FIGURE 2-2 Hypothetical depiction of the relationship of stress, distress, adaptive capacity, and animal welfare. An animal’s quality of life may be progressively deteriorating while it is still successfully coping with a stressor. The precise moment of transition to the maladaptive state or what precipitates it is unknown, but once the tipping point is attained, the deterioration into a severely sick or debilitated animal occurs fairly quickly. At this point, welfare conditions are very poor and immediate ameliorative action is necessary.

may cause pain or distress in other animals” (IRAC 1985). A degree of critical anthropomorphism, outlined above and in the writings of Morton and colleagues (Morton et al. 1990), coupled with behavioral assessments will likely provide the most direct understanding of an animal’s response to a stressor. Useful indicators include the animal’s choice to continue or stop feeding while in a stressful situation, choice tests that demonstrate how (non)aversive a particular stressor is, or demand studies that titrate the extent of the animal’s attraction or aversion to a potential stressor. These gauges of avoidance or aversion may be complemented by physiological data measuring elevated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis (HPA) or sympathoadrenomedullary system (SAM) activity (gene or protein activation), elevated hormone levels, or increased activity in target organs (e.g.,



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