How do farm animals process information? How do they perceive their environment? And how can scientific research on these issues find practical application in agriculture?
These and other questions were discussed at an international symposium with participants from nine European countries under the theme "Cognition in farm animals and its relevance in animal husbandry and management". The symposium was held as the conclusion of a joint cooperation project between the Research Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN) and the Center for Animal Welfare: Ruminants and Pigs of the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office, at Agroscope in Tänikon (Switzerland), and featured 15 speakers providing a comprehensive overview of the latest research in farm animal cognition. Topics ranged from basic brain research, problem-solving behavior and emotions, to practical applications for improving animal welfare on the farm. The speakers paid special attention to future interdisciplinary research approaches and the possibilities of transfer into practice.
All presentations and the contributions to the discussion have now been compactly summarized in an issue of the IGN Livestock Special, which can be downloaded here: http://ign-nutztierhaltung.ch/sites/default/files/PDF/IGN_Spezial_21_Symposium_Kognition.pdf.
The majority of the presentations can also be viewed on YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/farmanimalcognition