Università degli Studi di Perugia

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Animal science
Study-unit Code
In all curricula
Silvana Diverio
  • Silvana Diverio - Didattica Ufficiale
  • 54 ore - Didattica Ufficiale - Silvana Diverio
Course Regulation
Coorte 2018
Learning activities
Discipline zootecniche e delle produzioni animali
Type of study-unit
Obbligatorio (Required)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
A. General ethology
B. Comparative Ethogy
C. Animal Welfare: indicators of animal welfare in the short term and long term, stereotypes and behavioral abnormalities
D. Assessment of animal welfare, economic implications, ethical and social well-being of the animals.
Reference texts
1. Etologia e Benessere Animale. In: "Fisiologia degli animali domestici con elementi di Etologia". 2000. (G. Aguggini, V. Beghelli, L.F.Giulio Eds.) UTET - Torino.
2. Il comportamento degli animali domestici. 2000. (K.A.Houpt). EMSI, Roma.
3. Etologia applicata e benessere animale (vol. I e II). 2009. (C.Carenzi, M.Panzera et al.) Le
Point Vétérinaire Italie.
4. Lecture notes and material of the course provided by prof. Silvana Diverio
Educational objectives
The main objective of the course is to provide students with the knowledge on 'General and comparative ethology applied to the different species of farm animals and the mechanisms that trigger the behaviour of the animals; to provide the basic knowledge regarding the animal welfare and the ability to identify and correctly interpret the indicators of the animal welfare (physiological, behavioural and clinical indicators) and to select and apply different models of protocols for assessing animal welfare. Fulfilment of the knowledge on the problems and methods involved in the assessment of animal welfare. Acquisition of new technical and practical skills.
An essential prerequisite to understanding the contents of the course and the learning objectives is that the student has adequate knowledge of animal physiology, animal husbandry and breeding techniques that help to understand the topics discussed.
Teaching methods
The course is organized as follows:

- Lectures on all subjects of the course;

- Seminars , visits and exercises on the field, " brainstorming "

- video projections, discussions and working groups, on farm visits, field practice.

Material provided by prof. Diverio,
Learning verification modality
The exam provides for an oral test and the presentation of a technical report produced either autonomously or in a group. The oral test consists of a discussion lasting about 20 minutes, aiming to ascertain the knowledge and skills acquired by the student on the theoretical and applied content covered during the course, as well as the disadvantage of the technical elaboration which will focus on the analysis of problems related to well-being Animal of a farm visited by the student, after collecting and processing the data. The technical elaboration will be presented in the form of a textbook, with related material and attached photographic and / or video documents.
Extended program
Theoretical and Practical lessons

A. General ethology (1 CFU)
Study of general ethology, mechanisms of adaptation, evolution and domestication, instinctive processes and methods of learning in animals. Influence of limbic system, memory, motivation, types of communication and biological rhythms on animal behaviour.

B. Comparate Ethogy (1 CFU)
Elements on social, feeding, reproductive and maternal behaviour of the main species of livestock. Effects of the basic mechanisms of human-animal relationship, empathy, and evolutionary processes on animal welfare.

C. Animal Welfare (2 CFU)
Animal welfare: definitions, basic concepts, history and development of the evaluation methods. Physiology of the stress response, short term indicators of animal welfare (ethological and physiological indicators) and long-term indicators of animal welfare (ethological indicators, production, reproductive and immune system indicators). Stereotypes and behavioural abnormalities: identification and assessment of their impact on animal welfare. State of frustration and suffering in animals. Assessment of preferences and motivational states in animals. Study of human-animal relationship and livestock enterprise diversification. Understanding why it is important to protect and promote animal welfare. Implications on animal welfare of empathy, ability to feel pain and suffering, emotions and behavioural responses, cognition and animal intelligence and consciousness.

D. Assessment of animal welfare (2CFU)
Different approaches (natural, organic and functional, subjective) to assess animal welfare of farm and game animals, and pets. Criteria and indicators to be used for assessing animal welfare in different rearing conditions of livestock. Animal welfare and intensive and extensive farming systems. Animal welfare and farm management: effects on product quality. European and national legislation on animal welfare. Application of different methods for assessing animal welfare during farming, transport and slaughter. Measures and actions to be taken for improving the animal welfare in relation to different farming conditions. Economic, ethical and social implications on animal welfare.
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