Evaluation Of Sex Differences In A Porcine Behavior Training Method Developed For Use Within A Scientific Research Setting | 60963
Journal of Veterinary Science & Technology
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Porcine models are increasingly being utilized within the scientific setting due to their similarity to humans in many aspects
of anatomy and biochemical processes. Unfortunately, when considering behavioral training, there is little information
regarding appropriate training of pigs prior to inclusion within a scientific investigation. Accordingly, the purpose of this study
was to develop a method of porcine behavior training for the use of pigs within a scientific research setting. The described
methods are based on the behavioral observations of Yucatan miniature pigs and the need to evaluate porcine behaviors over
time as an experimental endpoint. The developed regime describes a step-wise approach to training pigs with defined milestones
and recommended time frames. Sex differences in training and behavior were also assessed, given that sex differences in
behavior and training have been observed across species. This study found that female pigs more consistently and successfully
perform trained behaviors, despite males learning the tasks at a faster rate. Our findings and developed methodology can serve
as a foundation to guide any scientific study in which pigs are routinely required to perform behavioral tasks such as walking,
either leashed or unleashed, to a specific target.
Virginia Aida has completed her Bachelor of Arts & Science in Biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). She is currently pursuing her Master of Science in Biology at UAB studying traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury in both rodent and porcine models. In the past, she developed a training regimen designed to effectively acclimate pigs into the laboratory setting and to attenuate the pigs’ stress levels during the study. In the near future, she hopes to attain her Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine and study animal behavior and ecosystem medicine.