Music to Our Ears – A Look at Some Farm Animal Welfare Studies

Oct 5, 2023 | 0 comments

Today we will be exploring some interesting studies relating to the welfare of farmed animals.  As we have discussed before, billions of farmed animals around the world endure significant suffering and inhumane treatment to feed humans, largely in industrial farming. And yet, like other animals, cows, pigs and chickens, are sentient with clearly documented evidence of emotions, personality differences, kinship with others, etc.  For those of us who consume animal products, we can make a real difference in the lives of animals by insisting upon better animal welfare in the human food system.  There are many factors that need to be addressed (nutrition, health, environment, behaviour, and mental state) and much work needs to be done.  And our guest today is one of the people involved.

Dr. Maria Camila Ceballos Bettancourt, is an assistant professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary in Alberta Canada.  She has a specialization in beef cattle welfare but, as you will hear, she has been involved in a number of really interesting studies involving pigs and chickens also.  She will talk about music and its impact on pigs, the positive benefits of silvopasturing on cattle and how different practices of handling chickens can have a big impact on their welfare.


Contact Info:

U of C:

Google scholar:

Social Media links:

X: @mariaceballosb
Mastodon: @mariacceballos
Instagram: @animalwelbe

Academic Collaborators Mentioned:

Dr. Berardo Rodriguez, Ph.D.  Professor, Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia

Dr. Juliana Zapata, Ph.D. Professor, Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia

The late Dr. Ariel Tarazona, Professor of animal welfare and behaviour, Universidad Nacional de Colombia.

MSc Victor Lima, Animal Welfare Consultant

Additional Resources:

Ceballos MC, Sant’Anna AC, Boivin X, Costa FO, Carvalhal MVL, Paranhos da Costa MJR (2018) Impact of good practices of handling training on beef cattle welfare and stockpeople attitudes and behaviors. Livestock Science. (216): 24-31.

Ceballos MC, Sant’Anna AC, Gois KCR, Ferraudo AS, Negrao JA, Paranhos da Costa MJR (2018) Investigating the relationship between human-animal interactions, reactivity, stress response and reproductive performance in Nellore heifers. Livestock Science. (216): 65-75.

Tarazona AM, Ceballos MC, Broom DM. Human Relationships with Domestic and Other Animals: One Health, One Welfare, One Biology. Animals. 2020; 10(1):43.

Zapata-Cardona J, Ceballos MC, Tarazona Morales AM, Jaramillo ED, Rodríguez BJ (2023). Spectro-temporal acoustic elements of music interact in an integrated way to modulate emotional responses in pigs. Scientific Reports: 13, 2994.


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