with the prevalence before feeding, the relation between the two has been investigated. On five farms stereotypy was observed at both times and from the WelFur-Mink assessments the results were calculated. The results showed that there is less stereotypic behaviour before sunset than before feeding. No simple correction factor could be defined as the relation seemed to depend on the level of stereotypy. The level of stereotypy on the 5 farms tested both before feeding and before sunset was higher than the large number of farms tested in WelFur-Mink in January and February 2018. Tests both before feeding and before sunset are therefore needed on more farms including farms with a lower level of stereotypy.
The project is financed by the Danish Pelt Levy Foundation
Effective start/end date01/01/202031/12/2020

ID: 198246391