Environmental Enrichment (EE) has become a "buzz"-phrase in animal welfare and an EU legislation "cause celebre". Unfortunately all that controversy has obscured the rather ancient history of EE, which used to be regarded as a basic "stockmanship" (now stockperson) skill.
As many of us know to our cost, boredom and frustration are killers. In fact quite literally so - now that the physiological/behavioural/endocrinological/immunological/pathological significance of these experiences has become clearer.
If you are interested in the science and art of Environment Enrichment and have not yet seen it, I would recommend a peruse of the manual by Professor Robert Young on this topic.
Blackwell Science have just this month reprinted the book - the first edition in 2003 quickly sold out.
Entitled "Environmental Enrichment for Captive Animals", this textbook considers environmental enrichment to be one of the key factors in improving the welfare of any type of animal - be it pet, farm animal, laboratory or zoo species.
Professor Robert Young's book is the most comprehensive one available on this topic, covering both scientific principles and practical implementation of environmental enrichment.
I have put further details and a contents list online at: http://www.pighealth.com/MEDIA/P/BOOKS/BEHAVBKS.HTM for anyone who is interested.
Apart from anything else it has really made me think about enriching my own home and work environment!