HumaneSpot.org, from the Humane Research Council, is the world's most comprehensive resource for public opinion and behavior research about animal protection issues. This site is designed to help animal advocates be more effective in helping animals. Registration is required for some items but is quick and entirely free.
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Naturalistic Exhibits May be More Effective Than Traditional Exhibits at Improving Zoo-Visitor Attitudes toward African ApesSubmitted on Aug 29, 2014 (Original item from 2014) Entertainment Animals | General Animal Protection | Wildlife and Exotics
This study compared entrance and exit survey responses from visitors to a stark, utilitarian zoo habitat for chimpanzees and gorillas in 2002 to survey answers after a larger, brighter, more natural-appearing habitat had been built for them in 2005. While visitors to the new environment did not learn more about the animals than visitors to the old environment, their overall positive feelings towards apes in general and chimpanzees in particular did increase.
A Review on the Temporal Pattern of Deer–Vehicle Accidents: Impact of Seasonal, Diurnal and Lunar Effects in CervidsSubmitted on Aug 28, 2014 (Original item from 2014) General Animal Protection | Wildlife and Exotics
This literature review surveyed 72 datasets for patterns in the timing of animal-vehicle collisions. Species studied included wapiti (elk), moose, and white-tailed, mule, red and roe deer. The authors identified 9 seasonal collision patterns, which correlate with months when activity is highest due to seasonal migration, mating, birth of young, hunting, bright moonlight, and agricultural harvesting. Convergences of human/animal traffic at dusk and dawn also result in higher collision rates, as does low visibility due to weather or day length.
Dogs are routinely housed in pairs in animal shelters to reduce stress, since they are a social species. This study examined whether separation of these pairs due to euthanasia or adoption produced stress. Dogs were separated after spending 7-8 weeks together. Their hormone and antibody levels were measured and their behavior was observed. Changes were found in immune response and some behaviors after separation, suggesting that it may be stressful.
This paper compares three different strategies to reduce long-term greenhouse gases from the farming of animals: increased productivity, technological means to clean up farming-related emissions, and dietary changes away from meat and milk on a global scale. Considering the potential for each strategy to meet the UN goal of maintaining global temperature below the 2°C increase, alone and in combination with the others, the authors conclude that it is unlikely the goals can be met without including a dietary change strategy.
This extensive 2005 Dutch pilot study conducted in-depth interviews with animal testing stakeholders for a report on ways that animal testing can be reduced in Europe. Multiple factors contributing to the continuation of animal testing were explored, including regulatory and legislative, technical, political and administrative, and social factors. The study identified opportunities for change, primarily associated with improved communication and coordination.
This study measured whether native grass buffers planted around fields of row crops were beneficial to at-risk bird species. Buffered fields were compared with non-buffered fields in 14 states over a 6-year period. The majority of species showed dramatically higher breeding populations near buffered fields, while a minority of species showed moderately higher populations near unbuffered fields, or varied from year to year. The authors recommend targeting buffers to areas where the species who are most helped by them most need support.
This policy paper examines the issue of dog bites and addresses the scope of the problem and the severity of injuries. Existing and proposed legal remedies, including breed-specific legislation (BSL), are discussed and evaluated. Recommendations for alternative legislative solutions and preventive education are proposed. The paper also includes a cost/benefit analysis which quantifies the advantages of dog companionship compared to the risk of harm. The original version of this paper was published in 2006. The new version, released in 2014, is now linked below.
Influence of Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) on the Attachment Representations of Youth in Residential CareSubmitted on Aug 20, 2014 (Original item from 2014) Companion Animals | Farmed Animals | General Animal Protection
This study assessed an animal assisted therapy (AAT) treatment program for teenaged trauma survivors who were having trouble adjusting to a protective care facility in Spain. Participants visited a farm two days a week for 12 weeks, and worked under supervision with dogs, horses, and other farm and companion animals. The AAT group showed increased trust in relationships compared to the control group. The authors call for research to refine understanding of AAT benefits so that it can be integrated into more therapy programs.
This Humane Society-authored literature review targeted to farmers discusses the advantages of open floor housing over cage housing for chickens raised for slaughter. Foot-friendly flooring, litter for dustbaths, and optimal space allowances for best health and welfare are also discussed. Of particular interest is a cited study that showed more chickens would cross difficult barriers to get to less crowded space than to get to food when very hungry.
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