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Bäckström Maclean, Janina, 2020. Björnars (Ursus arctos arctos) hägnutnyttjande och beteenderespons under hundträning och test : vad blir effekten om björnarna får möjlighet att lämna hundträningen?. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)



To date, no scientific research has investigated how training of dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) on
captive bears affect the welfare of bears. The Swedish Animal Welfare Act (2018:1192) includes a
prohibition on training animals or using animals in tests if it causes the animal to suffer. In this
study, the behavioural responses of brown bears (Ursus arctos arctos) to training of dogs was
investigated. The study also examined the effect of giving bears the option to leave the dog training.
Behavioural observations were carried out on three female brown bears that were held for the sole
purpose of training dogs. The results showed that the bears increased their enclosure usage as well
as their activity during training compared to control observations that were carried out prior to
training season. It should be noted that the activity was essentially represented by one bear over the
course of one day, and corresponded with training sessions where the dog exhibited a lower activity
level (higher proportion of registrations out of sight and lower proportion of barking). Additionally,
a higher activity level of the dog corresponded with an increase in the bears focus on the dog,
movements toward and away from the dog as well as stereotypic behaviour (pacing). The bear that
exhibited most of the activity was the only bear that performed stereotypic behaviour. The majority
(80%) of movements toward the dog consisted of charges, which in this study was defined as a fast
movement, jump, or a rush of speed toward the dog. Charges in bears are thought to be motivated
by frustration, irritation or fear and uncertainty. When the bears were given the option to leave the
training enclosure during training, they did so on average after one minute 83% of the occasions.
However, the bears returned to the training enclosure several times. It is difficult to interpret what
motivated this behaviour, but it was possibly exploratory behaviour toward the dog or the training,
which could be considered a positive welfare indicator. Since very few exploratory behaviours
toward the dogs were observed during regular dog training, the bears returning to the training
enclosure implies that the behaviour was linked to the condition of control. With regards to these
results, certain measures are proposed to reduce the degree of suffering that fenced bears experience
during training of dogs. Restrictions on the amount of training the bears are exposed to should be
reviewed, the training enclosure should offer the bears a larger area as well as an option to avoid
direct exposure to the dog. Furthermore, the enclosure should offer more complex mental and
physical stimuli that can motivate natural behaviour and increase the welfare of the bears.

Main title:Björnars (Ursus arctos arctos) hägnutnyttjande och beteenderespons under hundträning och test
Subtitle:vad blir effekten om björnarna får möjlighet att lämna hundträningen?
Authors:Bäckström Maclean, Janina
Supervisor:Anderson, Claes
Examiner:Andersson, Maria
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2020
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK005 Ethology and Animal Welfare - Bachelor's Programme, 180.0hp
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)
Keywords:björn Ursus arctos, beteende, hägnutnyttjande, aktivitet, björnjakt, jakthund, välfärd, fångenskap, stress
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Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal ecology
Deposited On:16 Jul 2020 12:57
Metadata Last Modified:17 Jul 2020 01:00

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