Black and white image of Lisa Collins

Professor Lisa M. Collins FLSW FRSB FRSS

Pro Vice Chancellor, Research and Innovation
MA(Oxon) DPhil(Oxon)
Melanie Flaxten
+44 (0) 1483 689107



Simone Pfuderer, Richard M. Bennett, Anna Brown, Lisa M. Collins (2022)A flexible tool for the assessment of the economic cost of pig disease in growers and finishers at farm level, In: Preventive veterinary medicine208105757pp. 105757-105757 Elsevier B.V

Pigmeat is the most consumed red meat globally and consumption is expected to continue to increase. The sector is faced by the risk of epidemic and endemic disease impacts and other adverse influences. The aim of this study was to develop a dynamic simulation model of pig growing and finishing that can be used to model the financial and economic impacts of a variety of scenarios both related to disease effects and other influences on production. The model consists of a physical performance module and financial performance module. The core of the physical performance module comprises three stocks to model the flow of pigs from purchase to slaughter. Mortality rates, daily live weight gain and feed conversion ratios influence the dynamics of the physical performance. Since contracts between farmers and slaughterhouses often include large price penalties for over- and underweight pigs, carcase weight distribution is an important determinant of revenues. The physical performance module, therefore, simulates slaughter weight variations. The financial performance module calculates revenue, costs and gross margins. The revenue calculations take into account price penalties for over- and underweight pigs. To demonstrate the capabilities of the model, we apply the model to assess the economic consequences of production impacts associated with respiratory disease. We use estimated production impacts associated with respiratory disease from a study of all-in-all out growing and finishing systems based on pig production data and information from slaughterhouse monitoring in the UK. Our model suggests a reduction in the gross margin of nearly 40 % as a consequence of the estimated production impacts associated with a 10% increase in respiratory disease prevalence. Due to the lack of reliable information on slaughter weight variation, we also simulate the model using different assumptions about the slaughter weight distribution. An increase in the standard deviation of carcase weights from 8 kg to 12 kg, holding average weights constant, more than halves gross margins under our scenarios. We suggest that for all-in-all-out systems, carcase weight variation is likely to be a substantial factor in reducing income in the presence of respiratory disease and the economic impact of respiratory disease may be underestimated if the effects of disease on variation in carcase weights are not included in any analysis. •A flexible modeling tool for physical and financial performance of pig production.•Variation in carcase weights is important due to common contract arrangements.•Respiratory disease is estimated to decrease gross margins by nearly 40 %.

Sam J. Buckton, Ioan Fazey, Bill Sharpe, Eugyen Suzanne Om, Bob Doherty, Peter Ball, Katherine Denby, Maria Bryant, Rebecca Lait, Sarah Bridle, Michelle Cain, Esther Carmen, Lisa Collins, Nicola Nixon, Christopher Yap, Annie Connolly, Ben Fletcher, Angelina Frankowska, Grace Gardner, Anthonia James, Ian Kendrick, Alana Kluczkovski, Simon Mair, Belinda Morris, Maddie Sinclair (2023)The Regenerative Lens: A conceptual framework for regenerative social-ecological systems, In: One earth (Cambridge, Mass.)6(7)pp. 824-842 Elsevier Inc

Societies must transform their dynamics to support the flourishing of life. There is increasing interest in regeneration and regenerative practice as a solution, but also limited cohered understanding of what constitutes regenerative systems at social-ecological scales. In this perspective we present a conceptual, cross-disciplinary, and action-oriented regenerative systems framework, the Regenerative Lens, informed by a wide literature review. The framework emphasizes that regenerative systems maintain positive reinforcing cycles of wellbeing within and beyond themselves, especially between humans and wider nature, such that “life begets life.” We identify five key qualities needed in systems to encourage such dynamics: an ecological worldview embodied in human action; mutualism; high diversity; agency for humans and non-humans to act regeneratively; and continuous reflexivity. We apply the Lens to an envisioned future food system to illustrate its utility as a reflexive tool and for stretching ambition. We hope that the conceptual clarity provided here will aid the necessary acceleration of learning and action toward regenerative systems. [Display omitted]

Annika Geijer-Simpson, Haidee Tinning, Tiago H. C. De Bem, Ioannis Tsagakis, Alysha S. Taylor, Laura Hume, Lisa M. Collins, Niamh Forde (2023)Sex bias in utero alters ovarian reserve but not uterine capacity in female offspring, In: Biology of reproduction108(2)pp. 304-315 Oxford Univ Press

Environmental stressors to which a fetus is exposed affect a range of physiological functions in postnatal offspring. We aimed to determine the in utero effect of steroid hormones on the reproductive potential of female offspring using a porcine model. Reproductive tracts of pigs from female-biased (>65% female, n = 15), non-biased (45-54.9% female, n = 15), and male-biased litters (

Lisa M Collins, Chérie E Part (2013)Modelling Farm Animal Welfare, In: Animals (Basel)3(2)416pp. 416-441

The use of models in the life sciences has greatly expanded in scope and advanced in technique in recent decades. However, the range, type and complexity of models used in farm animal welfare is comparatively poor, despite the great scope for use of modeling in this field of research. In this paper, we review the different modeling approaches used in farm animal welfare science to date, discussing the types of questions they have been used to answer, the merits and problems associated with the method, and possible future applications of each technique. We find that the most frequently published types of model used in farm animal welfare are conceptual and assessment models; two types of model that are frequently (though not exclusively) based on expert opinion. Simulation, optimization, scenario, and systems modeling approaches are rarer in animal welfare, despite being commonly used in other related fields. Finally, common issues such as a lack of quantitative data to parameterize models, and model selection and validation are discussed throughout the review, with possible solutions and alternative approaches suggested.

Lisa Collins, Neil Warnock, David Tosh, Colin McInnes, David Everest, W Montgomery, Mike Scantlebury, Nikki Marks, Jaimie Dick, Neil Reid (2014)Squirrelpox Virus: Assessing Prevalence, Transmission and Environmental Degradation: e89521, In: PloS one9(2)

Red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) declined in Great Britain and Ireland during the last century, due to habitat loss and the introduction of grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis), which competitively exclude the red squirrel and act as a reservoir for squirrelpox virus (SQPV). The disease is generally fatal to red squirrels and their ecological replacement by grey squirrels is up to 25 times faster where the virus is present. We aimed to determine: (1) the seropositivity and prevalence of SQPV DNA in the invasive and native species at a regional scale; (2) possible SQPV transmission routes; and, (3) virus degradation rates under differing environmental conditions. Grey (n = 208) and red (n = 40) squirrel blood and tissues were sampled. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) techniques established seropositivity and viral DNA presence, respectively. Overall 8% of squirrels sampled (both species combined) had evidence of SQPV DNA in their tissues and 22% were in possession of antibodies. SQPV prevalence in sampled red squirrels was 2.5%. Viral loads were typically low in grey squirrels by comparison to red squirrels. There was a trend for a greater number of positive samples in spring and summer than in winter. Possible transmission routes were identified through the presence of viral DNA in faeces (red squirrels only), urine and ectoparasites (both species). Virus degradation analyses suggested that, after 30 days of exposure to six combinations of environments, there were more intact virus particles in scabs kept in warm (25 degree C) and dry conditions than in cooler (5 and 15 degree C) or wet conditions. We conclude that SQPV is present at low prevalence in invasive grey squirrel populations with a lower prevalence in native red squirrels. Virus transmission could occur through urine especially during warm dry summer conditions but, more notably, via ectoparasites, which are shared by both species.

Felicity C. T. Elder, Alex J. O'Neill, Lisa M. Collins, Laura J. Carter (2023)A framework to assess the terrestrial risk of antibiotic resistance from antibiotics in slurry or manure amended soils, In: Environmental science. Advances2(5)pp. 780-794

Antibiotic resistance (ABR) or the silent pandemic is a major global health and economic issue, threatening both modern healthcare and food production. There is increasing concern that the presence of antibiotics in the environment may select for the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance. Currently environmental regulatory guidelines fail to address ABR risks, and while there is ongoing work to address this within aquatic environments, terrestrial systems have been somewhat overlooked – perhaps in part due to a focus on wastewater treatment plant effluent as the main source of antibiotics within the environment. Within agriculture there is an increasing push to move away from chemical-based fertilisers and towards the use of organic soil amendments such as slurry, manure or sludge, to improve soil health. However, these organic soil amendments have been shown to contain antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals alongside antibiotic resistant bacteria, posing a potential risk to the environment, livestock and humans through the proliferation and spread of ABR. It is therefore important that a risk framework is developed in relation to ABR and organic soil amendment use. Using current knowledge on the fate of antibiotics within soil and mathematical models, this manuscript presents a novel framework for assessing the terrestrial risk of antibiotic resistance through the use of farmyard manure as fertiliser.

Monika Zurek, John Ingram, Angelina Sanderson Bellamy, Conor Goold, Christopher Lyon, Peter Alexander, Andrew Barnes, Daniel P. Bebber, Tom D. Breeze, Ann Bruce, Lisa M. Collins, Jessica Davies, Bob Doherty, Jonathan Ensor, Sofia C. Franco, Andrea Gatto, Tim Hess, Chrysa Lamprinopoulou, Lingxuan Liu, Magnus Merkle, Lisa Norton, Tom Oliver, Jeff Ollerton, Simon Potts, Mark S. Reed, Chloe Sutcliffe, Paul J. A. Withers (2022)Food System Resilience: Concepts, Issues, and Challenges, In: Annual review of environment and resources47(1)511pp. 511-534 Annual Reviews

Food system resilience has multiple dimensions. We draw on food system and resilience concepts and review resilience framings of different communities. We present four questions to frame food system resilience (Resilience of what? Resilience to what? Resilience from whose perspective? Resilience for how long?) and three approaches to enhancing resilience (robustness, recovery, and reorientation-the three "Rs"). We focus on enhancing resilience of food system outcomes and argue this will require food system actors adapting their activities, noting that activities do not change spontaneously but in response to a change in drivers: an opportunity or a threat. However, operationalizing resilience enhancement involves normative choices and will result in decisions having to be negotiated about trade-offs among food system outcomes for different stakeholders. New approaches to including different food system actors' perceptions and goals are needed to build food systems that are better positioned to address challenges of the future.

Bob Doherty, Maria Bryant, Katherine Denby, Ioan Fazey, Sarah Bridle, Corinna Hawkes, Michelle Cain, Steven Banwart, Lisa Collins, Kate Pickett, Myles Allen, Peter Ball, Grace Gardner, Esther Carmen, Maddie Sinclair, Alana Kluczkovski, Ulrike Ehgartner, Belinda Morris, Anthonia James, Christopher Yap, Eugyen Suzanne Om, Annie Connolly (2022)Transformations to regenerative food systems-An outline of the FixOurFood project, In: Nutrition bulletin47(1)106pp. 106-114 Wiley

This paper provides an outline of a new interdisciplinary project called FixOurFood, funded through UKRI's 'Transforming UK food systems' programme. FixOurFood aims to transform the Yorkshire food system to a regenerative food system and will work to answer two main questions: (1) What do regenerative food systems look like? (2) How can transformations be enabled so that we can achieve a regenerative food system? To answer these questions, FixOurFood will work with diverse stakeholders to change the Yorkshire food system and use the learning to inform change efforts in other parts of the UK and beyond. Our work will focus on shifting trajectories towards regenerative dynamics in three inter-related systems of: healthy eating for young children, hybrid food economies and regenerative farming. We do this by a set of action-orientated interventions in schools and the food economy, metrics, policies and deliverables that can be applied in Yorkshire and across the UK. This article introduces the FixOurFood project and concludes by assessing the potential impact of these interventions and the importance we attach to working with stakeholders in government, business, third sector and civil society.

Lucy Asher, Lisa M. Collins (2012)Assessing synchrony in groups: Are you measuring what you think you are measuring?, In: Applied animal behaviour science138(3-4)162pp. 162-169 Elsevier

Behavioural synchrony has been a popular topic of research in group living animals, but has so far lacked a standard approach. Previous studies have varied greatly in the number of behavioural states they have considered and the size of groups investigated. Here, a model of behavioural synchrony was used to test four measures of synchrony commonly used (proportion observations 100% conforming, mean proportion of conforming individuals, Ruckstuhl's group mean and the kappa coefficient). The model used scan samples of the behaviour of laying hens, originally categorised in 10 different behavioural states, as a basis for determining the agents' probability of performing behaviour states. We systematically varied the group size and the number of behavioural states in the model. The measures calculated from the behaviour of the model agents were compared against a synchrony factor that determined the 'motivation' of agents in the model to conform to the behaviour of other agents, for model runs with different group sizes and behavioural categories. The results of the model suggest that, of the measures considered, the kappa coefficient is the most suitable measure of synchrony. The kappa coefficient was the only measure of the four tested to control for expected levels of synchrony. Expected levels of synchrony are sensitive to both the number of behaviour states being examined and the size of the group, therefore observed levels of synchrony should be compared against expected levels to provide meaningful standardised measures. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Katharine L. Anderson, Helen Zulch, Dan G. O'Neill, Richard L. Meeson, Lisa M. Collins (2020)Risk Factors for Canine Osteoarthritis and Its Predisposing Arthropathies: A Systematic Review, In: Frontiers in veterinary science7220pp. 220-220 Frontiers Media S.A

Osteoarthritis is a common clinical and pathological end-point from a range of joint disorders, that ultimately lead to structural and functional decline of the joint with associated lameness and pain. Increasing understanding of the risk factors associated with osteoarthritis will assist in addressing the significant threat it poses to the welfare of the dog population and implementing preventive measures. Presented here, is the first comprehensive systematic review and evaluation of the literature reporting risk factors for canine osteoarthritis. This paper aimed to systematically collate, review and critically evaluate the published literature on risk factors for canine osteoarthritis and its predisposing conditions such as developmental joint dysplasias, cruciate ligament degeneration, and patellar luxation. Peer-reviewed publications were systematically searched for both osteoarthritis and predisposing arthropathies on Web of Science and PubMed following PRISMA (2009) guidelines, using pre-specified combinations of keywords. Sixty-two papers met the inclusion criteria and were evaluated and graded on reporting quality. Identified risk factors included both modifiable factors (neuter status and body weight) for which intervention can potentially affect the risk of occurrence of osteoarthritis, and unmodifiable factors (sex, breed, and age) which can be used to identify individuals most “at risk.” Osteoarthritis in dogs frequently develops from predisposing arthropathies, and therefore risk factors for these are also important to consider. Papers evaluated in this study were rated as medium to high-quality; gap analysis of the literature suggests there would be significant benefit from additional research into the interactions between and relative weighting of risk factors. There are a number of examples where research outcomes are conflicting such as age and sex; and further investigation into these factors would be beneficial to attain greater understanding of the nature of these risks. Comprehensively collating the published risk factors for osteoarthritis and its predisposing conditions offers opportunities to identify possible means for control and reduction within the population through preventative methods and control strategies. These factors are highlighted here, as well as current literature gaps where further research is warranted, to aid future research direction.

Lauren M. Smith, Rupert J. Quinnell, Conor Goold, Alexandru M. Munteanu, Sabine Hartmann, Lisa M. Collins (2022)Assessing the impact of free-roaming dog population management through systems modelling, In: Scientific reports12(1)11452pp. 11452-11452 Nature Publishing Group UK

Free-roaming dogs can present significant challenges to public health, wildlife conservation, and livestock production. Free-roaming dogs may also experience poor health and welfare. Dog population management is widely conducted to mitigate these issues. To ensure efficient use of resources, it is critical that effective, cost-efficient, and high-welfare strategies are identified. The dog population comprises distinct subpopulations characterised by their restriction status and level of ownership, but the assessment of dog population management often fails to consider the impact of the interaction between subpopulations on management success. We present a system dynamics model that incorporates an interactive and dynamic system of dog subpopulations. Methods incorporating both fertility control and responsible ownership interventions (leading to a reduction in abandonment and roaming of owned dogs, and an increase in shelter adoptions) have the greatest potential to reduce free-roaming dog population sizes over longer periods of time, whilst being cost-effective and improving overall welfare. We suggest that future management should be applied at high levels of coverage and should target all sources of population increase, such as abandonment, births, and owners of free-roaming dogs, to ensure effective and cost-efficient reduction in free-roaming dog numbers.

Kara N. Stevens, Lucy Asher, Kym Griffin, Mary Friel, Niamh O'Connell, Lisa M. Collins (2017)A comparison of inferential analysis methods for multilevel studies: Implications for drawing conclusions in animal welfare science, In: Applied animal behaviour science197101pp. 101-111 Elsevier

Investigations comparing the behaviour and welfare of animals in different environments have led to mixed and often conflicting results. These could arise from genuine differences in welfare, poor validity of indicators, low statistical power, publication bias, or inappropriate statistical analysis. Our aim was to investigate the effects of using four approaches for inferential analysis of datasets of varying size on model outcomes and potential conclusions. We considered aggression in 864 growing pigs over six weeks as measured by ear and body injury score and relationships with: less and more enriched environments, pig's relative weight, and sex. Pigs were housed in groups of 18 in one of four pens, replicating the experiment 12 times. We applied four inferential models that either used a summary statistic approach, or else fully or partially accounted for complexities in study design. We tested models using both the full dataset (n = 864) and also using small sample sizes (n = 72). The most appropriate inferential model was a mixed effects, repeated measures model to compare ear and body score. Statistical models that did not account for the correlation between repeated measures and/or the random effects from replications and pens led to spurious associations between environmental factors and indicators of aggression, which were not supported by the initial exploratory analysis. For analyses on smaller datasets (n = 72), due to the effect size and number of independent factors, there was insufficient power to determine statistically significant associations. Based on the mixed effects, repeated measures models, higher body injury scores were associated with more enrichment (coef. est. = 0.09, p = 0.02); weight (coef. est. = 0.05, p < 0.001); pen location on the right side (coef. est. = 0.08, p = 0.03) and at the front of the experimental room (coef. est. = 0.11, p = 0.003). By comparison, lower ear injury scores were associated with more enrichment (coef. est. = 0.51, p = 0.005) and pen location at the front of the experimental room (coef. est. = 0.4, p = 0.02). These observed differences support the hypothesis that injuries to the body and ears arise from different risk factors. Although calculation of the minimum required sample size prior to conducting an experiment and selection of the inferential analysis method will contribute to the validity of the study results, conflict between the outcomes will require further investigation via different methods such as sensitivity and specificity analysis.

Emily V. Bushby, Louise Dye, Lisa M. Collins (2021)Is Magnesium Supplementation an Effective Nutritional Method to Reduce Stress in Domestic Pigs? A Systematic Review, In: Frontiers in veterinary science7596205pp. 596205-596205 Frontiers Media S.A

In commercial pig production, stressful events are common and can have detrimental impacts on the pig's health and welfare, as well as on the performance of the farm. Supplementary magnesium may reduce stress, and subsequent harmful and aggressive behaviors, that occur during stressful events, such as regrouping. However, reports on the efficacy of this treatment are mixed. We aimed to systematically review the studies in which magnesium was given to pigs to examine the effects on measures of stress. Of the 16 studies included in the final corpus, 10 reported at least one statistically significant beneficial effect of supplementary magnesium on reducing stress. However, two studies found that magnesium significantly increased stress suggesting supplementary dietary magnesium may be harmful in some cases. Overall, there are a limited number of studies investigating the possible effect of magnesium on reducing stress in pigs, and although results were varied, the majority found beneficial effects of supplementary magnesium.

Raphaëlle Métras, Lisa M. Collins, Richard G. White, Silvia Alonso, Véronique Chevalier, Christine Thuranira-McKeever, Dirk U. Pfeiffer (2011)Rift Valley Fever Epidemiology, Surveillance, and Control: What Have Models Contributed?, In: Vector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.)11(6)761pp. 761-771 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc

Background: Rift Valley fever (RVF) is an emerging vector-borne zoonotic disease that represents a threat to human health, animal health, and livestock production, particularly in Africa. The epidemiology of RVF is not well understood, so that forecasting RVF outbreaks and carrying out efficient and timely control measures remains a challenge. Various epidemiological modeling tools have been used to increase knowledge on RVF epidemiology and to inform disease management policies. Aim: This narrative review gives an overview of modeling tools used to date to measure or model RVF risk in animals, and presents how they have contributed to increasing our understanding of RVF occurrence or informed RVF surveillance and control strategies. Methodology: Systematic literature searches were performed in PubMed and ISI Web of Knowledge. Additional research work was identified from other sources. Results: Literature was scarce. Research work was highly heterogeneous in methodology, level of complexity, geographic scale of approach, and geographical area of study. Gaps in knowledge and data were frequent, and uncertainty was not always explored. Spatial approaches were the most commonly utilized techniques and have been used at both local and continental scales, the latter leading to the implementation of an early warning system. Three articles using dynamic transmission models explored the potential of RVF endemicity. Risk factor studies identified water-related environmental risk factors associated with RVF occurrence in domestic livestock. Risk assessments identified importation of infected animals, contaminated products, or infected vectors as key risk pathways for the introduction of RVF virus into disease-free areas. Conclusions: Enhanced outbreak prediction and control and increased knowledge on RVF epidemiology would benefit from additional field data, continued development, and refinement of modeling techniques for exploring plausible disease transmission mechanisms and the impact of intervention strategies.

Carrie Ijichi, Lisa M. Collins, Robert W. Elwood (2014)Pain expression is linked to personality in horses, In: Applied animal behaviour science15238pp. 38-43 Elsevier

Tissue damage may result in pain, inducing protective behaviour such as lameness. Because we cannot directly measure an animal's subjective experience, pain research and veterinary assessment rely on these behavioural indicators when quantifying pain. This assumes that pain expression is proportional to damage but this has not been tested in animals and ignores the possible effects of personality and coping style. First, we assessed whether lameness accurately predicted the severity of tissue damage, or whether there is variance in how "stoical" individuals are. An experienced equine veterinarian scored horses for lameness and then the severity of tissue damage using either x-ray or ultrasound during the course of normal diagnostics in a clinical setting. Contrary to assumptions, we found no relation between scores for lameness and severity. Consequently, "stoicism" was calculated as severity score minus lameness score. We tested hypotheses founded on previous work concerning how personality would be expected to link with stoicism and pain behaviour. Personality was quantified using a validated questionnaire, completed by owners. Owners also gave their subjective opinion on how tolerant the horse was to pain using a 1-5 likert scale. This is the first paper to assess the relationships between pain behaviour and personality in animals. We found that neuroticism is negatively related to "stoicism" whereas extroversion was positively related to levels of lameness, which may mean that pain in more easily identified in highly extrovert individuals. Future work to clarify these findings and their major implications for accurate assessment of damage and pain in animals are discussed. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

L. M. Collins (2012)Welfare risk assessment: the benefits and common pitfalls, In: Animal welfare21(1)pp. 73-79 Univ Federation Animal Welfare

Risk is defined as a situation involving exposure to danger. Risk assessment by nature characterises the probability of a negative event occurring and quantifies the consequences of such an event. Risk assessment is increasingly being used in the field of animal welfare as a means of drawing comparisons between multiple welfare problems within and between species and identifying those that should be prioritised by policy-makers, either because they affect a large proportion of the population or because they have particularly severe consequences for those affected. The assessment of risk is typically based on three fundamental factors: intensity of consequences, duration affected by consequences and prevalence. However, it has been recognised that these factors alone do not give a complete picture of a hazard and its associated consequences. Rather, to get a complete picture, it is important to also consider information about the hazard itself probability of exposure to the hazard and duration of exposure to the hazard. The method has been applied to a variety of farmed species (eg poultry, dairy cows, farmed fish), investigating housing, husbandry and slaughter procedures, as well as companion animals, where it has been used to compare inherited defects in pedigree dogs and horses. To what extent can we trust current risk assessment methods to get the priorities straight? How should we interpret the results produced by such assessments? Here, the potential difficulties and pitfalls of the welfare risk assessment method will be discussed: (i) the assumption that welfare hazards are independent; (ii) the problem of quantifying the model parameters; and (iii) assessing and incorporating variability and uncertainty into welfare risk assessments.

L. M. Collins, L. M. Smith (2022)Review: Smart agri-systems for the pig industry, In: Animal (Cambridge, England)16100518pp. 100518-100518 Elsevier

The projected rise in the global human population and the anticipated increase in demand for meat and animal products, albeit with a greatly reduced environmental footprint, offers a difficult set of challenges to the livestock sector. Primarily, how do we produce more, but in a way that is healthier for the animals, public, and the environment? Implementing a smart agri-systems approach, utilising multiplatform precision technologies, internet of things, data analytics, machine learning, digital twinning and other emerging technologies can support a more informed decision-making and forecasting position that will allow us to move towards greater sustainability in future. If we look to precision agronomy, there are a wide range of technologies available and examples of how digitalisation and integration of platform outputs can lead to advances in understanding the agricultural system and forecasting upcoming events and performance that have hitherto been impossible to achieve. There is much for the livestock sector and animal scientists to learn from the developments of precision technologies and smart agri-system approaches in the arable and horticultural contexts. However, there are several barriers the livestock sector must overcome: (i) the development and implementation of precision livestock farming technologies that can be easily integrated and analysed without the support of a dedicated data analyst in house; (ii) the lack of extensive validation of many developed and available precision livestock farming technologies means that reliability and accuracy are likely to be compromised when applied in commercial practice; (iii) the best smart agri-systems approaches are reliant on large quantities of data from across a wide variety of conditions, but at present the complications of data sharing, commercial sensitivities, data ownership, and permissions make it challenging to obtain or knit together data from different parts of the system into a comprehensive picture; and (iv) the high level of investment needed to develop and scale these technologies is substantial and represents significant risk for companies when a technology is emerging. Using a case study of the National Pig Centre (a flagship pig research facility in the UK) we discuss how a smart agri-systems approach can be applied in practice to investigate alternative future systems for production, and enable monitoring of these systems as a commercial demonstrator site for future pork production. (C) 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of The Animal Consortium.

Lisa M. Collins, Lucy Asher, Jennifer Summers, Paul McGreevy (2011)Getting priorities straight: Risk assessment and decision-making in the improvement of inherited disorders in pedigree dogs, In: The veterinary journal (1997)189(2)147pp. 147-154 Elsevier

The issue of inherited disorders in pedigree dogs is not a recent phenomenon and reports of suspected genetic defects associated with breeding practices date back to Charles Darwin's time. In recent years, much information on the array of inherited defects has been assimilated and the true extent of the problem has come to light. Historically, the direction of research funding in the field of canine genetic disease has been largely influenced by the potential transferability of findings to human medicine, economic benefit and importance of dogs for working purposes. More recently, the argument for a more canine welfare-orientated approach has been made, targeting research efforts at the alleviation of the most suffering in the greatest number of animals. A method of welfare risk assessment was initially developed as a means of objectively comparing, and thus setting priorities for, different welfare problems. The method has been applied to inherited disorders in pedigree dogs to investigate which disorders have the greatest welfare impact and which breeds are most affected. Work in this field has identified 396 inherited disorders in the top 50 most popular breeds in the UK. This article discusses how the results of welfare risk assessment for inherited disorders can be used to develop strategies for improving the health and welfare of dogs in the long term. A new risk assessment criterion, the Breed-Disorder Welfare Impact Score (BDWIS), which takes into account the proportion of life affected by a disorder, is introduced. A set of health and welfare goals is proposed and strategies for achieving these goals are highlighted, along with potential rate-determining factors at each step. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Lisa M. Collins (2008)Non-intrusive tracking of commercial broiler chickens in situ at different stocking densities, In: Applied animal behaviour science112(1-2)94pp. 94-105 Elsevier

Unlike several other farm animal species, the broiler chicken remains unprotected by species-specific legislation. The densities at which broilers should be kept is a highly contentious issue-some studies have demonstrated increased welfare problems at higher densities, whilst a few others have, contrary to expectations, suggested that broilers may actually find crowds of other birds attractive. A tracking method was developed and used to provide an insight into the social preferences of commercial broiler chickens in situ-inside commercial, closed-system broiler houses. The aim was to simultaneously assess the relative impact of global measures of density, such as target and actual stocking densities and local measures of the social environment on the behaviour and route taken to feed by focal birds. Birds were tracked inside 20 commercial broiler houses across the UK. Results from this study show that stocking density per se seems to have little direct effect on the individual behaviours of focal broiler chickens. However, there may still be an indirect effect of stocking density on broiler behaviour, mediated through the local social environment. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Lucy Asher, Lisa M. Collins, Dirk U. Pfeiffer, Christine J. Nicol (2013)Flocking for food or flockmates?, In: Applied animal behaviour science147(1-2)94pp. 94-103 Elsevier

Animals in groups behave cohesively, even when those animals are domesticated and are housed in limited environments. But how is such group cohesion maintained? Do animals move in an independent manner, according to their own motivations, or in a social manner, with respect to the movements of others? Here, we use a mathematical model to consider the contributions of social and independent factors in determining group cohesion in clustering hens. The model was based on observed data of singly housed laying hens with additional social attraction factors imposed. We examined the resulting group-cohesiveness when agents were homogenous or heterogeneous in: (i) their attraction towards group members (flockmates) and (ii) their attraction towards resources (food). Provided member agents had similar motivations, groups could maintain high levels of clustering when social attraction was weak. In modelled leader-follower groups, the likelihood of dispersal increased as motivational differences between members increased. Model-fit was tested against clustering observed in twelve replicates of small groups of laying hens housed in the same environment as the singly housed hens used to construct the model. Overall hen clustering most closely matched models of distributed leadership, where all group member agents were independently resource-motivated for the same resource: so hens flocked for food and not for flockmates. In space- or resource-limited environments many of the benefits of group living could be achieved through a combination of conspecific-tolerance and shared motivations, without need for leadership or consensus decision-making. (C) 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V.

Lisa M. Collins, Lucy Asher, Dirk U. Pfeiffer, William J. Browne, Christine J. Nicol (2011)Clustering and synchrony in laying hens: The effect of environmental resources on social dynamics, In: Applied animal behaviour science129(1)43pp. 43-53 Elsevier

Laying hens generally choose to aggregate, but the extent to which the environments in which we house them impact on social group dynamics is not known. In this paper the effect of pen environment on spatial clustering is considered. Twelve groups of four laying hens were studied under three environmental conditions: wire floor (W), shavings (Sh) and perches, peat, nestbox and shavings (PPN). Groups experienced each environment twice, for five weeks each time, in a systematic order that varied from group to group. Video recordings were made one day per week for 30 weeks. To determine level of clustering, we recorded positional data from a randomly selected 20-min excerpt per video (a total of 20 min x 360 videos analysed). On screen, pens were divided into six equal areas. In addition, PPN pens were divided into an additional four (sub) areas, to account for the use of perches (one area per half perch). Every 5 s, we recorded the location of each bird and calculated location use over time, feeding synchrony and cluster scores for each environment. Feeding synchrony and cluster scores were compared against unweighted and weighted (according to observed proportional location use) Poisson distributions to distinguish between resource and social attraction. Clustering was greater than expected in all environments under both weighted and unweighted distribution assumptions. In all environments, singleton hens were observed less than expected, and groups of two or more were observed in the feeding location more than expected in an unweighted distribution. In conclusion, it was found that hens in all environments clustered: however clustering appeared to result from resource-use rather than social cohesion. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

William H.M. James, Nik Lomax, Mark Birkin, Lisa M. Collins (2022)Targeted policy intervention for reducing red meat consumption: conflicts and trade-offs, In: BMC nutrition8(1)80pp. 1-80 BioMed Central
Chérie E. Part, Phil Edwards, Shakoor Hajat, Lisa M. Collins (2016)Prevalence rates of health and welfare conditions in broiler chickens change with weather in a temperate climate, In: Royal Society open science3(9)160197pp. 160197-160197 The Royal Society

Climate change impact assessment and adaptation research in agriculture has focused primarily on crop production, with less known about the potential impacts on livestock. We investigated how the prevalence of health and welfare conditions in broiler (meat) chickens changes with weather (temperature, rainfall, air frost) in a temperate climate. Cases of 16 conditions were recorded at approved slaughterhouses in Great Britain. National prevalence rates and distribution mapping were based on data from more than 2.4 billion individuals, collected between January 2011 and December 2013. Analysis of temporal distribution and associations with national weather were based on monthly data from more than 6.8 billion individuals, collected between January 2003 and December 2013. Ascites, bruising/fractures, hepatitis and abnormal colour/fever were most common, at annual average rates of 29.95, 28.00, 23.76 and 22.29 per 10 000, respectively. Ascites and abnormal colour/fever demonstrated clear annual cycles, with higher rates in winter than in summer. Ascites prevalence correlated strongly with maximum temperature at 0 and −1 month lags. Abnormal colour/fever correlated strongly with temperature at 0 lag. Maximum temperatures of approximately 8°C and approximately 19°C marked the turning points of curve in a U-shaped relationship with mortality during transportation and lairage. Future climate change research on broilers should focus on preslaughter mortality.

Jennifer F Summers, Dan G O'Neill, David Church, Lisa Collins, David Sargan, David C Brodbelt (2019)Health-related welfare prioritisation of canine disorders using electronic health records in primary care practice in the UK, In: BMC veterinary research15(1)163pp. 163-163

Evidence-based comparison of the disorder-specific welfare burdens of major canine conditions could better inform targeting of stakeholder resources, to maximise improvement of health-related welfare in UK dogs. Population-level disease related welfare impact offers a quantitative, welfare-centred framework for objective disorder prioritisation, but practical applications have been limited to date due to sparse reliable evidence on disorder-specific prevalence, severity and duration across the canine disease spectrum. The VetCompass™ Programme collects de-identified electronic health record data from dogs attending primary-care clinics UK-wide, and is well placed to fill these information gaps. The eight common, breed-related conditions assessed were anal sac disorder, conjunctivitis, dental disease, dermatitis, overweight/obese, lipoma, osteoarthritis and otitis externa. Annual period prevalence estimates (based on confirming 250 cases from total potential cases identified from denominator population of 455, 557 dogs) were highest for dental disorder (9.6%), overweight/obese (5.7%) and anal sac disorder (4.5%). Dental disorder (76% of study year), osteoarthritis (82%), and overweight/obese (70%) had highest annual duration scores. Osteoarthritis (scoring 13/21), otitis externa (11/21) and dermatitis demonstrated (10/21) highest overall severity scores. Dental disorder (2.47/3.00 summative score), osteoarthritis (2.24/3.00) and overweight/obese (1.67/3.00) had highest VetCompass Welfare Impact scores overall. Of the eight common, breed-related disorders assessed, dental disorder, osteoarthritis and overweight/obese demonstrated particular welfare impact, based on combinations of high prevalence, duration and severity. Future work could extend this methodology to cover a wider range of disorders. Dental disorders, osteoarthritis and overweight/obese have emerged as priority areas for health-related welfare improvement in the UK dog population. This study demonstrated applicability of a standardised methodology to assess the relative health-related welfare impact across a range of canine disorders using VetCompass clinical data.

H. Gray, M. Friel, C. Goold, R. P. Smith, S. M. Williamson, L. M. Collins (2021)Modelling the links between farm characteristics, respiratory health and pig production traits, In: Scientific reports11(1)13789pp. 13789-13789 NATURE PORTFOLIO

Sustainable livestock production requires links between farm characteristics, animal performance and animal health to be recognised and understood. In the pig industry, respiratory disease is prevalent, and has negative health, welfare and economic consequences. We used national-level carcass inspection data from the Food Standards Agency to identify associations between pig respiratory disease, farm characteristics (housing type and number of source farms), and pig performance (mortality, average daily weight gain, back fat and carcass weight) from 49 all in/all out grow-to-finish farms. We took a confirmatory approach by pre-registering our hypotheses and used Bayesian multi-level modelling to quantify the uncertainty in our estimates. The study findings showed that acquiring growing pigs from multiple sources was associated with higher respiratory condition prevalence. Higher prevalence of respiratory conditions was linked with higher mortality, and lower average daily weight gain, back fat and pig carcass weight. Our results support previous literature using a range of data sources. In conclusion, we find that meat inspection data are more valuable at a finer resolution than has been previously indicated and could be a useful tool in monitoring batch-level pig health in the future.

H. Lee, C. Perkins, H. Gray, S. Hajat, M. Friel, R. P. Smith, S. Williamson, P. Edwards, L. M. Collins (2020)Influence of temperature on prevalence of health and welfare conditions in pigs: time-series analysis of pig abattoir inspection data in England and Wales, In: Epidemiology and infection148e30pp. e30-e30 Cambridge University Press

The prevalence of many diseases in pigs displays seasonal distributions. Despite growing concerns about the impacts of climate change, we do not yet have a good understanding of the role that weather factors play in explaining such seasonal patterns. In this study, national and county-level aggregated abattoir inspection data were assessed for England and Wales during 2010–2015. Seasonally-adjusted relationships were characterised between weekly ambient maximum temperature and the prevalence of both respiratory conditions and tail biting detected at slaughter. The prevalence of respiratory conditions showed cyclical annual patterns with peaks in the summer months and troughs in the winter months each year. However, there were no obvious associations with either high or low temperatures. The prevalence of tail biting generally increased as temperatures decreased, but associations were not supported by statistical evidence: across all counties there was a relative risk of 1.028 (95% CI 0.776–1.363) for every 1 °C fall in temperature. Whilst the seasonal patterns observed in this study are similar to those reported in previous studies, the lack of statistical evidence for an explicit association with ambient temperature may possibly be explained by the lack of information on date of disease onset. There is also the possibility that other time-varying factors not investigated here may be driving some of the seasonal patterns.

Raphaelle Metras, Chris Jewell, Thibaud Porphyre, Peter N. Thompson, Dirk U. Pfeiffer, Lisa M. Collins, Richard G. White (2015)Risk factors associated with Rift Valley fever epidemics in South Africa in 2008-11, In: Scientific reports5(1)9492pp. 9492-9492 Springer Nature

Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a zoonotic and vector-borne disease, mainly present in Africa, which represents a threat to human health, animal health and production. South Africa has experienced three major RVF epidemics (1950-51, 1973-75 and 2008-11). Due to data scarcity, no previous study has quantified risk factors associated with RVF epidemics in animals in South Africa. Using the 2008-11 epidemic datasets, a retrospective longitudinal study was conducted to identify and quantify spatial and temporal environmental factors associated with RVF incidence. Cox regressions with a Besag model to account for the spatial effects were fitted to the data. Coefficients were estimated by Bayesian inference using integrated nested Laplace approximation. An increase in vegetation density was the most important risk factor until 2010. In 2010, increased temperature was the major risk factor. In 2011, after the large 2010 epidemic wave, these associations were reversed, potentially confounded by immunity in animals, probably resulting from earlier infection and vaccination. Both vegetation density and temperature should be considered together in the development of risk management strategies. However, the crucial need for improved access to data on population at risk, animal movements and vaccine use is highlighted to improve model predictions.

Lauren M. Smith, Sabine Hartmann, Alexandru M. Munteanu, Paolo Dalla Villa, Rupert J. Quinnell, Lisa M. Collins (2019)The Effectiveness of Dog Population Management: A Systematic Review, In: Animals (Basel)9(12)1020 Mdpi

Simple Summary Domestic dogs are abundant worldwide-as owned pets, unowned strays, and feral animals. High numbers of free-roaming dogs can be a concern because of the risks they pose to public health, animal welfare, and wildlife. Using a systematic review process, we investigated what the research published to date can tell us about the effectiveness of different dog population management methods. We found that management methods for dog populations have been researched in multiple countries worldwide, using a wide range of indicators to assess method effectiveness. We outline the results and suggest improvements to help guide future dog population management policy. Abstract The worldwide population of domestic dogs is estimated at approximately 700 million, with around 75% classified as "free-roaming". Where free-roaming dogs exist in high densities, there are significant implications for public health, animal welfare, and wildlife. Approaches to manage dog populations include culling, fertility control, and sheltering. Understanding the effectiveness of each of these interventions is important in guiding future dog population management. We present the results of a systematic review of published studies investigating dog population management, to assess: (1) where and when studies were carried out; (2) what population management methods were used; and (3) what was the effect of the method. We evaluated the reporting quality of the published studies for strength of evidence assessment. The systematic review resulted in a corpus of 39 papers from 15 countries, reporting a wide disparity of approaches and measures of effect. We synthesised the management methods and reported effects. Fertility control was most investigated and had the greatest reported effect on dog population size. Reporting quality was low for power calculations (11%), sample size calculations (11%), and the use of control populations (17%). We provide recommendations for future studies to use common metrics and improve reporting quality, study design, and modelling approaches in order to allow better assessment of the true impact of dog population management.

Carl Soulsbury, Helen Gray, Lauren Smith, Victoria Braithwaite, Sheena Cotter, Robert W. Elwood, Anna Wilkinson, Lisa M. Collins (2020)The welfare and ethics of research involving wild animals: A primer, In: Methods in ecology and evolution11(10)pp. 1164-1181 Wiley

Wild animals are used in scientific research in a wide variety of contexts both in situ and ex situ. Guidelines for best practice, where they exist, are not always clearly linked to animal welfare and may instead have their origins in practicality. This is complicated by a lack of clarity about indicators of welfare for wild animals, and to what extent a researcher should intervene in cases of compromised welfare. ThisPrimerhighlights and discusses the broad topic of wild animal welfare and the ethics of using wild animals in scientific research, both in the wild and in controlled conditions. Throughout, we discuss issues associated with the capture, handling, housing and experimental approaches for species occupying varied habitats, in both vertebrates and invertebrates (principally insects, crustaceans and molluscs). We highlight where data on the impacts of wild animal research are lacking and provide suggestive guidance to help direct, prepare and mitigate potential welfare issues, including the consideration of end-points and the ethical framework around euthanasia. We conclude with a series of recommendations for researchers to implement from the design stage of any study that uses animals, right through to publication, and discuss the role of journals in promoting better reporting of wild animal studies, ultimately to the benefit of wild animal welfare.

Siobhan M. Abeyesinghe, Julian A. Drewe, Lucy Asher, Christopher M. Wathes, Lisa M. Collins (2013)Do hens have friends?, In: Applied animal behaviour science143(1)61pp. 61-66 Elsevier

Recent interest in positive welfare has encouraged consideration of the formation of socio-positive relationships in farmed species which may provide a means by which to manage positive states. We investigated in detail the existence of dyadic preferential associations in small groups of domestic laying hens. Spatial and temporal associations were examined in two contexts (day activity and evening roosting), within 8 identical pens of 15 laying hens over 8 weeks. Little aggression was observed. Social network analysis was performed to investigate correlations in who associated with whom using weighted degree (number) and binary (presence or absence) data for shared resource areas and proximity to other individuals. No consistent evidence was found for hens actively preferring others in their choice of resource area, or in companion proximity. Perch-roosting positions chosen by the hens were compared with data generated from a random-choice model. Hens showed no position preferences. Most dyads were never observed roosting together and, although some apparently perched together frequently, the low number of nights perching and proportion of nights spent together indicates these findings should be interpreted with caution. Overall, we found no convincing evidence of dyadic preferential relationships expressed by close active and resting proximities. Further work is required to confirm whether these findings hold true in other experimental contexts, are affected by social experience and if they hold in common with the progenitor sub-species. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Jenna L. Kiddie, Lisa M. Collins (2014)Development and validation of a quality of life assessment tool for use in kennelled dogs (Canis familiaris), In: Applied animal behaviour science15857pp. 57-68 Elsevier

There is currently no objective and validated quality of life assessment tool available to assess the quality of life of domestic dogs in kennels. This study aimed to develop a validated scoring system to assess the quality of life of dogs kennelled in rehoming centres. Objective animal-based measures of welfare and quality of life, identified from the scientific literature, were included in the scoring system to indicate negative and positive quality of life. Each item was scored using a binary system to minimise subjectivity in scoring. Dogs were recruited from 13 rehoming centres into four different treatment groups: group NS consisted of dogs that had newly arrived at the shelter and received a standard husbandry routine; group NE consisted of dogs that had newly arrived at the shelter and received an enrichment programme; group LS consisted of dogs that had been in the centre for more than 30 days and received a standard husbandry routine; and group LE consisted of dogs that had been in the shelter for more than 30 days and received an enrichment programme. Interobserver reliability of each item was established and internal consistency of the entire score was assessed: seven unreliable items were removed and the scoring system was refined. 26.7% (ICC1 = 0.267) of the variation in quality of life scores was explained by rehoming centre group membership, and rehoming centre groups could reliably be differentiated in terms of quality of life scores (ICC2 = 0.832). Therefore, quality of life scores varied between rehoming centres but other factors must exist to explain the remaining 73.3% of the variation in quality of life scores. The addition of an enrichment programme and later recruitment onto the study increased quality of life scores by 0.035 +/- 0.027 (SE) and 0.086 +/- 0.027 (SE), respectively. These increases represent an 8.27% and a 20.33% improvement on the overall (across all treatment groups) mean QoL score (0.423). Evidence of good content, construct and criterion validity was established, however, internal consistency was found to be poor, indicating that the reliability of the score could be improved. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Jennifer F. Summers, Gillian Diesel, Lucy Asher, Paul D. McGreevy, Lisa M. Collins (2010)Inherited defects in pedigree dogs. Part 2: Disorders that are not related to breed standards, In: The veterinary journal (1997)183(1)pp. 39-45 Elsevier Ltd

Recent debate concerning health problems in pedigree animals has highlighted gaps in current knowledge of the prevalence, severity and welfare implications of deleterious inherited traits within the pedigree-dog population. In this second part of a two-part review, inherited disorders in the top 50 UK Kennel Club registered breeds were researched using systematic searches of existing databases. A set of inclusion and exclusion criteria, including an evidence strength scale (SEHB), were applied to search results. A total of 312 non-conformation linked inherited disorders was identified, with German shepherd dogs and Golden retrievers associated with the greatest number of disorders. The most commonly reported mode of inheritance was autosomal recessive (71%; 57 breed-disorder combinations), and the most common primarily affected body system was the nervous sensory system. To provide a true assessment of the scale of inherited disorders in the pedigree dogs studied more effort is required to collect accurate prevalence data.

Raphaelle Metras, Thibaud Porphyre, Dirk U. Pfeiffer, Alan Kemp, Peter N. Thompson, Lisa M. Collins, Richard G. White (2012)Exploratory Space-Time Analyses of Rift Valley Fever in South Africa in 2008-2011, In: PLoS neglected tropical diseases6(8)1808pp. e1808-e1808 Public Library Science

Background: Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a zoonotic arbovirosis for which the primary hosts are domestic livestock (cattle, sheep and goats). RVF was first described in South Africa in 1950-1951. Mechanisms for short and long distance transmission have been hypothesised, but there is little supporting evidence. Here we describe RVF occurrence and spatial distribution in South Africa in 2008-11, and investigate the presence of a contagious process in order to generate hypotheses on the different mechanisms of transmission. Methodology/Principal Findings: A total of 658 cases were extracted from World Animal Health Information Database. Descriptive statistics, epidemic curves and maps were produced. The space-time K-function was used to test for evidence of space-time interaction. Five RVF outbreak waves (one in 2008, two in 2009, one in 2010 and one in 2011) of varying duration, location and size were reported. About 70% of cases (n = 471) occurred in 2010, when the epidemic was almost country-wide. No strong evidence of space-time interaction was found for 2008 or the second wave in 2009. In the first wave of 2009, a significant space-time interaction was detected for up to one month and over 40 km. In 2010 and 2011 a significant intense, short and localised space-time interaction (up to 3 days and 15 km) was detected, followed by one of lower intensity (up to 2 weeks and 35 to 90 km). Conclusions/Significance: The description of the spatiotemporal patterns of RVF in South Africa between 2008 and 2011 supports the hypothesis that during an epidemic, disease spread may be supported by factors other than active vector dispersal. Limitations of under-reporting and space-time K-function properties are discussed. Further spatial analyses and data are required to explain factors and mechanisms driving RVF spread.

Michael Mendl, Richard Bennett, Lisa Collins, Anna Davies, Paul Flecknell, Laura Green, Jane Hurst, Alistair Lawrence, Poppy Statham, James Turnbull (2016)Enhancing collaboration in the UK animal welfare research community, In: Veterinary record178(6)pp. 138-139 Bmj Publishing Group
William H M James, Nik Lomax, Mark Birkin, Lisa M Collins (2021)Geodemographic Patterns of Meat Expenditure in Great Britain, In: Applied spatial analysis and policy14(3)563pp. 563-590

The future of the meat industry will require the management of important trade-offs between economic, environmental and health aspects of both humans and animals. Understanding the patterns and trends of meat expenditure and consumption is crucial for assessing the current resilience of the system and for economic, planning, health and environmental applications. Here, we show how the technique of geodemographic classification, combined with fine scale expenditure estimates can be used to explore temporal and spatial patterns of meat expenditure in Great Britain between 2008 and 2017. Whilst the expenditure patterns of some food categories such as sausages remained relatively consistent, others such as lamb show a trend towards a reduced proportion of expenditure and increased inequality of purchases. Short term changes in expenditure patterns also occurred, potentially due to product specific price variability, price elasticities or zoonotic disease scare. Environmental attitudes, financial constraints and the prominence of communities who do not eat meat for religious or cultural reasons are likely to be driving the differences between geodemographic groups. The methodology and results could be a valuable tool for policy makers in the meat industry and beyond.

Lucy Asher, Gillian Diesel, Jennifer F. Summers, Paul D. McGreevy, Lisa M. Collins (2009)Inherited defects in pedigree dogs. Part 1: Disorders related to breed standards, In: The veterinary journal (1997)182(3)pp. 402-411 Elsevier Ltd

The United Kingdom pedigree-dog industry has faced criticism because certain aspects of dog conformation stipulated in the UK Kennel Club breed standards have a detrimental impact on dog welfare. A review of conformation-related disorders was carried out in the top 50 UK Kennel Club registered breeds using systematic searches of existing information. A novel index to score severity of disorders along a single scale was also developed and used to conduct statistical analyses to determine the factors affecting reported breed predisposition to defects. According to the literature searched, each of the top 50 breeds was found to have at least one aspect of its conformation predisposing it to a disorder; and 84 disorders were either directly or indirectly associated with conformation. The Miniature poodle, Bulldog, Pug and Basset hound had most associations with conformation-related disorders. Further research on prevalence and severity is required to assess the impact of different disorders on the welfare of affected breeds.

Lisa M Collins (2013)Assessing the assessors of quality of life, In: The veterinary journal (1997)197(3)pp. 531-532
Kevin J. McPeake, Lisa M. Collins, Helen Zulch, Daniel S. Mills (2021)Behavioural and Physiological Correlates of the Canine Frustration Questionnaire, In: Animals (Basel)11(12)3346 Mdpi

Simple Summary Frustration is a negative emotional state implicated in a range of canine behaviour problems. The Canine Frustration Questionnaire (CFQ) is an owner questionnaire developed to measure frustration tendencies in dogs. This study looks at behavioural and physiological measures and their relationship with the CFQ. A series of tests were designed to induce frustration in dogs, and these were completed by 44 dogs; each dog owner completed a CFQ. Specific behavioural measures were coded from the test footage, and the relationships with the CFQ scores were assessed. In addition, a saliva sample was collected before and after the test in 39 dogs so that cortisol, a measure of physiological arousal, could be measured. Various behavioural test measures (e.g., vocalising and lunging) were associated with CFQ scores. Cortisol change and cortisol levels after the tests were greater in dogs who were more highly frustrated. These results support the use of owner report through the CFQ to measure frustration tendencies. Frustration is a negative emotional state implicated in a range of canine behaviour problems. The Canine Frustration Questionnaire (CFQ) is the first psychometric tool developed to assess frustration tendencies in dogs based on owner report. However, to date, no published studies have assessed behavioural and physiological correlates of this trait. A novel behaviour test battery was developed to induce frustration in dogs, mapping onto the CFQ. Forty-four dogs were recruited and filmed whilst undertaking the test battery, and a CFQ was completed by each owner. Targeted behavioural measures were assessed from this footage, based on hypotheses aimed at evaluating convergent and discriminant validity with facets of the CFQ. In addition, a saliva sample was collected pre- and post-testing for 39 dogs, and a cortisol assay performed using ELISA to provide a physiological measure of arousal. A range of predicted behavioural test measures (e.g., vocalising and lunging) positively correlated with CFQ scores. For 22 dogs with pre-test salivary cortisol levels of

Mary Friel, Hansjoerg P. Kunc, Kym Griffin, Lucy Asher, Lisa M. Collins (2019)Positive and negative contexts predict duration of pig vocalisations, In: Scientific reports9(Feb (E-published))2062pp. 2062-2062 Springer Nature

Emotions are mental states occurring in response to external and internal stimuli and thus form an integral part of an animal's behaviour. Emotions can be mapped in two dimensions based on their arousal and valence. Whilst good indicators of arousal exist, clear indicators of emotional valence, particularly positive valence, are still rare. However, positively valenced emotions may play a crucial role in social interactions in many species and thus, an understanding of how emotional valence is expressed is needed. Vocalisations are a potential indicator of emotional valence as they can reflect the internal state of the caller. We experimentally manipulated valence, using positive and negative cognitive bias trials, to quantify changes in pig vocalisations. We found that grunts were shorter in positive trials than in negative trials. Interestingly, we did not find differences in the other measured acoustic parameters between the positive and negative contexts as reported in previous studies. These differences in results suggest that acoustic parameters may differ in their sensitivity as indicators of emotial valence. However, it is important to understand how similar contexts are, in terms of their valence, to be able to fully understand how and when acoustic parameters reflect emotional states.

Raphaelle Metras, Marc Baguelin, W. John Edmunds, Peter N. Thompson, Alan Kemp, Dirk U. Pfeiffer, Lisa M. Collins, Richard G. White (2013)Transmission Potential of Rift Valley Fever Virus over the Course of the 2010 Epidemic in South Africa, In: Emerging infectious diseases19(6)pp. 916-924 CENTERS DISEASE CONTROL

A Rift Valley fever (RVF) epidemic affecting animals on domestic livestock farms was reported in South Africa during January-August 2010. The first cases occurred after heavy rainfall, and the virus subsequently spread countrywide. To determine the possible effect of environmental. conditions and vaccination on RVF virus transmissibility, we estimated the effective reproduction number (R-e) for the virus over the course of the epidemic by extending the Wallinga and Teunis algorithm with spatial information. Re reached its highest value in mid-February and fell below unity around mid-March, when vaccination coverage was 7.5%-45.7% and vector-suitable environmental conditions were maintained. The epidemic fade-out likely resulted first from the immunization of animals following natural infection or vaccination. The decline in vector-suitable environmental conditions from April onward S and further vaccination helped maintain R-e below unity. Increased availability of vaccine use data would enable evaluation of the effect of RVF vaccination campaigns.

C. E. Part, J. L. Kiddie, W. A. Hayes, D. S. Mills, R. F. Neville, D. B. Morton, L. M. Collins (2014)Physiological, physical and behavioural changes in dogs (Canis familiaris) when kennelled: Testing the validity of stress parameters, In: Physiology & behavior133pp. 260-271 Elsevier

Domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) housed in kennelling establishments are considered at risk of suffering poor welfare. Previous research supporting this hypothesis has typically used cortisol:creatinine ratios (C/Cr) to measure acute and chronic stress in kennelled dogs. However, the value of C/Cr as a welfare indicator has been questioned. This study aimed to test the validity of a range of physiological, physical and behavioural welfare indicators and to establish baseline values reflecting good dog welfare. Measurements were taken from 29 privately-owned dogs (14 males, 15 females), ranging in age and breed, in their own home and in a boarding kennel environment, following a within-subjects, counterbalanced design. Pairwise comparisons revealed that C/Cr and vanillylmandelic acid:creatinine ratios (VMA/Cr) were higher in the kennel than home environment (P = 0.003; P = 0.01, respectively) and were not associated with differences in movement/exercise between environments. Dogs' surface temperature was lower in kennels (P = 0.001) and was not associated with ambient temperature. No association with age, or effects of kennel establishment, kennelling experience, sex or source were found. Dogs were generally more active in kennels, but showed considerable individual variability. C/Cr and 5-HIAA:creatinine ratios (5-HIAA/Cr) were negatively correlated with lip licking in kennels. Baseline values for each parameter are presented. The emotional valence of responses was ambiguous and no definitive evidence was found to suggest that dogs were negatively stressed by kennelling. It was concluded that C/Cr and, particularly, VMA/Cr and surface temperature provide robust indicators of psychological arousal in dogs, while spontaneous behaviour might be better used to facilitate interpretation of physiological and physical data on an individual level. (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Martin L. Whitehead, Anna Wilkinson, Oliver Burman, Lisa Collins, Tatjana Hoehfurtner (2016)Reptile survey, In: Veterinary record178(5)pp. 124-124 Bmj Publishing Group
Jenna Kiddie, Lisa Collins (2015)Identifying environmental and management factors that may be associated with the quality of life of kennelled dogs (Canis familiaris), In: Applied animal behaviour science16743pp. 43-55 Elsevier

This paper describes the use of a validated quality of life assessment tool (described elsewhere) to identify environmental and management factors that may affect quality of life in dogs kennelled in rehoming centres. Dogs were allocated to one of the four treatment groups, all of which had a positive (0.0-1.0) average quality of life score: long stay dogs with an enriched routine had a mean score of 0.477; long stay dogs with a standard routine had a mean score of 0.453; newly admitted dogs with an enriched routine had a mean score of 0.399; and newly admitted dogs with a standard routine had a mean score of 0.362. Only 2% of the dogs had a negative score (-1.0-0.0). Thirteen rehoming centre managers completed a questionnaire relating to the kennel environment and management practices of their rehoming centres. The environmental and management factors' associations with quality of life scores, collected from 202 dogs from the 13 rehoming centres using this scoring system, were analysed as fixed factors in a linear mixed-effect model, with rehoming centre fitted as a random factor, and a multiple linear regression model. There was a statistically significant association between quality of life scores and rehoming centre (H(12) = 54.153, p < 0.001), however, the fitted linear mixed-effect model did not improve upon the null model and therefore cannot be used to explain the 29% variance in quality of life scores attributed to rehoming centre. The multiple linear regression model explained 42% of the variation in quality of life scores (F(10,131) = 9.318, p < 0.001): the provision of bunk beds increased quality of life scores by 0.3 (t = 3.476, p < 0.001); provision of 30 min or more of staff or volunteer interaction increased scores by 0.26 (t = -2.551, p = 0.012); grooming dogs decreased scores by 0.404 (t = 3.326, p = 0.001); exercising dogs more than once a day decreased scores by 0.173 (t = -3.644, p =

Carrie L. Ijichi, Lisa M. Collins, Robert W. Elwood (2013)Evidence for the role of personality in stereotypy predisposition, In: Animal behaviour85(6)1145pp. 1145-1151 Elsevier

It is often suggested that stereotypic behaviour represents a coping response to suboptimal environmental conditions. However, individuals of many species show different coping styles depending on their personality type. Therefore, personality is an important consideration when investigating why only certain individuals become stereotypic under suboptimal conditions. Thus, the aim of this review is to explore the possibility that personality, in particular coping style, may explain why certain individuals are predisposed to stereotypy. We review behavioural and physiological similarities between proactive and stereotypic individuals and suggest that they may in fact be the same phenotype. We also explore how these characteristics might predispose proactive individuals to stereotypy and how this is triggered by the environment. We conclude that personality factors relating to proactivity may mediate whether an animal expresses stereotypic behaviour and that the alternative strategy in such conditions is depression and emotional blunting. We conclude by outlining the animal welfare implications if this hypothesis is correct. (C) 2013 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Carrie Ijichi, Lisa M. Collins, Emma Creighton, Robert W. Elwood (2013)Harnessing the power of personality assessment: subjective assessment predicts behaviour in horses, In: Behavioural processes9647pp. 47-52 Elsevier

Objective assessment of animal personality is typically time consuming, requiring the repeated measure of behavioural responses. By contrast, subjective assessment of personality allows information to be collected quickly by experienced caregivers. However, subjective assessment must predict behaviour to be valid. Comparisons of subjective assessments and behaviour have been made but often with methodological weaknesses and thus, limited success. Here we test the validity of a subjective assessment against a battery of behaviour tests in 146 horses (Equus caballus). Our first aim was to determine if subjective personality assessment could predict behaviour during behaviour testing. We made specific a priori predictions for how subjectively measured personality should relate to behaviour testing. We found that Extroversion predicted time to complete a handling test and refusal behaviour during this test. It also predicted minimum distance to a novel object. Neuroticism predicted how reactive an individual was to a sudden visual stimulus but not how quickly it recovered from this. Agreeableness did not predict any behaviour during testing. There were several unpredicted correlations between subjective measures and behaviour tests which we explore further. Our second aim was to combine data from the subjective assessment and behaviour tests to gain a more comprehensive understanding of personality. We found that the combination of methods provides new insights into horse behaviour. Furthermore, our data are consistent with the idea of horses showing different coping styles, a novel finding for this species. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Katharine L. Anderson, Dan G. O'Neill, David C. Brodbelt, David B. Church, Richard L. Meeson, David Sargan, Jennifer F. Summers, Helen Zulch, Lisa M. Collins (2018)Prevalence, duration and risk factors for appendicular osteoarthritis in a UK dog population under primary veterinary care, In: Scientific reports8(1)5641pp. 5641-12 Springer Nature

Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease diagnosed in veterinary medicine and poses considerable challenges to canine welfare. This study aimed to investigate prevalence, duration and risk factors of appendicular osteoarthritis in dogs under primary veterinary care in the UK. The VetCompass (TM) programme collects clinical data on dogs attending UK primary-care veterinary practices. The study included all VetCompass (TM) dogs under veterinary care during 2013. Candidate osteoarthritis cases were identified using multiple search strategies. A random subset was manually evaluated against a case definition. Of 455,557 study dogs, 16,437 candidate osteoarthritis cases were identified; 6104 (37%) were manually checked and 4196 (69% of sample) were confirmed as cases. Additional data on demography, clinical signs, duration and management were extracted for confirmed cases. Estimated annual period prevalence (accounting for subsampling) of appendicular osteoarthritis was 2.5% (CI95: 2.4-2.5%) equating to around 200,000 UK affected dogs annually. Risk factors associated with osteoarthritis diagnosis included breed (e.g. Labrador, Golden Retriever), being insured, being neutered, of higher bodyweight and being older than eight years. Duration calculation trials suggest osteoarthritis affects 11.4% of affected individuals' lifespan, providing further evidence for substantial impact of osteoarthritis on canine welfare at the individual and population level.

Lucy Asher, Lisa M. Collins, Angel Ortiz-Pelaez, Julian A. Drewe, Christine J. Nicol, Dirk U. Pfeiffer (2009)Recent advances in the analysis of behavioural organization and interpretation as indicators of animal welfare, In: Journal of the Royal Society interface6(41)pp. 1103-1119 Royal Soc London

While the incorporation of mathematical and engineering methods has greatly advanced in other areas of the life sciences, they have been under-utilized in the field of animal welfare. Exceptions are beginning to emerge and share a common motivation to quantify 'hidden' aspects in the structure of the behaviour of an individual, or group of animals. Such analyses have the potential to quantify behavioural markers of pain and stress and quantify abnormal behaviour objectively. This review seeks to explore the scope of such analytical methods as behavioural indicators of welfare. We outline four classes of analyses that can be used to quantify aspects of behavioural organization. The underlying principles, possible applications and limitations are described for: fractal analysis, temporal methods, social network analysis, and agent-based modelling and simulation. We hope to encourage further application of analyses of behavioural organization by highlighting potential applications in the assessment of animal welfare, and increasing awareness of the scope for the development of new mathematical methods in this area.

Emily V. Bushby, Sheena C. Cotter, Anna Wilkinson, Mary Friel, Lisa M. Collins (2022)Judgment Bias During Gestation in Domestic Pigs, In: Frontiers in veterinary science9881101pp. 881101-881101 Frontiers Media S.A

In humans and rats, changes in affect are known to occur during pregnancy, however it is unknown how gestation may influence mood in other non-human mammals. This study assessed changes in pigs' judgment bias as a measure of affective state throughout gestation. Pigs were trained to complete a spatial judgment bias task with reference to positive and negative locations. We tested gilts before mating, and during early and late gestation, by assessing their responses to ambiguous probe locations. Pigs responded increasingly negatively to ambiguous probes as gestation progressed and there were consistent inter-individual differences in baseline optimism. This suggests that the pigs' affective state may be altered during gestation, although as a non-pregnant control group was not tested, an effect of learning cannot be ruled out. These results suggest that judgment bias is altered during gestation in domestic pigs, consequently raising novel welfare considerations for captive multiparous species.

Mary Friel, Hansjoerg P. Kunc, Kym Griffin, Lucy Asher, Lisa M. Collins (2016)Acoustic signalling reflects personality in a social mammal, In: Royal Society open science3(6)160178pp. 160178-160178 Royal Soc London

Social interactions among individuals are often mediated through acoustic signals. If acoustic signals are consistent and related to an individual's personality, these consistent individual differences in signalling may be an important driver in social interactions. However, few studies in non-human mammals have investigated the relationship between acoustic signalling and personality. Here we show that acoustic signalling rate is repeatable and strongly related to personality in a highly social mammal, the domestic pig (Sus scrofa domestica). Furthermore, acoustic signalling varied between environments of differing quality, with males from a poor-quality environment having a reduced vocalization rate compared with females and males from an enriched environment. Such differences may be mediated by personality with pigs from a poor-quality environment having more reactive and more extreme personality scores compared with pigs from an enriched environment. Our results add to the evidence that acoustic signalling reflects personality in a non-human mammal. Signals reflecting personalities may have far reaching consequences in shaping the evolution of social behaviours as acoustic communication forms an integral part of animal societies.

L.M Collins, D.J.T Sumpter (2007)The feeding dynamics of broiler chickens, In: Journal of the Royal Society interface4(12)65pp. 65-72 The Royal Society

Contrary to a commonly held belief that broiler chickens need more space, there is increasing evidence that these birds are attracted to other birds. Indeed, commercially farmed birds exhibit a range of socially facilitated behaviours, such as increased feeding and preening in response to the presence of other birds. Social facilitation can generate feedback loops, whereby the adoption of a particular behaviour can spread rapidly and suddenly through the population. Here, by measuring the rate at which broiler chickens join and leave a feeding trough as a function of the number of birds already there, we quantify social facilitation. We use these measurements to parameterize a simulation model of chicken feeding behaviour. This model predicts, and further observations of broiler chickens confirm, that social facilitation leads to excitatory and synchronized patterns of group feeding. Such models could prove a powerful tool in understanding how feeding patterns depend on broiler house design.

G.A. Carroll, L.A. Boyle, A. Hanlon, L. Collins, K. Griffin, M. Friel, D. Armstrong, N.E. O'Connell (2018)What can carcass-based assessments tell us about the lifetime welfare status of pigs?, In: Livestock science21498pp. 98-105 Elsevier B.V

•The use of carcass measures to understand lifetime pig welfare status was explored.•Tail and skin lesions acquired in early life remain visible on the carcass.•These lesions were not necessarily visible on the live animal in later life.•Carcass weight was negatively associated with persistent tail injuries.•Therefore carcass lesions and weight provide useful lifetime welfare information. There is increasing interest in developing abattoir-based measures of farm animal welfare. It is important to understand the extent to which these measures reflect lifetime welfare status. The study aim was to determine whether lesions acquired during different production stages remain visible on the carcass, and the degree to which carcass-based measures may reflect broader health and welfare issues. 532 animals were assessed at 7, 9 and 10 weeks of age (early life, EL), and at 15 and 20 weeks of age (later life, LL) for tail lesions (TL), skin lesions (SL) and a number of health issues (HI) including lameness and coughing. Pigs were categorised according to when individual welfare issues occurred in the production process; ‘early life’ [EL], ‘later life’ [LL], ‘whole life’ [WL], or ‘uninjured’ (U) if showing no signs of a specific welfare issue on-farm. Following slaughter, carcasses were scored for tail length, tail lesions, and skin lesions and cold carcass weights (CCW) were obtained. Generalised linear, ordinal logistic and binary logistic fixed model procedures were carried out to examine the ability of TL, SL and HI lifetime categories to predict carcass traits. Pigs with TL in EL, LL and WL had higher carcass tail lesion scores than U pigs (P 

Sarah Jane Reaney, Helen Zulch, Daniel Mills, Sarah Gardner, Lisa Collins (2017)Emotional affect and the occurrence of owner reported health problems in the domestic dog, In: Applied animal behaviour science19676pp. 76-83 Elsevier

Interactions between health, behaviour and individual differences such as; mood, affect or personality have been studied more in humans than they have in non-human animals. In humans, links can be made between personality and the expression of health problems, and between personality, affect, coping, treatment and recovery success. Previous research with animals has shown that personality and mood interact to determine judgement bias and that personality interacts with stress responses and pain expression. This indicates that the way animals deal with life events is dependent on interactions between personality and mood and that pain behaviours observed in animals are not always reflective of disease severity. As such, reliance only on behavioural displays of pain in health assessments, without information on what may mediate or moderate that behaviour makes accurate treatment difficult. The aim of this study was to look at the interactions between the occurrence of health conditions in pet dogs (as reported by their owner), behaviour and the dogs' score on core (positive and negative) affect. A survey collected information from dog owners about their dog's breed, sex, age, past and current medical record, occurrence of behaviour, and their dog's level of positive and negative affect. Nine hundred and forty-three responses were obtained, of which 796 were used in the analysis. Binomial logistic regressions were conducted, with either current or previous experience of a range of general health and pain-causing conditions included as dependent variables, and affectivity domains, aggression and age as independent variables. For most of the general health conditions (with the exception of the dental, vision and hearing problem category), only age was a predictor of both current and previous experience of a health condition. However, positive affect was associated with current experience of a pain-causing condition, with lower positive affect scores being most associated with presence of a current pain-causing condition. Only age was associated with experience of a previous condition. Finally, no difference in aggression scores was observed between dogs in any of the pain experience categories. These results provide novel findings for an association between health problems and affect in dogs.

Lauren Margaret Smith, Conor Goold, Rupert J. Quinnell, Alexandru M. Munteanu, Sabine Hartmann, Paolo Dalla Villa, Lisa M. Collins (2022)Population dynamics of free-roaming dogs in two European regions and implications for population control, In: PloS one17(9)0266636pp. e0266636-e0266636 Public Library Science

Changes in free-roaming dog population size are important indicators of the effectiveness of dog population management. Assessing the effectiveness of different management methods also requires estimating the processes that change population size, such as the rates of recruitment into and removal from a population. This is one of the first studies to quantify the size, rates of recruitment and removal, and health and welfare status of free-roaming dog populations in Europe. We determined the size, dynamics, and health status of free-roaming dog populations in Pescara, Italy, and Lviv, Ukraine, over a 15-month study period. Both study populations had ongoing dog population management through catch-neuter-release and sheltering programmes. Average monthly apparent survival probability was 0.93 (95% CI 0.81-1.00) in Pescara and 0.93 (95% CI 0.84-0.99) in Lviv. An average of 7 dogs km(-2) were observed in Pescara and 40 dogs km(-2) in Lviv. Per capita entry probabilities varied between 0.09 and 0.20 in Pescara, and 0.12 and 0.42 in Lviv. In Lviv, detection probability was lower on weekdays (odds ratio: 0.74, 95% CI 0.53-0.96) and higher on market days (odds ratio: 2.58, 95% CI 1.28-4.14), and apparent survival probability was lower in males (odds ratio: 0.25, 95% CI 0.03-0.59). Few juveniles were observed in the study populations, indicating that recruitment may be occurring by movement between dog subpopulations (e.g. from local owned or neighbouring free-roaming dog populations), with important consequences for population control. This study provides important data for planning effective dog population management and for informing population and infectious disease modelling.

Kevin J. McPeake, Lisa M. Collins, Helen Zulch, Daniel S. Mills (2019)The Canine Frustration Questionnaire-Development of a New Psychometric Tool for Measuring Frustration in Domestic Dogs (Canis familiaris), In: Frontiers in veterinary science6(MAY)152pp. 152-152 Frontiers Media Sa

Introduction: Psychometric tools have been developed for the assessment of behavioral and affective traits in non-human animals. Frustration can be defined as an emotional reaction experienced after a given expectation is violated. Frustration is a negative emotional state and whilst it probably plays a key role in certain behavior problems in dogs (e.g., aggressive behaviors), there appears to have been little attempt to scale this affective tendency. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to develop a tool to assess frustration tendencies in dogs. Materials and Methods: An online owner survey was developed. Items covered demographics, the training/behavioral history of the dog, and 33 frustration related items scored using a 5-point Likert scale. The questionnaire was disseminated via on-line channels over a 5-month period. Two thousand three hundred forty-eight respondents completed the questionnaire. Of these, 273 respondents completed it a second time 6 weeks later, and a separate 276 respondents completed it a second time 1 year later. Additionally, 92 paired responses were collected where two carers completed the questionnaire independently about the same dog. Intra- and inter-rater reliabilities were assessed prior to structuring the items using principal component analysis (PCA) with a Varimax rotation. Items were retained if they loaded > 0.4 on at least one of the components extracted using the Kaiser criterion. Results: Twenty-two items were deemed to be reliable enough to be used in the PCA and 21 items loaded on a biologically meaningful 5-principal component solution. There was a significant positive correlation between each principal component and the owners' general perception of their dogs' frustration tendencies, alongside other expected correlates. Conclusion: This is the first reliable psychometric tool for the assessment of frustration in dogs-the Canine Frustration Questionnaire (CFQ). Further validation with behavioral tests and physiological measures is ongoing.

Lei Zhang, Helen Gray, Xujiong Ye, Lisa Collins, Nigel Allinson (2019)Automatic Individual Pig Detection and Tracking in Pig Farms, In: Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)19(5)1188 Mdpi

Individual pig detection and tracking is an important requirement in many video-based pig monitoring applications. However, it still remains a challenging task in complex scenes, due to problems of light fluctuation, similar appearances of pigs, shape deformations, and occlusions. In order to tackle these problems, we propose a robust on-line multiple pig detection and tracking method which does not require manual marking or physical identification of the pigs and works under both daylight and infrared (nighttime) light conditions. Our method couples a CNN-based detector and a correlation filter-based tracker via a novel hierarchical data association algorithm. In our method, the detector gains the best accuracy/speed trade-off by using the features derived from multiple layers at different scales in a one-stage prediction network. We define a tag-box for each pig as the tracking target, from which features with a more local scope are extracted for learning, and the multiple object tracking is conducted in a key-points tracking manner using learned correlation filters. Under challenging conditions, the tracking failures are modelled based on the relations between responses of the detector and tracker, and the data association algorithm allows the detection hypotheses to be refined; meanwhile the drifted tracks can be corrected by probing the tracking failures followed by the re-initialization of tracking. As a result, the optimal tracklets can sequentially grow with on-line refined detections, and tracking fragments are correctly integrated into respective tracks while keeping the original identifications. Experiments with a dataset captured from a commercial farm show that our method can robustly detect and track multiple pigs under challenging conditions. The promising performance of the proposed method also demonstrates the feasibility of long-term individual pig tracking in a complex environment and thus promises commercial potential.

Lucy Asher, Mary Friel, Kym Griffin, Lisa M Collins (2016)Mood and personality interact to determine cognitive biases in pigs, In: Biology letters (2005)12(11)20160402pp. 20160402-20160402

Cognitive bias has become a popular way to access non-human animal mood, though inconsistent results have been found. In humans, mood and personality interact to determine cognitive bias, but to date, this has not been investigated in non-human animals. Here, we demonstrate for the first time, to the best of our knowledge, in a non-human animal, the domestic pig (Sus scrofa domesticus), that mood and personality interact, impacting on judgement. Pigs with a more proactive personality were more likely to respond optimistically to unrewarded ambiguous probes (spatially positioned between locations that were previously rewarded and unrewarded) independent of their housing (or enrichment) conditions. However, optimism/pessimism of reactive pigs in this task was affected by their housing conditions, which are likely to have influenced their mood state. Reactive pigs in the less enriched environment were more pessimistic and those in the more enriched environment, more optimistic. These results suggest that judgement in non-human animals is similar to humans, incorporating aspects of stable personality traits and more transient mood states.

William A. Hayes, Daniel S. Mills, Rachel F. Neville, Jenna Kiddie, Lisa M. Collins (2011)Determination of the molar extinction coefficient for the ferric reducing/antioxidant power assay, In: Analytical biochemistry416(2)pp. 202-205 Elsevier Inc

The FRAP reagent contains 2,4,6-tris(2-pyridyl)- s-triazine, which forms a blue–violet complex ion in the presence of ferrous ions. Although the FRAP (ferric reducing/antioxidant power) assay is popular and has been in use for many years, the correct molar extinction coefficient of this complex ion under FRAP assay conditions has never been published, casting doubt on the validity of previous calibrations. A previously reported value of 19,800 is an underestimate. We determined that the molar extinction coefficient was 21,140. The value of the molar extinction coefficient was also shown to depend on the type of assay and was found to be 22,230 under iron assay conditions, in good agreement with published data. Redox titration indicated that the ferrous sulfate heptahydrate calibrator recommended by Benzie and Strain, the FRAP assay inventors, is prone to efflorescence and, therefore, is unreliable. Ferrous ammonium sulfate hexahydrate in dilute sulfuric acid was a more stable alternative. Few authors publish their calibration data, and this makes comparative analyses impossible. A critical examination of the limited number of examples of calibration data in the published literature reveals only that Benzie and Strain obtained a satisfactory calibration using their method.

L. M. Collins, L. Asher, J. F. Summers, G. Diesel, P. D. McGreevy (2010)Welfare epidemiology as a tool to assess the welfare impact of inherited defects on the pedigree dog population, In: Animal welfare19(Supplement 1)67pp. 67-75 Univ Federation Animal Welfare

The effect that breed standards and selective breeding practices have on the welfare of pedigree dogs has recently come under scrutiny from both the general public and scientific community. Recent research has suggested that breeding for particular aesthetic traits, such as tightly curled tails, highly domed skulls and short muzzles predisposes dogs with these traits to certain inherited defects, such as spina bifida, syringomyelia and brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome, respectively. Further to this, there is a very large number of inherited diseases that are not related to breed standards, which are thought to be prevalent, partly as a consequence of inbreeding and restricted breeding pools. Inherited diseases, whether linked to conformation or not, have varying impact on the individuals affected by them, and affect varying proportions of the pedigree dog population. Some diseases affect few breeds but are highly prevalent in predisposed breeds. Other diseases affect many breeds, but have low prevalence within each breed. In this paper, we discuss the use of risk analysis and severity diagrams as means of mapping the overall problem of inherited disorders in pedigree dogs and, more specifically, the welfare impact of specific diseases in particular breeds.

L. Collins, Ga Carroll, La Boyle, A. Hanlon, Ma Palmer, K. Griffin, D. Armstrong, Ne O Connell (2018)Identifying physiological measures of lifetime welfare status in pigs: exploring the usefulness of haptoglobin, C-reactive protein and hair cortisol sampled at the time of slaughter, In: Irish Veterinary Journal71(1)8pp. 1-10 BioMed Central

Background: Physiological measures indicative of the welfare status of animals during rearing could form part of an abattoir-based animal health and welfare assessment tool. A total of 66 pigs were used in this study, the aim of which was to assess how serum concentrations of haptoglobin (Hp) and C-reactive protein (CRP) (assessed in 51 pigs), and hair concentrations of cortisol (assessed in 65 pigs), measured at or close to slaughter, reflected welfare-related indicators recorded from the animal during its lifetime. These indicators were recorded at intervals between 7 and 21 weeks of age and included assigning scores for levels of tail and skin lesions, recording the presence or absence of certain health issues, and conducting qualitative behavioural assessments (QBA).\ud \ud Results: Pigs recorded as having tail lesions during their lifetime had higher hair cortisol levels than those with no tail lesions (tail lesions: 47.87 ± 3.34 pg/mg, no tail lesions: 42.20 ± 3.29 pg/mg, P = 0.023), and pigs recorded as having moderate or severe tail lesions had higher Hp levels than those with no or mild tail lesions (moderate/severe: 1.711 mg/ml ± 0.74, none/mild: 0.731 mg/ml ±0.10, P = 0.010). Pigs recorded as being lame during their lifetime tended to have higher hair cortisol levels than non-lame pigs (lame: 52.72 pg/mg ± 3.83, not lame: 43.07 pg/mg ± 2.69, P = 0.062). QBA scores were not associated with any of the physiological measures (P > 0.05). Receiver Operator Curve (ROC) analysis was also carried out to get a better understanding of the usefulness of the physiological measures in discriminating animals that had had welfare-related issues recorded during their lifetime from those that had not. Hair cortisol was determined as having ‘moderate’ accuracy in discriminating pigs that were tail bitten on-farm from unbitten pigs (AUC: 0.748) while Hp and CRP were determined to have no meaningful discriminatory ability (AUC 

C. D. Bettley, J. M. Cardwell, L. M. Collins, L. Asher (2012)A review of scientific literature on inherited disorders in domestic horse breeds, In: Animal welfare21(1)59pp. 59-64 Univ Federation Animal Welfare

The full extent to which inherited disorders occur in different breeds of domestic horse (Equus caballus) has not been previously been investigated. A systematic search was carried out to review scientific literature on inherited disorders in domestic horse breeds and examine patterns in potentially inherited disorders. A two-part search was conducted: (i) electronic bibliographic databases for published studies; and (ii) existing online databases of inherited disorders in animals. A total of 230 papers were identified, discussing 102 inherited disorders in the horse. Few cases (17) were found in which disorders were reported to have a direct link to a conformational or phenotypic trait. Forty-nine breeds of domestic horse were described as being predisposed to one or more inherited disorders, but such predispositions did not distinguish between genetic or environmental causes. There were few patterns in the number of disorders to which breeds were reportedly predisposed or in the extent to which disorders were researched. The structure and grouping of disorders presented here could assist with standardisation in the terminology used for describing inherited disorders.

David J. Everest, John Griffin, Neil D. Warnock, Lisa Collins, Jaimie Dick, Neil Reid, Mike Scantlebury, Nikki Marks, Ian Montgomery (2012)Adenovirus particles from a wild red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) from Northern Ireland, In: Veterinary record170(7)pp. 188-188 BRITISH VETERINARY ASSOC
Emily V. Bushby, Mary Friel, Conor Goold, Helen Gray, Lauren Smith, Lisa M. Collins (2018)Factors Influencing Individual Variation in Farm Animal Cognition and How to Account for These Statistically, In: Frontiers in veterinary science5193pp. 193-193 Frontiers Media Sa

For farmed species, good health and welfare is a win-win situation: both the animals and producers can benefit. In recent years, animal welfare scientists have embraced cognitive sciences to rise to the challenge of determining an animal's internal state in order to better understand its welfare needs and by extension, the needs of larger groups of animals. A wide range of cognitive tests have been developed that can be applied in farmed species to assess a range of cognitive traits. However, this has also presented challenges. Whilst it may be expected to see cognitive variation at the species level, differences in cognitive ability between and within individuals of the same species have frequently been noted but left largely unexplained. Not accounting for individual variation may result in misleading conclusions when the results are applied both at an individual level and at higher levels of scale. This has implications both for our fundamental understanding of an individual's welfare needs, but also more broadly for experimental design and the justification for sample sizes in studies using animals. We urgently need to address this issue. In this review, we will consider the latest developments on the causes of individual variation in cognitive outcomes, such as the choice of cognitive test, sex, breed, age, early life environment, rearing conditions, personality, diet, and the animal's microbiome. We discuss the impact of each of these factors specifically in relation to recent work in farmed species, and explore the future directions for cognitive research in this field, particularly in relation to experimental design and analytical techniques that allow individual variation to be accounted for appropriately.

Lauren Margaret Smith, Rupert Quinnell, Alexandru Munteanu, Sabine Hartmann, Paolo Dalla Villa, Lisa Collins (2022)Attitudes towards free-roaming dogs and dog ownership practices in Bulgaria, Italy, and Ukraine, In: PloS one17(3)e0252368pp. e0252368-e0252368

Free-roaming dog population management is conducted to mitigate risks to public health, livestock losses, wildlife conservation, and dog health and welfare. This study aimed to determine attitudes towards free-roaming dogs and their management and describe dog ownership practices in three European countries. We distributed an online questionnaire comprising questions relating to dog ownership practices and attitudes towards free-roaming dogs using social media. We used logistic regression and ordinal probit models to determine associations between demographic and other factors with ownership practices and attitudes towards free-roaming dogs. This study found that most surveyed respondents wanted to see a reduction in free-roaming dog numbers, and felt that this should be achieved through sheltering, catch-neuter-release, and by controlling owned dog breeding. We identified significant associations between both attitudes and ownership practices with gender, religious beliefs, age, education level, reason for dog ownership, previous experience with free-roaming dogs, and country of residence. Respondents who identified as: (i) male, (ii) holding religious beliefs, (iii) owning dogs for practical reasons, (iv) being young, or (v) having no schooling or primary education had a lower probability of neutering and a higher probability of allowing dogs to roam. Respondents who identified as: (i) female, (ii) feeling threatened by free-roaming dogs, (iii) older, or (iv) having more education had a higher probability of answering that increases in free-roaming dog numbers should be prevented. These findings can help to inform future dog population management interventions in these countries. We emphasise the importance of considering local attitudes and dog ownership practices in the development of effective dog population management approaches.