22756 - Ethology and Animal Welfare

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Safety And Quality In Animal Production (cod. 5728)

Course contents

Etology concepts: descriptive etology, experimental etology, etologic areas, targets and methods in etology. Motivations: features of the finalistic behaviour, motivation models, evaluation of the intensity of the motivation, motivation analyses, motivation systems, physiologic bases of motivations, hormones and motivation, impulses. Stimuli: causing mechanisms, key-stimuli, arousing signals, interspecific arousing signals, hypernormal arousing signals, addition of stimuli, filtration, fluctuations of the reaction threshold, specific weariness. Behaviour: development of behaviour, maturation of behavioural patterns, instinct, learning and memory, temporal and hyerarchic organisation of behaviour, cohordination of bahvioural patterns, spontaneous components in behaviour, conflictual behaviour, schemes of hierarchy of instincts, appetitive behaviour and consuming action, quiescence phase, domestication, features caused by domestication, causes of phenomena connected with domestication. Physiology of behaviour: nervous system and behaviour, hormonal effects on behaviour. Learning: classification of learning, biological meaning of the acquired information, learning phases, learning processes. Welfare: definitions, evalutation of welfare, welfare indicators. Behaviour and welfare of cattle, pigs, etc.


  • C.Carenzi, M.Panzera - Etologia applicata e benessere animale - vol.I e II Ed. Le Point Vétérinaire Italie
  • F. Grasso, G. De Rosa, F. Napolitano - Comportamento e benessere degli animali in produzione zootecnica Editore: Aracne
  • Notes present on the IOL platform (https://iol.unibo.it/)

Recommended for further information

  • K.A. Houpt Il Comportamento degli Animali Domestici Ed. italiana a cura di Verga M., Carenzi C. EMSI - Edizioni Mediche Scientifiche Internazionali, Roma.

Teaching methods

Theoretical lectures, practice, seminars, practical activities.

Assessment methods

The assessment of learning is through a final exam (oral) which ensures the achievement of the educational objectives and the acquisition of knowledge occurs in the program of the course.

The final grade is originated by the demonstration of the student to have acquired the knowledge and skills required and the ability to link between the various themes as well as the possession of a mastery of expression and specific language materials.

The valuation obtained has no time limits of validity.

The verbalization can occur in the absence of the student.

The examination, in addition to the dates published on AlmaEsami (https://almaesami.unibo.it/almaesami/welcome.htm) can be supported at any time by appointment with the teachers.

Teaching tools

Videoprojector, PC, laboratories.

Office hours

See the website of Pier Attilio Accorsi


Good health and well-being Responsible consumption and production Life on land

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.