Ethology and Welfare of Cattle and Pigs

Master departmentEthology

The goal is to support the development of economically viable and ethically acceptable husbandry of pigs and cattle in the Czech Republic and EU.

We focus on the influence of housing and social factors on the behaviour, welfare, health and production of cattle and pigs. The research covers a wide range of topics, combining various approaches from theoretical studies (e.g. social interaction modelling) to experimental research on maternal behaviour, agonistic behaviour, play behaviour, communication between animals and ontogenesis of behaviour.

We also investigate practical issues, such as a comparison of various types of housing and management in intensive and alternative farming of cattle and pigs or the development of new methods for the evaluation of animal welfare on farms.

Special attention is paid to the stage of rearing with an emphasis on health, mortality, welfare, stress resistance and the development of production and behavioural capabilities of piglets and calves.