The IGN Research Prize is the only one of its kind in the German‐speaking world and is aimed at young scientists who have published outstanding and application‐oriented work on the promotion of species‐appropriate livestock farming.
The work was carried out at the Institute for Behavioural Physiology at the Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN) in Dummerstorf and supervised by Professor Dr. Birger Puppe, Dr. Jan Langbein and Dr. Manuela Zebunke.
The focus of the study was on the investigation of affective conditions of domesticated pigs. Transmitters were implanted into the animals to continuously monitor their heart activity and blood pressure. With the innovative methodology validated in a second step, the affective‐autonomous reactions of pigs in different husbandry situations and especially the connection with individual coping strategies of the animals were investigated.
The individual way in which certain situations are affectively evaluated by the animals shows the complexity of affective states with regard to their underlying mechanisms and their individual perception and processing. The chosen multidisciplinary approach offers high scientific significance and is understood as a contribution to deepening our understanding of pigs: not only to perceive them as pure "production animals", but rather as complex individuals, each with its own individual characteristics, emotions and needs.