YBE-30803 Behaviour and Welfare Assessment


Studiepunten 3.00

Practical extensively supervised10
Practical intensively supervised14
Project learning4
Problem-based learning5
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. B Beerda
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. B Beerda
dr. ir. EAM Bokkers
dr. ir. TB Rodenburg
dr. ir. JE Bolhuis
drs. JAM van der Borg
dr. ir. MAW Ruis
dr. FH de Jonge
prof. dr. M Naguib
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. B Kemp

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:



The course links concepts of animal behaviour to welfare issues in modern husbandry of productive and companion animals. Main questions of modern applied ethology are addressed focusing on how the behaviour of an animal is used to determine if it is stressed and to assess its welfare in a given environment. A brief historical overview is given to help understanding the biological basis of contemporary ethology. Domestication and human-animal relations are discussed as to provide insight in the way husbandry animals respond to their captive environment. Theory on motivation and the organization of behaviour is given and translated into explanations why animals show abnormal behaviour, experience stress, and how this is physiologically regulated. The assimilated advanced knowledge is applied in small practical projects on the assessment, evaluation and monitoring of animal welfare, targeting ongoing issues and societal concerns regarding the welfare of animals.

Learning outcomes:

After following this course, the student;
- knows the theory on motivation and the organization of behaviour;
- understands how domestication and human-animal interactions impact on the welfare of husbandry animals;
- is able to integrate advanced knowledge on animal behaviour and stress into a science based welfare assessment;
- has a clear view of relevant issues in applied ethology as related to animal welfare.


- assimilating recent information on animal behaviour and welfare;
- applying scientific information on behaviour and stress in an animal welfare assessment task.


A written exam with multiple choice and essay questions;
Grades on the performance, reporting and presentation of the practical work.


The Ethology of Domestic Animals: An Introductory Text edited by Per Jensen 2nd ed. CAB International.

Keuze voor: MASAnimal SciencesMScD: Animal Health and Behaviour5MO
Verplicht voor: WUAFSBSc Minor Animal Health and Welfare5MO