FIGURE 2-1 Reprinted with permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd: [Lab Animal] (Moberg 1999), copyright (1999). Prolonged or severe stress depletes bodily reserves and affects normal functions thus requiring extended time to revert to homeostasis. During the recovery period, the animal’s well-being and welfare are compromised and the period of distress will last until the biological resources are sufficiently replenished (Moberg 2000). The shift in biological resources, such as stunted growth in distressed young animals (Moberg 1999), or evidence of maladaptive behaviors (NRC 1992) that occur in this general scheme of transition to and establishment of distress could be useful in recognizing distress (NRC 2003a, page 21).

proposed in his 1999 paper “When Does Stress Become Distress”, the use of reserve resources to cope with prolonged or severe stress has a negative impact on other bodily functions (including behavior) and leads to distress. In the hypothetical scheme depicted in Figure 2-1, the “biological cost of distress” requires a prolonged recovery period to revert to homeostasis (Carstens and Moberg 2000).


Current understanding of animal welfare as a measure of the animals’ quality of life exists in the context of the social and cultural history of animal care and use as well as an expanding knowledge base related to

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