About this Research Topic
The term "stress" is often regarded in the negative context, such as causing damaging effects on animal health and welfare. However, the underlying neuroendocrinological mechanisms of stress responses in animals are context-dependent and are mostly adaptive to change. The current fragile atmosphere of shifting perspectives in the animal production sector and societal awareness has placed increasing pressure on finding this balance between management practices that can reduce stress and, equally, improve farm animal productivity.
In this Research Topic, we focus on discussing this balance between welfare and farm animal productivity. Getting the appropriate balance will be challenging, however it is possible. This requires a detailed understanding of the neuroendocrinological mechanisms of stress responsiveness in animals across crucial life-history stages and contexts. It also requires detailed studies applying novel physiological biomarkers to quantify the stress responses arising from the higher brain centres using techniques that can be readily adopted in the field. Thus, we welcome papers from animal welfare experts, veterinarians, animal physiologists and animal managers to generate a healthy discussion and showcase latest studies working towards finding the harmony between farm animal welfare and productivity.
Keywords: Animal Welfare, Farm Animals, Stress, Physiological Biomarkers, Wildlife and Companion Animals
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