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Feather pecking: solutions through understanding


The research of the Department of Behaviour, Stress Physiology and Management focuses on the link between coping capacity and welfare of farm animals. The capacity of individual animals to adapt to stressors (housing, production) as well as the possibilities to improve this (by management in the first place) are studied. In addition, the research concentrates on the adverse effects of stressors and the risks for welfare and health. Moreover, the research contributes to the standardization of methods for monitoring and evaluation of farm animal welfare and the implementation of welfare standards in animal housing and husbandry.

Exploitable results

The EU project MUSTEC (multi-sensor technology) (FAIR CT98-4076) brought together physical sensors measuring fish freshness. Some of the sensors (electronic noses, colour, and texture analysers) were directly mimicking human senses whilst others were additional (electrical impedance, visible spectra and image analysis). Using data fusion methods the results of fish freshness measurements were combined to obtain freshness scores that correlated well with sensory scores obtained by a panel of assessors. The results of the project provide a basis for the construction of a multi-sensor portable instrument for fish freshness. This could be applied to foods other than fish.