The Use of Traditional Fear Tests to Evaluate Different Emotional Circuits in Cattle.
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Animal temperament is complex and has implications for productivity and economic profitability. Quantifying an animal's response to differing stimuli may facilitate breeding selections and identify animals that are better suited to specific management strategies. Multiple tests have been developed to evaluate cattle temperament (e.g., exit velocity, chute score, pen score, open field test, startle test, bovine zero maze), but each of these tests evaluates the animal's response to different stimuli (e.g., isolation, novel environment, startle, willingness to enter an enclosed area). Cattle temperament has been observed to be relatively stable over time. However, the evaluation of temperament has the potential to be influenced by current conditions, previous experiences, and observer bias. Many of these temperament tests have been improperly categorized as fear tests and have also been criticized for being subjective. This paper provides a framework for standardizing behavioral tests for cattle and suggests that these different evaluations assess different aspects of the animal's overall temperament.
author list (cited authors)
Daigle, C. L., Hubbard, A. J., & Grandin, T.