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The mission of the Livestock Behavior Research Unit is to develop scientific measures of animal well-being, through the study of animal behavior, stress physiology, immunology, neurophysiology, and cognition, that will allow an objective evaluation of animal agricultural practices. This method of study will allow the improvement of existing practices and invention of new practices that can enhance animal well-being and increase animal productivity. In addition, this unit will use and develop its knowledge of stress physiology and animal behavior to address concerns of pathogen contamination of livestock carcasses due to the stress of handling and transportation. The optimization of animal well-being will assist in improving animal health, increasing productivity and decreasing human exposure to dangerous pathogens.