We are a team of epidemiologists, ethologists and animal welfare scientists and we are conducting a research study to determine how far into the future we can predict outbreaks of aggression in pigs. Outbreaks of aggression can lead to serious injury, causing pain and poor welfare for the pigs and reduced profits for the farmers.
Our inter-disciplinary approach uses and develops methods traditionally developed in the fields of psychology, engineering, mathematics and statistics and applies them to help us put together a clear picture of what leads to aggressive outbreaks – can we tell from an early age who will be the aggressors and who will be the victims? What characteristics do aggressors and victims show? And importantly, how far in advance of outbreak can we know that it will occur?