Med. Weter. 75

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Practical importance of behaviour assessment with regard to welfare and productivity of cattle
The aim of this review was to present the basic issues concerning the assessment of behaviour traits in cattle, including its practical importance for the welfare and productivity of these animals. The study reviews the main areas of research in the applied ethology of cattle, emphasizing the relationships between behaviour and productivity traits. It provides examples of studies devoted to these relationships in milk cattle and meat cattle, as well as suggests some means of improving cattle welfare. The growing interest in the applied ethology of cattle in recent decades may significantly increase our knowledge of the behaviour traits of this species, which can also be applied in practice. The development and improvement of methods for the assessment of cattle behaviour facilitates the interpretation of behavioural responses observed in these animals, which makes for an easier and safer human interaction with them. Observation of animal behaviour may also facilitate detection of diseases. The methods of assessing temperamental traits become particularly important when such traits are used as selection indicators.
Keywords: animal welfare, behaviour, cattle