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WORKSHOP 7: Suzanne Held: Pig Cognition and Why It Matters

Pig cognition
7:30 PM, Tuesday 3 Jul 2018 (2 hours)


Our main purpose here is to introduce what is known about the cognitive abilities that facilitate natural pig behaviour. Commercial pigs released into natural conditions show many of the behavioural characteristics of their wild ancestors: they will form family groups with differentiated rank relationships, forage together, build nests for giving birth and rearing their neonates, the sexes mingle mainly for mating. However, most commercial pigs are kept in conditions very different from those in which their species evolved. This creates a potential mismatch between motivation and expectation on the one hand, and reality on the other. Our other aim, therefore, is to explore how we might assess scientifically how such a mismatch might make the pigs feel.

Marino, L., & Colvin, C. M. (2016). Thinking Pigs: Cognition, Emotion, and Personality.
van Nieuwamerongen, S. E., Mendl, M., Held, S., Soede, N. M., & Bolhuis, J. E. (2017). Post-weaning social and cognitive performance of piglets raised pre-weaning either in a complex multi-suckling group housing system or in a conventional system with a crated sowAnimal cognition20(5), 907-921.
Mendl, M., Held, S., & Byrne, R. W. (2010). Pig cognitionCurrent Biology20(18), R796-R798.
Piazza, J., & Loughnan, S. (2016). When Meat Gets Personal, Animals’ Minds Matter Less: Motivated Use of Intelligence Information in Judgments of Moral StandingSocial Psychological and Personality Science7(8), 867-874.
Suzanne Held (Speaker)
Bristol Veterinary School (University of Bristol)

Riana Topan (Discussant)
Humane Society International/Canada
Abby McCuaig (Discussant)
Worldwide Save Movemen

Arthur Reber (Moderator)
Adjunct Professor University of British Columbia

Bristol Veterinary School (University of Bristol)
University of British Columbia
Adjunct Professor
Other Participant
Humane Society International/Canada
Other Participant
Worldwide Save Movement
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