Asking Animals: An Introduction to Animal Behaviour Testing

Front Cover
CABI, Mar 20, 2020 - Medical - 188 pages
This book provides an introductory text covering the use and misuse of behaviour tests applied to animals. By including illustrative examples from a variety of species, the book inspires the animal scientist to think about what a given behavioural test can be used for and how the results can be interpreted. This text includes: the dos and don'ts of running behaviour tests and interpreting the results; many clear, simple illustrations which make the information readily accessible, down to earth, practical advice yet a thorough, evidence-based approach; information on behaviour tests for a whole range of species from companion, farm, zoo, laboratory and wild animals; succinct yet comprehensive text, designed to be read cover to cover and stimulate further reading. This book is an essential item in the researcher's toolkit when embarking on and devising any animal behaviour test and is valuable to students, established researchers, teachers and practitioners of applied ethology, animal welfare science, and veterinary science.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


1 Five Things This Book is Not
2 Nontest Observations
3 How to Choose a Test
4 Tests to Characterize the Animal
5 Choice Preference and Motivation
6 Ability to Detect and Distinguish
7 Effects of Age and Treatment
8 Reinforcement and Punishment
9 Learning Capacity Memory and Cognitive Ability
10 Genetic Components of Behaviour
11 Other Test Considerations
12 Legislation Guidelines and Ethical Considerations
13 Future Methodologies and Technological Advances

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2020)

Since 2010, Dr Nielsen has worked at the National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA) in France as member of a neurobiology unit specializing in olfaction. As an ethologist, she studies the behavioural responses of rats to different smells, with emphasis on biologically relevant odours, such as those associated with sex or with predators. The aim of the research is to link the odour-based behaviour of rodents to the neurological responses observed with the same odours.
Dr Nielsen has previously been in charge of the research unit for Behaviour and Stress Biology at Aarhus University, Denmark, where she worked for 12 years, mainly on poultry behaviour. Before that, spending 8 years in Edinburgh, Scotland, completing a PhD on pig feeding behaviour and working as a post doc on metabolic stress in dairy cows. She has in-depth experience in experimental behaviour science on rats, growing pigs, dairy cows, broiler chickens and broiler breeders, and has been actively involved in work on horses, sows, laying hens and ostriches.
This has given her a broad footing in basic and applied ethology, and allowed her to partake in various expert panels and working groups, such as chairing the Danish Animal Welfare Council (2005-2010). Dr Nielsen is a member of the Animal Welfare working group at the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (Anses). She is deputy section editor for the journal Animal (Cambridge University Press) and served as President of the International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE) in 2016. Dr Nielsen is author of Olfaction in Animal Behaviour and Welfare.

Bibliographic information