About this Research Topic
The domestication and use of animals for our benefit entails our responsibility for their quality of life. Animal welfare is a prerequisite for any production system to be ethically defensible and socially acceptable. In nature, animals evolved in a changing environment and developed adaptive mechanisms to increase fitness. Cattle evolved in extensive rangelands, in herds with complex social hierarchy, searching for forage and minerals sources. Grazing cattle production systems have the potential to allow the animals to express their natural behaviour, maintain health and experience positive emotional states. Nonetheless, grazing cattle endure many challenges throughout the production cycle; from tick-borne diseases to lack of access to water and shade, cattle welfare may be impaired if the production systems do not allow the animals to cope with such stressors.
The goal of this article collection is to identify such stressors present in husbandry systems; assess to at extent those affect health, welfare and production; propose solutions to mitigate or overcome stressors.
In this Research Topic, we encourage authors to submit Original Research, Reviews and Opinions on contentious issues regarding grazing systems and welfare in the areas of affective states (e.g., hunger, thirstiness), health, human-animal relationship, genetics for grazing systems, predation, social hierarchy, husbandry practices to improve welfare and public perception of grazing systems.
Topics to be covered include:
1. Grazing as a natural behaviour
2. Hunger - seasonality in food supply and / or quality
4. Parasites and Diseases – adaptation and self-medication
5. Shelter: protection against climatic extremes
6. Mineral supply
8. Human-animal relationships
9. Social Hierarchy
10. Socio-positive relationships
11. Use of suitable genotypes
Keywords: grazing challenges, pasture management, bovine, ruminating, social behaviour
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.