Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 333351
Title Decision support system with semantic model to assess the risk of tail biting in pigs. 1. Modelling
Author(s) Bracke, M.B.M.; Hulsegge, B.; Blokhuis, H.J.; Keeling, L.
Source Applied Animal Behaviour Science 87 (2004). - ISSN 0168-1591 - p. 31 - 44.
Department(s) ID - Dier en Omgeving
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2004
Keyword(s) environmental enrichment - fattening pigs - growing pigs - behavior - protein - attraction - energy - health - blood
Abstract Tail biting is a multifactorial problem with important welfare as well as economic consequences. Different stakeholders in the pig production chain, such as farmers, consumers and policy makers are interested in reducing the level of tail biting, because tail biting may affect productivity, profit and animal welfare. To help assess the expected level of tail biting under specific husbandry conditions we constructed a computer-based decision support system called PIGTAIL, which is a relational database containing a tail biting model based on 133 statements derived from 61 scientific publications. A formalised procedure previously used for modelling animal welfare was used to construct the model. PIGTAIL contains 28 attributes that describe factors that have been associated in scientific research with different levels of tail biting in different housing conditions. Such factors include the provision of substrate, the docking of tails, sex and breed as well as feeding-, health- and climate-related factors. PIGTAIL takes a description of a housing and management system as input and produces a score for the overall risk of tail biting as output. This is a weighted average attribute score, where weighting factors are derived from different measures of tail biting performance, such as tail biting behaviour and tail wounds. The decision support system clarifies the reasoning steps involved in tail biting risk assessment and allows upgrading when new scientific information about tail biting becomes available.
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