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Characterization and investigation of aggressive behaviour in the pig



Characterization and investigation of aggressive behaviour in the pig



Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica Section A Animal Science 0(Suppl. 27): 56-60



Aggressive behaviour can become a significant problem for welfare as well as production in confined production systems for pigs. The most common normal agonistic behaviour in pigs is characterized by mutual assessment, signals and predictability, whereas extreme aggression is often unpredictable and sporadic. Aggression is classified according to function, and according to proximate as well as mediate cause, which also includes motivation. Studies on aggression indicate that different types of aggression will be measured during observation under different circumstances and that, although the expression of aggressive behaviour may have a significant genetic basis, it is difficult to measure and quantify intraspecific aggression as an individual trait. In addition, developmental factors and rearing conditions may play an overshadowing role. It is hypothesized that aggressiveness in pigs may be largely instrumental and that highly competitive and frustrating conditions will facilitate the learning of such behaviour from an early age. Aggression can be used as welfare indicator in confined pigs.

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