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Mairi Stewart

Doctor of Philosophy, (Animal Science)
Study Completed: 2008
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Non-invasive measurement of stress and pain in cattle using infrared thermography

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Ms Stewart investigated the use of infrared thermography as a non-invasive measure of stress and pain in cattle. She measured changes in heat emitted from blood vessels around the eye, using an infrared camera, and compared these changes with cardiac responses to painful husbandry procedures used routinely on farms. The camera detected changes in eye temperature due to changes in blood flow in response to acute pain and these were correlated with changes in cardiac activity. The technique offers advantages over other indicators of stress and pain because data can be collected non-invasively thereby minimising the confounding factors associated with invasive measures. This technique may replace invasive procedures for assessing animal welfare. Ms Stewart’s research has implications for the assessment and alleviation of pain in animals and could have wider applications for non-invasive assessment of animal welfare and animal emotions.

Professor Kevin Stafford
Miss Justina-Maree Webster
Dr A Schaefer

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