Journal Of Veterinary Medical Education

Volume 21, Number 2

Fall, 1994

Stereotypic Animal Behaviour: Fundamentals and Applications to Welfare.

A. B. Lawrence, (Ed). CAB International,
Wallingford, Oxon OX10 8DE, United Kingdom. 1993, 224 pp., $71.25.

Over the years man has domesticated or confined a large range of animal species. In almost all cases, this has brought advantages to man. For example, confining meat-producing animals gives better control over their reproduction and nutrition thus increasing their productivity. Confinement also can have advantages for the animal such as an improved food supply, decreased risk of predation and protection from environmental destruction. During the past decade, there has emerged more concern than in the past with the understanding that confinement may also have undesirable effects on animals. One aspect is that of "undesirable" stereotypical behavior patterns. Obvious examples include "weaving" of stalled horses; "bar-biting" of closely confined sows; "locomotor looping" of caged rodents; and "repetitive pacing" of some zoo animals.

This book provides a comprehensive review of this subject. It includes information on not only forms of stereotypes, but also material on the motivational and neurobiological basis, and the functional consequences. It should be of interest to veterinarians as well as advanced students and researchers in ethology and related disciplines.

Richard B. Talbot, DVM, PhD