From a glimpse inside a lower-stress humane slaughterhouse to an alternative approach to dairy farming, we've seen plenty of ways that those working in the meat and dairy industries can try and alleviate stress for the animals they are responsible for. And then there are those who claim "happy" meat and dairy are a total oxymoron. Either way, a big part of ensuring happier animals must be in better understanding what makes them, errm, happy. And new research, reported on in the UK's Daily Mail, indicates it might be the same thing that works for us—you see cows have best friends, and they miss them when they are gone:
'When heifers have their preferred partner with them, their stress levels in terms of their heart rates are reduced compared with if they were with a random individual,' Ms McLennan said.
'If we can encourage farmers to keep an eye out for those cows which like to keep their friends with them, it could have some real benefits, such as improving their milk yields and reducing stress for the animals, which is very important for their welfare.'