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The use of pigs vocalisation structure to assess the quality of human-pig relationshipuse asterix (*) to get italics
Avelyne S Villain, Carole Guérin, Céline TalletPlease use the format "First name initials family name" as in "Marie S. Curie, Niels H. D. Bohr, Albert Einstein, John R. R. Tolkien, Donna T. Strickland"
<p>Studying human-animal interactions in domestic species and how they affect the establishment of a positive Human-Animal Relationship (HAR) may help us improve animal welfare and better understand the evolution of interspecific interactions associated with the domestication process. Understanding and describing the quality of an HAR requires information on several aspects of the animal biology and emotional states (social, spatial and postural behaviours, physiological and cognitive states). Growing evidence shows that acoustic features of animal vocalisations may be &nbsp;indicators of emotional states. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the quality of vocal expression may indicate the quality of HAR. &nbsp;At weaning, 30 piglets were positively handled by an experimenter who talked to and physically interacted with them three times a day, while 30 other piglets only received the contact necessary for proper husbandry. &nbsp;After two weeks, we recorded the behaviours and vocalisations produced in the presence of the static experimenter for five minutes. &nbsp;We repeated this test two weeks later, after a conditioning period during which human presence with additional positive contact was used as a reward for all piglets. We hypothesized this conditioning period would lead to a positive human-piglet relationship for all piglets. As expected, piglets that were positively handled at weaning expressed a higher attraction toward the experimenter, and, after the conditioning, piglets that were not positively handled at weaning expressed a similar level of attraction than the positively handled ones. Piglets positively handled at weaning generally produced shorter grunts than the other ones. However the latter expressed more flexibility in call structure when vocalising close to a human, with a decrease of grunt duration and an increase in pitch, frequency range and noisiness in their grunt. This differential effect of proximity between groups of piglets was attenuated after the conditioning during a standard reunion with a static human but remained over time when the human was providing additional positive contacts. Results suggest that first, changes in vocal structure are consistent with indicators of positive states in the presence of a human. Second, increasing familiarity and proximity between a human and a pig may induce changes in the acoustic structure of its grunts. Third, a human providing additional positive contacts triggers more changes in vocalisation structure than by their presence only. We show that vocalisation structure may allow us to assess the quality of human-pig relationship.</p> should fill this box only if you chose 'All or part of the results presented in this preprint are based on data'. URL must start with http:// or https:// should fill this box only if you chose 'Scripts were used to obtain or analyze the results'. URL must start with http:// or https:// should fill this box only if you chose 'Codes have been used in this study'. URL must start with http:// or https://
Positive handling, Acoustic communication, Emotions, Mood, Behaviour, Welfare, Interspecific interactions
NonePlease indicate the methods that may require specialised expertise during the peer review process (use a comma to separate various required expertises).
Animal behaviour , Animal cognition, Animal welfare
Luigi Bacciadona, as a specialist of vocal communication in animals. [], Jean Loup Rault, as a specialist of human-animal relationship. [] No need for them to be recommenders of PCI Anim Sci. Please do not suggest reviewers for whom there might be a conflict of interest. Reviewers are not allowed to review preprints written by close colleagues (with whom they have published in the last four years, with whom they have received joint funding in the last four years, or with whom they are currently writing a manuscript, or submitting a grant proposal), or by family members, friends, or anyone for whom bias might affect the nature of the review - see the code of conduct
e.g. John Doe []
2022-03-23 09:34:45
Isabelle Veissier