Pigs, experts in conflict resolution?

“Pre-socialization”, which consists of making piglets of the same age interact before weaning, is experimented with by some farmers. Countrypixel – stock.adobe.com

Research on the behavior of these animals makes it possible to propose improvements in breeding practices.

The growing concern for animal welfare on farms stimulates research. Scientists have been interested for ten years in the social and emotional behavior of pigs, to better adapt their living conditions. And they discover intelligent, sociable and very curious animals.

In a study published on November 8 (Animal cognition), Italian researchers from the University of Turin describe how these mammals interact after a fight to restore social peace in the group. After a conflict, “pigs engage in non-random contact strategies between victim and aggressor, sometimes initiated by a third party, suggesting that they have high socio-emotional regulation skills”conclude the authors of the study, who observed the habits of a group of pigs (Pig sow) living in semi-freedom on a farm in the Italian village of Cavagnolo. The purpose of these long-studied post-conflict interactions…

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