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Animal Social Networks$
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Jens Krause, Richard James, Daniel W. Franks, and Darren P. Croft

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199679041

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199679041.001.0001

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Social networks and animal welfare

Social networks and animal welfare

(p.111) Chapter 11 Social networks and animal welfare
Animal Social Networks

Brianne A. Beisner

Brenda McCowan

Oxford University Press

The use of social network analysis for the detection and description of the patterns and quality of interactions among animals has significant potential to improve animal welfare. Detection of specific network roles or structures can improve animal welfare through the identification of (1) structure which increases the risk of poor welfare, such as risk of infection; (2) individuals who either contribute to the maintenance of good welfare or facilitate the appearance or continuance of poor welfare; (3) the social dynamics underlying good versus poor welfare, such as structural features of group stability; and (4) avenues for improving welfare, such as social buffering of tension or stress, or approaches for preventing poor welfare, such as node-targeted disease prevention. This chapter reviews and discusses current applications and potential future applications of social network analysis in addressing animal welfare issues with regard to physical health (e.g. disease transmission), psychological health (e.g. stress and social buffering), and social well-being (e.g. group stability).

Keywords:   psychological health, physical health, social well-being, disease, network analysis

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