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  Subjects -> VETERINARY SCIENCE (Total: 213 journals)
Acta Scientiae Veterinariae     Open Access  
Acta Veterinaria     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Acta Veterinaria Brasilica     Open Access  
Acta Veterinaria Hungarica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Advances in Animal Biosciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Advances in Veterinary Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Advances in Veterinary Science and Comparative Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15)
African Journal of Wildlife Research     Full-text available via subscription  
Alexandria Journal of Veterinary Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
American Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 11)
American Journal of Primatology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
American Journal of Veterinary Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 24)
Anatomia, Histologia, Embryologia: Journal of Veterinary Medicine Series C     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Animal Behaviour     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 131)
Animal Feed Science and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Animal Health Research Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Animal Nutrition     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Animal Reproduction     Open Access  
Animal Reproduction Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Animals     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Annual Review of Animal Biosciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Anthrozoos : A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People & Animals     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Archives of Animal Nutrition     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Archivos de Medicina Veterinaria     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Arquivo Brasileiro de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Arquivos de Ciências Veterinárias e Zoologia da UNIPAR     Open Access  
Ars Veterinaria     Open Access  
Asian Journal of Medical and Biological Research     Open Access  
Asian Journal of Poultry Science     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Atatürk Üniversitesi Veteriner Bilimleri Dergisi     Open Access  
Australian Equine Veterinarian     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Australian Veterinary Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
Avances en Ciencias Veterinarias     Open Access  
Avian Diseases     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Avian Diseases Digest     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Avian Pathology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Bangladesh Journal of Animal Science     Open Access  
Bangladesh Journal of Veterinary Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Bangladesh Veterinarian     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
BMC Veterinary Research     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Research and Animal Science     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Buletin Peternakan : Bulletin of Animal Science     Full-text available via subscription  
Bulletin of Animal Health and Production in Africa     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Bulletin of the Veterinary Institute in Pulawy     Open Access  
Bulletin of University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca : Food Science and Technology     Open Access  
Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Case Reports in Veterinary Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Ciência Animal Brasileira     Open Access  
Ciência Rural     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Cogent Food & Agriculture     Open Access  
Companion Animal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Domestic Animal Endocrinology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Equine Health     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Equine Veterinary Education     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Equine Veterinary Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Ethiopian Veterinary Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Eurasian Journal of Veterinary Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Frontiers in Veterinary Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Global Journal of Animal Scientific Research     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Human & Veterinary Medicine - International Journal of the Bioflux Society     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
ILAR Journal     Hybrid Journal  
In Practice     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Indian Journal of Animal Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Indian Journal of Veterinary Anatomy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Indonesia Medicus Veterinus     Open Access  
Intas Polivet     Full-text available via subscription  
International Journal for Agro Veterinary and Medical Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
International Journal of Livestock Research     Open Access  
International Journal of Veterinary Science and Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
InVet     Open Access  
Iranian Journal of Applied Animal Science     Open Access  
Irish Veterinary Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
İstanbul Üniversitesi Veteriner Fakültesi Dergisi     Open Access  
Journal of Veterinary Science & Technology     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Journal of Advanced Veterinary and Animal Research     Open Access   (Followers: 11)
Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Journal of Animal Science and Technology     Open Access  
Journal of Applied Animal Nutrition     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Journal of Buffalo Science     Hybrid Journal  
Journal of Equine Veterinary Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Journal of Experimental and Applied Animal Sciences     Open Access  
Journal of Feline Medicine & Surgery     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Journal of Research in Forestry, Wildlife and Environment     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Small Animal Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 29)
Journal of the Selva Andina Research Society     Open Access  
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Journal of Veterinary Advances     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Journal of Veterinary Cardiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 18)
Journal of Veterinary Medical Education     Partially Free   (Followers: 14)

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Journal Cover Animals
  [SJR: 0.362]   [H-I: 5]   [6 followers]  Follow
  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Online) 2076-2615
   Published by MDPI Homepage  [140 journals]
  • Animals, Vol. 6, Pages 9: Heat Tolerance in Curraleiro Pe-Duro, Pantaneiro
           and Nelore Cattle Using Thermographic Images

    • First page: 9
      Abstract: The objective of this study was to compare physiological and thermographic responses to heat stress in three breeds of cattle. Fifteen animals of each of the Nelore, Pantaneiro and Curraleiro Pe-Duro breeds, of approximately two years of age, were evaluated. Heart and respiratory rates, rectal and surface temperature of animals as well as soil temperature were recorded at 8:30 and 15:30 on six days. Variance, correlation, principal factors and canonical analyses were carried out. There were significant differences in the rectal temperature, heart and respiratory rate between breeds (p < 0.001). Nelore and Pantaneiro breeds had the highest rectal temperatures and the lowest respiratory rate (p < 0.001). Breed was also significant for surface temperatures (p < 0.05) showing that this factor significantly affected the response of the animal to heat tolerance in different ways. The Curraleiro Pe-Duro breed had the lowest surface temperatures independent of the period evaluated, with fewer animals that suffered with the climatic conditions, so this may be considered the best adapted when heat challenged under the experimental conditions. Thermography data showed a good correlation with the physiological indexes, and body area, neck and rump were the main points.
      PubDate: 2016-01-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani6020009
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2016)
  • Animals, Vol. 6, Pages 2: Influences of Maternal Care on Chicken Welfare

    • Authors: Joanne Edgar, Suzanne Held, Charlotte Jones, Camille Troisi
      First page: 2
      Abstract: In domestic chickens, the provision of maternal care strongly influences the behavioural development of chicks. Mother hens play an important role in directing their chicks’ behaviour and are able to buffer their chicks’ response to stressors. Chicks imprint upon their mother, who is key in directing the chicks’ behaviour and in allowing them to develop food preferences. Chicks reared by a mother hen are less fearful and show higher levels of behavioural synchronisation than chicks reared artificially. In a commercial setting, more fearful chicks with unsynchronised behaviour are more likely to develop behavioural problems, such as feather pecking. As well as being an inherent welfare problem, fear can also lead to panic responses, smothering, and fractured bones. Despite the beneficial effects of brooding, it is not commercially viable to allow natural brooding on farms and so chicks are hatched in large incubators and reared artificially, without a mother hen. In this review we cover the literature demonstrating the important features of maternal care in domestic chickens, the behavioural consequences of deprivation and the welfare implications on commercial farms. We finish by suggesting ways to use research in natural maternal care to improve commercial chick rearing practice.
      PubDate: 2016-01-05
      DOI: 10.3390/ani6010002
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2016)
  • Animals, Vol. 6, Pages 3: Effects of Dark Brooders on Behavior and
           Fearfulness in Layers

    • Authors: Anja Riber, Diego Guzman
      First page: 3
      Abstract: Chicks require heat to maintain body temperature during the first weeks after hatch. This may be provided by dark brooders; i.e. , horizontal heating elements equipped with curtains. The objective was to test effects of rearing layer chicks with dark brooders on time budget and fearfulness. Behavioral observations were performed during the first six weeks of age. Three different fear tests were conducted when the birds were age 3–6, 14–15 and 26–28 weeks. During the first four days, brooder chicks rested more than control chicks whereas they spent less time drinking, feather pecking and on locomotion ( p ≤ 0.009). On days 16, 23, 30 and 42, brooder chicks spent less time on feather pecking, locomotion and fleeing ( p ≤ 0.01) whereas foraging and dust bathing occurred more often on day 42 ( p ≤ 0.032). Brooder birds had shorter durations of tonic immobility at all ages ( p = 0.0032), moved closer to the novel object at age 15 weeks ( p < 0.0001), and had shorter latencies to initiate locomotion in the open-field test at age 28 weeks ( p < 0.0001). Results support the suggestion that dark brooders can be a successful method of reducing or preventing fear and feather pecking in layers.
      PubDate: 2016-01-07
      DOI: 10.3390/ani6010003
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2016)
  • Animals, Vol. 6, Pages 4: Food Deprivation, Body Weight Loss and
           Anxiety-Related Behavior in Rats

    • First page: 4
      Abstract: In behavioral studies, food deprivation protocols are routinely used to initiate or maintain motivational states that are required in a particular test situation. However, there is limited evidence as to when food deprivation compromises animal welfare. This study investigated the effects of different lengths of food deprivation periods and restricted (fixed-time) feeding on body weight loss as well as anxiety-related and motivated behavior in 5–6 month old male and female Wistar rats. The observed body weight loss was not influenced by sex and ranged between 4% (16 h deprivation) to approximately 9% (fixed-time feeding). Despite significant body weight loss in all groups, the motivation to eat under the aversive test conditions of the modified open field test increased only after 48 h of food deprivation. Long-lasting effects on anxiety as measured in the elevated plus maze test 24 h after refeeding have not been observed, although fixed-time feeding could possibly lead to a lasting anxiogenic effect in female rats. Overall, female rats showed a more anxiolytic profile in both tests when compared to male rats. Despite these sex differences, results suggest that food deprivation is not always paralleled by an increased motivation to feed in a conflict situation. This is an important finding as it highlights the need for tailored pilot experiments to evaluate the impact of food deprivation protocols on animals in regard to the principles of the 3Rs introduced by Russell and Burch.
      PubDate: 2016-01-07
      DOI: 10.3390/ani6010004
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2016)
  • Animals, Vol. 6, Pages 5: Welfare Conditions of Donkeys in Europe: Initial
           Outcomes from On-Farm Assessment

    • Authors: Francesca Dai, Emanuela Dalla Costa, Leigh Murray, Elisabetta Canali, Michela Minero
      First page: 5
      Abstract: This paper is a baseline study to present the initial outcomes of data collected in a sample of EU donkey farms using the AWIN welfare assessment protocol for donkeys, comprehensive of 22 valid, reliable and feasible animal-based indicators. A total of 20 donkey facilities (N = 12 in Italy and N = 8 in United Kingdom) were visited and 278 donkeys of different breed, aged 2–45 years, were assessed. Three assessors underwent a common training period to learn how to perform and score all the indicators included in the protocol. Data was collected using digitalized systems and downloaded to a database. A descriptive statistic for each welfare indicator was calculated. The authors found recurrent issues: 25% of donkeys were moderately over weight; although most of the assessed animals had good quality hoof care, 15.16% of them presented some signs of neglect, such as overgrowth and/or incorrect trimming; 18.05% of donkeys showed an avoidance reaction to an approaching human in the avoidance distance test. The protocol has proven to be applicable in different management conditions and for donkeys of different attitude.
      PubDate: 2016-01-08
      DOI: 10.3390/ani6010005
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2016)
  • Animals, Vol. 6, Pages 6: Education to Action: Improving Public Perception
           of Bats

    • Authors: Eric Hoffmaster, Jennifer Vonk, Rob Mies
      First page: 6
      Abstract: Public perception of bats has historically been largely negative with bats often portrayed as carriers of disease. Bats are commonly associated with vampire lore and thus elicit largely fearful reactions despite the fact that they are a vital and valuable part of the ecosystem. Bats provide a variety of essential services from pest control to plant pollination. Despite the benefits of bats to the environment and the economy, bats are suffering at the hands of humans. They are victims of turbines, human encroachment, pesticides, and, most recently, white nose syndrome. Because of their critical importance to the environment, humans should do what they can to help protect bats. We propose that humans will be more likely to do so if their perceptions and attitudes toward bats can be significantly improved. In a preliminary study we found some support for the idea that people can be educated about bats through bat oriented events and exhibits, and that this greater knowledge can inspire humans to act to save bats.
      PubDate: 2016-01-15
      DOI: 10.3390/ani6010006
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2016)
  • Animals, Vol. 6, Pages 7: Ochre Bathing of the Bearded Vulture: A
           Bio-Mimetic Model for Early Humans towards Smell Prevention and Health

    • Authors: Helmut Tributsch
      First page: 7
      Abstract: Since primordial times, vultures have been competing with man for animal carcasses. One of these vultures, the once widespread bearded vulture ( Gypaetus barbatus ), has the habit of bathing its polluted feathers and skin in red iron oxide - ochre - tainted water puddles. Why? Primitive man may have tried to find out and may have discovered its advantages. Red ochre, which has accompanied human rituals and everyday life for more than 100,000 years, is not just a simple red paint for decoration or a symbol for blood. As modern experiments demonstrate, it is active in sunlight producing aggressive chemical species. They can kill viruses and bacteria and convert smelly organic substances into volatile neutral carbon dioxide gas. In this way, ochre can in sunlight sterilize and clean the skin to provide health and comfort and make it scentless, a definitive advantage for nomadic meat hunters. This research thus also demonstrates a sanitary reason for the vulture’s habit of bathing in red ochre mud. Prehistoric people have therefore included ochre use into their rituals, especially into those in relation to birth and death. Significant ritual impulses during evolution of man may thus have developed bio-mimetically, inspired from the habits of a vulture. It is discussed how this health strategy could be developed to a modern standard helping to fight antibiotics-resistant bacteria in hospitals.
      PubDate: 2016-01-15
      DOI: 10.3390/ani6010007
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2016)
  • Animals, Vol. 6, Pages 8: Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Animals in 2015

    • Authors: Animals Editorial Office
      First page: 8
      Abstract: The editors of Animals would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2015.[...]
      PubDate: 2016-01-21
      DOI: 10.3390/ani6010008
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2016)
  • Animals, Vol. 6, Pages 1: Opinion of Belgian Egg Farmers on Hen Welfare
           and Its Relationship with Housing Type

    • First page: 1
      Abstract: As of 2012, the EU has banned the use of conventional cages (CC) for laying hens, causing a shift in housing systems. This study’s aim was to gain insight into farmers’ opinions on hen health and welfare in their current housing systems. A survey was sent to 218 Belgian egg farmers, of which 127 (58.3%) responded, with 84 still active as egg farmer. Hen welfare tended to be less important in choosing the housing system for farmers with cage than with non-cage systems. Respondents currently using cage systems were more satisfied with hen health than respondents with non-cage systems. Reported mortality increased with farm size and was higher in furnished cages than in floor housing. Feather pecking, cannibalism, smothering and mortality were perceived to be higher in current housing systems than in CC, but only by respondents who shifted to non-cage systems from previously having had CC. Health- and production-related parameters were scored to be more important for hen welfare as compared to behavior-related parameters. Those without CC in the past rated factors relating to natural behavior to be more important for welfare than those with CC. This difference in opinion based on farmer backgrounds should be taken into account in future research.
      PubDate: 2015-12-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani6010001
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 934-950: On-FarmWelfare Assessment Protocol for
           Adult Dairy Goats in Intensive Production Systems

    • Authors: Monica Battini, George Stilwell, Ana Vieira, Sara Barbieri, Elisabetta Canali, Silvana Mattiello
      First page: 934
      Abstract: Within the European AWIN project, a protocol for assessing dairy goats’ welfareon the farm was developed. Starting from a literature review, a prototype includinganimal-based indicators covering four welfare principles and 12 welfare criteria was set up.The prototype was tested in 60 farms for validity, reliability, and feasibility. After testing theprototype, a two-level assessment protocol was proposed in order to increase acceptabilityamong stakeholders. The first level offers a more general overview of the welfare status,based on group assessment of a few indicators (e.g., hair coat condition, latency to thefirst contact test, severe lameness, Qualitative Behavior Assessment), with no or minimalhandling of goats and short assessment time required. The second level starts if welfareAnimals 2015, 5 935problems are encountered in the first level and adds a comprehensive and detailed individualevaluation (e.g., Body Condition Score, udder asymmetry, overgrown claws), supported byan effective sampling strategy. The assessment can be carried out using the AWIN Goatapp. The app results in a clear visual output, which provides positive feedback on welfareconditions in comparison with a benchmark of a reference population. The protocol maybe a valuable tool for both veterinarians and technicians and a self-assessment instrumentfor farmers.
      PubDate: 2015-09-25
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5040393
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 951-964: A Cross-Sectional Study of Horse-Related
           Injuries in Veterinary and Animal Science Students at an Australian

    • Authors: Christopher Riley, Jessica Liddiard, Kirrilly Thompson
      First page: 951
      Abstract: Specific estimates of the risk of horse-related injury (HRI) to university students enrolled in veterinary and animal sciences have not been reported. This study aimed to determine the risk of student HRI during their university education, the nature and management of such injuries. A retrospective questionnaire solicited demographic information, data on students’ equine experience prior to and during their educational programs, and on HRI during their program of study. Of 260 respondents, 22 (8.5%) reported HRI (27 incidents). Including concurrent injuries the most commonly injured body parts were the foot or ankle (nine of 32 injures), the upper leg or knee (eight of 32), and hands (three of 32). Trampling and being kicked by a hind limb were each associated with 30.4% of HRI, and 13% with being bitten. Bruising (91.3% of respondents) and an open wound (17.4%) were most commonly described. No treatment occurred for 60.9% of incidents; professional medical treatment was not sought for the remainder. Most incidents (56.5%) occurred during program-related work experience placements. Although injury rates and severity were modest, a proactive approach to injury prevention and reporting is recommended for students required to handle horses as part of their education. Student accident and injury data should be monitored to ensure effective evaluation of risk-reduction initiatives. The risk and nature of university student horse-related injury (HRI) was studied. Of 260 students, 22 (8.5%) reported HRI (27 incidents). Including multiple injuries, reports described involvement of the foot or ankle (nine of 32 injures), upper leg or knee (eight of 32), and hands (three of 32). Trampling (30.4%) and being kicked (30.4%) accounted for most HRI. The injuries were usually bruising (91.3%) or an open wound (17.4%). Most (60.9%) injuries were untreated; professional medical treatment was not sought for the rest. Most incidents (56.5%) occurred during program-related off-campus work experiences. A proactive approach to injury prevention is recommended for students handling horses.
      PubDate: 2015-09-25
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5040392
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 965-977: Reducing Respiratory Health Risks to
           Horses and Workers: A Comparison of Two Stall Bedding Materials

    • First page: 965
      Abstract: Stable air quality and the choice of bedding material are an important health issue both in horses and people working or visiting horse stables. Risks of impaired respiratory health are those that can especially be avoided by improving air quality in the stable. The choice of bedding material is particularly important in cold climate conditions; where horses are kept most of the day and year indoors throughout their life. This study examined the effect of two bedding materials; wood shavings and peat; on stable air quality and health of horses. Ammonia and dust levels were also measured to assess conditions in the stable. Ammonia was not detected or was at very low levels (<0.25 ppm) in the boxes in which peat was used as bedding; but its concentration was clearly higher (1.5–7.0 ppm) in stalls with wood shavings as bedding. Personal measurements of workers revealed quite high ammonia exposure (5.9 ppm8h) in the boxes in which wood shavings were used; but no exposure was Animals 2015, 5 966 observed in stalls bedded with peat. The respiratory symptoms in horses increased regardless of the bedding material at the beginning of the study. The health status of the horses in the peat bedding group returned to the initial level in the end of the trial but horses bedded with wood shavings continued to be symptomatic. The hooves of the horses with peat bedding had a better moisture content than those of the horses bedded with wood shavings. The results suggest that peat is a better bedding material for horses than wood shavings regarding the health of both horses and stable workers.
      PubDate: 2015-10-08
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5040394
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 978-1020: Metabolic Disorders in the Transition
           Period Indicate that the Dairy Cows’ Ability to Adapt is

    • Authors: Albert Sundrum
      First page: 978
      Abstract: Metabolic disorders are a key problem in the transition period of dairy cows and often appear before the onset of further health problems. They mainly derive from difficulties the animals have in adapting to changes and disturbances occurring both outside and inside the organisms and due to varying gaps between nutrient supply and demand. Adaptation is a functional and target-oriented process involving the whole organism and thus cannot be narrowed down to single factors. Most problems which challenge the organisms can be solved in a number of different ways. To understand the mechanisms of adaptation, the interconnectedness of variables and the nutrient flow within a metabolic network need to be considered. Metabolic disorders indicate an overstressed ability to balance input, partitioning and output variables. Dairy cows will more easily succeed in adapting and in avoiding dysfunctional processes in the transition period when the gap between nutrient and energy demands and their supply is restricted. Dairy farms vary widely in relation to the living conditions of the animals. The complexity of nutritional and metabolic processes Animals 2015, 5 979 and their large variations on various scales contradict any attempts to predict the outcome of animals’ adaptation in a farm specific situation. Any attempts to reduce the prevalence of metabolic disorders and associated production diseases should rely on continuous and comprehensive monitoring with appropriate indicators on the farm level. Furthermore, low levels of disorders and diseases should be seen as a further significant goal which carries weight in addition to productivity goals. In the long run, low disease levels can only be expected when farmers realize that they can gain a competitive advantage over competitors with higher levels of disease.
      PubDate: 2015-10-09
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5040395
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 1021-1033: Metabolic Profile and Inflammatory
           Responses in Dairy Cows with Left Displaced Abomasum Kept under
           Small-Scaled Farm Conditions

    • Authors: Fenja Klevenhusen, Elke Humer, Barbara Metzler-Zebeli, Leopold Podstatzky-Lichtenstein, Thomas Wittek, Qendrim Zebeli
      First page: 1021
      Abstract: Left displaced abomasum (LDA) is a severe metabolic disease of cattle with a strong negative impact on production efficiency of dairy farms. Metabolic and inflammatory alterations associated with this disease have been reported in earlier studies, conducted mostly in large dairy farms. This research aimed to: (1) evaluate metabolic and inflammatory responses in dairy cows affected by LDA in small-scaled dairy farms; and (2) establish an Animals 2015, 5 1022 association between lactation number and milk production with the outcome of metabolic variables. The cows with LDA had lower serum calcium (Ca), but greater concentrations of non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and beta-hydroxy-butyrate (BHBA), in particular when lactation number was >2. Cows with LDA showed elevated levels of aspartate aminotransferase, glutamate dehydrogenase, and serum amyloid A (SAA), regardless of lactation number. In addition, this study revealed strong associations between milk yield and the alteration of metabolic profile but not with inflammation in the sick cows. Results indicate metabolic alterations, liver damage, and inflammation in LDA cows kept under small-scale farm conditions. Furthermore, the data suggest exacerbation of metabolic profile and Ca metabolism but not of inflammation and liver health with increasing lactation number and milk yield in cows affected by LDA.
      PubDate: 2015-10-13
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5040396
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 1034-1046: Predator Bounties in Western Canada
           Cause Animal Suffering and Compromise Wildlife Conservation Efforts

    • Authors: Gilbert Proulx, Dwight Rodtka
      First page: 1034
      Abstract: Although predation bounty programs (rewards offered for capturing or killing an animal) ended more than 40 years ago in Canada, they were reintroduced in Alberta in 2007 by hunting, trapping, and farming organizations, municipalities and counties, and in 2009 in Saskatchewan, by municipal and provincial governments and the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association. Bounty hunters use inhumane and non-selective killing methods such as shooting animals in non-vital regions, and killing neck snares and strychnine poisoning, which cause suffering and delayed deaths. They are unselective, and kill many non-target species, some of them at risk. Predator bounty programs have been found to be ineffective by wildlife professionals, and they use killing methods that cause needless suffering and jeopardize wildlife conservation programs. Our analysis therefore indicates that government agencies should not permit the implementation of bounty programs. Accordingly, they must develop conservation programs that will minimize wildlife-human conflicts, prevent the unnecessary and inhumane killing of animals, and ensure the persistence of all wildlife species.
      PubDate: 2015-10-19
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5040397
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 1047-1071: Is Wildlife Fertility Control Always

    • Authors: Jordan Hampton, Timothy Hyndman, Anne Barnes, Teresa Collins
      First page: 1047
      Abstract: Investigation of fertility control techniques to reduce reproductive rates in wildlife populations has been the source of much research. Techniques targeting wildlife fertility have been diverse. Most research into fertility control methods has focused upon efficacy, with few studies rigorously assessing animal welfare beyond opportunistic anecdote. However, fertility control techniques represent several very different mechanisms of action (modalities), each with their own different animal welfare risks. We provide a review of the mechanisms of action for fertility control methods, and consider the role of manipulation of reproductive hormones (“endocrine suppression”) for the long-term ability of animals to behave normally. We consider the potential welfare costs of animal manipulation techniques that are required to administer fertility treatments, including capture, restraint, surgery and drug delivery, and the requirement for repeated administration within the lifetime of an animal. We challenge the assumption that fertility control modalities generate similar and desirable animal welfare outcomes, and we argue that knowledge of reproductive physiology and behaviour should be more adeptly applied to wild animal management decisions. We encourage wildlife managers to carefully assess long-term behavioural risks, associated animal handling techniques, and the importance of positive welfare states when selecting fertility control methods as a means of population control.
      PubDate: 2015-10-21
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5040398
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 1072-1091: Jump Horse Safety: Reconciling Public
           Debate and Australian Thoroughbred Jump Racing Data, 2012–2014

    • Authors: Karen Ruse, Aidan Davison, Kerry Bridle
      First page: 1072
      Abstract: Thoroughbred jump racing sits in the spotlight of contemporary welfare and ethical debates about horse racing. In Australia, jump racing comprises hurdle and steeplechase races and has ceased in all but two states, Victoria and South Australia. This paper documents the size, geography, composition, and dynamics of Australian jump racing for the 2012, 2013, and 2014 seasons with a focus on debate about risks to horses. We found that the majority of Australian jump racing is regional, based in Victoria, and involves a small group of experienced trainers and jockeys. Australian jump horses are on average 6.4 years of age. The jump career of the majority of horses involves participating in three or less hurdle races and over one season. Almost one quarter of Australian jump horses race only once. There were ten horse fatalities in races over the study period, with an overall fatality rate of 5.1 fatalities per 1000 horses starting in a jump race (0.51%). There was significant disparity between the fatality rate for hurdles, 0.75 fatalities per 1000 starts (0.075%) and steeplechases, 14 fatalities per 1000 starts (1.4%). Safety initiatives introduced by regulators in 2010 appear to have significantly decreased risks to horses in hurdles but have had little or no effect in steeplechases. Our discussion considers these Animals 2015, 5 1073 data in light of public controversy, political debate, and industry regulation related to jump horse safety.
      PubDate: 2015-10-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5040399
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 1092-1113: Wildlife in U.S. Cities: Managing
           Unwanted Animals

    • Authors: John Hadidian
      First page: 1092
      Abstract: Conflicts between people and wild animals in cities are undoubtedly as old as urban living itself. In the United States it is only of late, however, that many of the species now found in cities have come to live there. The increasing kind and number of human-wildlife conflicts in urbanizing environments makes it a priority that effective and humane means of conflict resolution be found. The urban public wants conflicts with wildlife resolved humanely, but needs to know what the alternative management approaches are, and what ethical standards should guide their use. This paper examines contemporary urban wildlife control in the United States with a focus on the moral concerns this raises. Much of the future for urban wildlife will depend on reform in governance, but much as well will depend on cultural changes that promote greater respect and understanding for wild animals and the biotic communities of which they and we are both a part.
      PubDate: 2015-11-11
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5040401
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 1114-1135: Digital Dermatitis in Cattle: Current
           Bacterial and Immunological Findings

    • Authors: Jennifer Wilson-Welder, David Alt, Jarlath Nally
      First page: 1114
      Abstract: Globally; digital dermatitis is a leading form of lameness observed in production dairy cattle. While the precise etiology remains to be determined; the disease is clearly associated with infection by numerous species of treponemes; in addition to other anaerobic bacteria. The goal of this review article is to provide an overview of the current literature; focusing on discussion of the polybacterial nature of the digital dermatitis disease complex and host immune response. Several phylotypes of treponemes have been identified; some of which correlate with location in the lesion and some with stages of lesion development. Local innate immune responses may contribute to the proliferative, inflammatory conditions that perpetuate digital dermatitis lesions. While serum antibody is produced to bacterial antigens in the lesions, little is known about cellular-based immunity. Studies are still required to delineate the pathogenic traits of treponemes associated with digital dermatitis; and other host factors that mediate pathology and protection of digital dermatitis lesions.
      PubDate: 2015-11-11
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5040400
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 1136-1146: Development of a Safety Management Web
           Tool for Horse Stables

    • First page: 1136
      Abstract: Managing a horse stable involves risks, which can have serious consequences for the stable, employees, clients, visitors and horses. Existing industrial or farm production risk management tools are not directly applicable to horse stables and they need to be adapted for use by managers of different types of stables. As a part of the InnoEquine project, an innovative web tool, InnoHorse, was developed to support horse stable managers in business, safety, pasture and manure management. A literature review, empirical horse stable case studies, expert panel workshops and stakeholder interviews were carried out to support the design. The InnoHorse web tool includes a safety section containing a horse stable safety map, stable safety checklists, and examples of good practices in stable safety, horse handling and rescue planning. This new horse stable safety management tool can also help in organizing work processes in horse stables in general.
      PubDate: 2015-11-12
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5040402
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 1147-1168: A Comparison of Diets Supplemented with
           a Feed Additive Containing Organic Acids, Cinnamaldehyde and a
           Permeabilizing Complex, or Zinc Oxide, on Post-Weaning Diarrhoea, Selected
           Bacterial Populations, Blood Measures and Performance in Weaned Pigs
           Experimentally Infected with Enterotoxigenic E. coli

    • Authors: Ingunn Stensland, Jae Kim, Bethany Bowring, Alison Collins, Josephine Mansfield, John Pluske
      First page: 1147
      Abstract: The effects of feeding a diet supplemented with zinc oxide (ZnO) or a blend of organic acids, cinnamaldehyde and a permeabilizing complex (OACP) on post-weaning diarrhoea (PWD) and performance in pigs infected with enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) were examined. Additionally, changes in selected bacterial populations and blood measures were assessed. A total of 72 pigs weaned at 22 d of age and weighing 7.2 ± 1.02 kg (mean ± SEM) was used. Treatments were: base diet (no antimicrobial compounds); base diet + 3 g ZnO/kg; base diet + 1.5 g OACP/kg. Dietary treatments started on the day of weaning and were fed ad libitum for 3 weeks. All pigs were infected with an F4 ETEC on d 4, 5 and 6 after weaning. The incidence of PWD was lower in pigs fed ZnO ( p = 0.026). Overall, pigs fed ZnO grew faster ( p = 0.013) and ate more ( p = 0.004) than the base diet-fed pigs, with OACP-fed pigs performing the same ( p > 0.05) as both the ZnO- and base diet-fed pigs. Feed conversion ratio was similar for all diets ( p > 0.05). The percentage of E. coli with F4 fimbriae was affected a day by treatment interaction ( p = 0.037), with more E. coli with F4 fimbriae found in pigs fed ZnO on d 11 ( p = 0.011) compared to base diet-fed pigs. Only significant time effects ( p < 0.05) occurred for blood measures. Under the conditions of this study, inclusion of OACP gave statistically similar production responses to pigs fed ZnO, however pigs fed ZnO had less PWD compared to OACP- and the base diet-fed pigs.
      PubDate: 2015-11-23
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5040403
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 1169-1179: Social Licking in Pregnant Dairy Heifers

    • Authors: Grazyne Tresoldi, Daniel Weary, Luiz Pinheiro Machado Filho, Marina von Keyserlingk
      First page: 1169
      Abstract: Housing affects social behaviors, such as competition, but little work has addressed affiliative behaviors. This study compared social licking (SL) in pregnant heifers housed indoors (in a free-stall barn) versus outdoors (on pasture), and relationships with competition, feeding and physical proximity to others. Six heifer groups were observed during two six-hour-periods in both treatments. The total number of social events (SL and agonistic interactions) was four times higher when heifers were housed indoors compared to pasture (546 ± 43 vs. 128 ± 7 events/group; P < 0.05). SL as a ratio of the total number of social events was similar in the two treatments (12% vs . 8% of interactions, free-stall and pasture, respectively; P > 0.05). Housing did not affect how the SL bout was initiated and terminated, the duration, the body part licked and behavior preceding licking ( P > 0.05). Animals in close proximity showed higher rates of SL ( P < 0.0001) but not agonistic interactions ( P > 0.05). A previous agonistic event did not predict occurrence or the role of heifers in the following licking event. The higher stocking density indoors likely resulted in increased social interactions.
      PubDate: 2015-11-24
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5040404
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 1180-1191: Dietary Lecithin Supplementation Can
           Improve the Quality of the M. Longissimus thoracis

    • First page: 1180
      Abstract: Forty crossbred (Large White × Landrace × Duroc) female pigs (16.4 kg ± 0.94 kg) were used to investigate the effect of dietary lecithin supplementation on growth performance and pork quality. Pigs were randomly allocated to a commercial diet containing either 0, 3, 15 or 75 g lecithin/kg of feed during the grower and finisher growth phase. Pork from pigs consuming the diets containing 15 g and 75 g lecithin/kg had lower hardness ( P < 0.001) and chewiness ( P < 0.01) values compared to the controls. Dietary lecithin supplementation at 75 g/kg significantly increased ( P < 0.05) the linoleic acid and reduced ( P < 0.05) the myristic acid levels of pork compared to the control and the 3 g/kg and 15 g/kg lecithin supplemented treatments. Pigs fed the 75 g/kg lecithin supplemented diet had lower plasma cholesterol ( P < 0.05) at slaughter compared to pigs fed the control diet and the 3 g/kg and 15 g/kg lecithin supplemented treatments. These data indicate that dietary lecithin supplementation has the potential to improve the quality attributes of pork from female pigs.
      PubDate: 2015-11-25
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5040405
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 1192-1206: Early Onset of Laying and Bumblefoot
           Favor Keel Bone Fractures

    • First page: 1192
      Abstract: Numerous studies have demonstrated influences of hybrid, feed, and housing on prevalence of keel bone fractures, but influences of behavior and production on an individual level are less known. In this longitudinal study, 80 white and brown laying hens were regularly checked for keel bone deviations and fractures while egg production was individually monitored using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) from production until depopulation at 65 weeks of age. These focal birds were kept in eight pens with 20 hens per pen in total. About 62% of the hens had broken keel bones at depopulation. The occurrence of new fractures was temporally linked to egg laying: more new fractures occurred during the time when laying rates were highest. Hens with fractured keel bones at depopulation had laid their first egg earlier than hens with intact keel bones. However, the total number of eggs was neither correlated with the onset of egg laying nor with keel bone fractures. All birds with bumblefoot on both feet had a fracture at depopulation. Hens stayed in the nest for a longer time during egg laying during the ten days after the fracture than during the ten days before the fracture. In conclusion, a relationship between laying rates and keel bone fractures seems likely.
      PubDate: 2015-11-27
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5040406
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 1207-1219: A Review of Different Stunning Methods
           for Poultry—Animal Welfare Aspects (Stunning Methods for Poultry)

    • Authors: Charlotte Berg, Mohan Raj
      First page: 1207
      Abstract: Electrical water bath stunning is the most commonly used method for poultry stunning prior to slaughter, but has been questioned on animal welfare and product quality grounds. Controlled atmosphere stunning (CAS) methods, involving a variety of gas mixtures, have become increasingly common, at least in Europe. CAS methods have been perceived as an improvement from an animal welfare perspective, partly because birds can be stunned without prior shackling, and are generally considered to result in improved product quality compared to water bath stunning. However, there would still be an interest in alternative stunning methods especially for small to medium size poultry slaughterhouses. This review presents an overview of the modes of action and the technical aspects of poultry stunning methods, including novel and emerging stunning technologies.
      PubDate: 2015-11-30
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5040407
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 1220-1232: Artificially Increased Yolk Hormone
           Levels and Neophobia in Domestic Chicks

    • First page: 1220
      Abstract: In birds there is compelling evidence that the development and expression of behavior is affected by maternal factors, particularly via variation in yolk hormone concentrations of maternal origin. In the present study we tested whether variation in yolk hormone levels lead to variation in the expression of neophobia in young domestic chicks. Understanding how the prenatal environment could predispose chicks to express fear-related behaviors is essential in order to propose preventive actions and improve animal welfare. We simulated the consequences of a maternal stress by experimentally enhancing yolk progesterone, testosterone and estradiol concentrations in hen eggs prior to incubation. The chicks from these hormone-treated eggs (H) and from sham embryos (C) that received the vehicle-only were exposed to novel food, novel object and novel environment tests. H chicks approached a novel object significantly faster and were significantly more active in a novel environment than controls, suggesting less fearfulness. Conversely, no effect of the treatment was found in food neophobia tests. Our study highlights a developmental influence of yolk hormones on a specific aspect of neophobia. The results suggest that increased yolk hormone levels modulate specifically the probability of exploring novel environments or novel objects in the environment.
      PubDate: 2015-11-30
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5040408
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 1233-1251: How Farm Animals React and Perceive
           Stressful Situations Such As Handling, Restraint, and Transport

    • Authors: Temple Grandin, Chelsey Shivley
      First page: 1233
      Abstract: An animal that has been carefully acclimated to handling may willingly re-enter a restrainer. Another animal may have an intense agitated behavioral reaction or refuse to re-enter the handling facility. Physiological measures of stress such as cortisol may be very low in the animal that re-enters willingly and higher in animals that actively resist restraint. Carefully acclimating young animals to handling and restraint can help improve both productivity and welfare by reducing fear stress. Some of the topics covered in this review are: How an animal perceives handling and restraint, the detrimental effects of a sudden novel event, descriptions of temperament and aversion tests and the importance of good stockmanship.
      PubDate: 2015-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5040409
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 1252-1267: Preliminary Validation and Reliability
           Testing of the Montreal Instrument for Cat Arthritis Testing, for Use by
           Veterinarians, in a Colony of Laboratory Cats

    • Authors: Mary Klinck, Pascale Rialland, Martin Guillot, Maxim Moreau, Diane Frank, Eric Troncy
      First page: 1252
      Abstract: Subtle signs and conflicting physical and radiographic findings make feline osteoarthritis (OA) challenging to diagnose. A physical examination-based assessment was developed, consisting of eight items: Interaction, Exploration, Posture, Gait, Body Condition, Coat and Claws, (joint) Palpation–Findings, and Palpation–Cat Reaction. Content (experts) and face (veterinary students) validity were excellent. Construct validity, internal consistency, and intra- and inter-rater reliability were assessed via a pilot and main study, using laboratory-housed cats with and without OA. Gait distinguished OA status in the pilot ( p = 0.05) study. In the main study, no scale item achieved statistically significant OA detection. Forelimb peak vertical ground reaction force (PVF) correlated inversely with Gait (Rho s = −0.38 ( p = 0.03) to −0.41 ( p = 0.02)). Body Posture correlated with Gait, and inversely with forelimb PVF at two of three time points (Rho s = −0.38 ( p = 0.03) to −0.43 ( p = 0.01)). Palpation (Findings, Cat Reaction) did not distinguish OA from non-OA cats. Palpation—Cat Reaction (Forelimbs) correlated inversely with forelimb PVF at two time points (Rho s = −0.41 ( p = 0.02) to −0.41 ( p = 0.01)), but scores were highly variable, and poorly reliable. Gait and Posture require improved sensitivity, and Palpation should be interpreted cautiously, in diagnosing feline OA.
      PubDate: 2015-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5040410
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 1268-1295: Models and Methods to Investigate Acute
           Stress Responses in Cattle

    • Authors: Yi Chen, Ryan Arsenault, Scott Napper, Philip Griebel
      First page: 1268
      Abstract: There is a growing appreciation within the livestock industry and throughout society that animal stress is an important issue that must be addressed. With implications for animal health, well-being, and productivity, minimizing animal stress through improved animal management procedures and/or selective breeding is becoming a priority. Effective management of stress, however, depends on the ability to identify and quantify the effects of various stressors and determine if individual or combined stressors have distinct biological effects. Furthermore, it is critical to determine the duration of stress-induced biological effects if we are to understand how stress alters animal production and disease susceptibility. Common stress models used to evaluate both psychological and physical stressors in cattle are reviewed. We identify some of the major gaps in our knowledge regarding responses to specific stressors and propose more integrated methodologies and approaches to measuring these responses. These approaches are based on an increased knowledge of both the metabolic and immune effects of stress. Finally, we speculate on how these findings may impact animal agriculture, as well as the potential application of large animal models to understanding human stress.
      PubDate: 2015-12-03
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5040411
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 1296-1310: Health Problems and Risk Factors
           Associated with Long Haul Transport of Horses in Australia

    • Authors: Barbara Padalino, Evelyn Hall, Sharanne Raidal, Pietro Celi, Peter Knight, Leo Jeffcott, Gary Muscatello
      First page: 1296
      Abstract: Equine transportation is associated with a variety of serious health disorders causing economic losses. However; statistics on horse transport are limited and epidemiological data on transport related diseases are available only for horses transported to abattoirs for slaughter. This study analysed reports of transport related health problems identified by drivers and horse owners for 180 journeys of an Australian horse transport company transporting horses between Perth and Sydney (~4000 km) in 2013–2015. Records showed that 97.2% (1604/1650) of the horses arrived at their destination with no clinical signs of disease or injury. Based on the veterinary reports of the affected horses; the most common issues were respiratory problems (27%); gastrointestinal problems (27%); pyrexia (19%); traumatic injuries (15%); and death (12%). Journey duration and season had a significant effect on the distribution of transport related issues ( p < 0.05); with a marked increase of the proportion of the most severe problems ( i.e. , gastrointestinal; respiratory problems and death) in spring and after 20 h in transit. Although not statistically significant; elevated disease rate predictions were seen for stallions/colts; horses aged over 10 years; and Thoroughbreds. Overall; the data demonstrate that long haul transportation is a risk for horse health and welfare and requires appropriate management to minimize transport stress.
      PubDate: 2015-12-10
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5040412
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 1311-1328: Risk Factors for Dog Relinquishment to a
           Los Angeles Municipal Animal Shelter

    • Authors: Emily Dolan, Jamie Scotto, Margaret Slater, Emily Weiss
      First page: 1311
      Abstract: Dog relinquishment is a large component of shelter intake in the United States. Research has shown traits of the dog are associated with relinquishment as well as general characteristics of those relinquishing. Low income is often cited as a risk factor for relinquishment. The majority of people with lower incomes, however, do not relinquish. A group of people accessing a shelter in a low socioeconomic region of Los Angeles to relinquish their dogs was surveyed. This study examined risk factors for relinquishment, controlling for household income, compared to a group utilizing low cost spay/neuter services. A total of 76.9% of those relinquishing noted cost as a reason for relinquishment. Of participants in the relinquishment group, 80.7% reported not being aware of any services available to them. Most notable in the findings was that the odds of relinquishment were generally higher as the amount of perceived stress in the home in the past three months increased. The majority of people in both groups reported being emotionally attached to the dog. In this sample from a South Los Angeles community, the majority of reasons for relinquishment were likely solvable with assistance. These findings highlight an opportunity to assess community needs and provide community specific alternatives to relinquishment.
      PubDate: 2015-12-10
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5040413
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 1329-1344: Finding the Balance: Fertility Control
           for the Management of Fragmented Populations of a Threatened Rock-Wallaby

    • Authors: Nicole Willers, Graeme Martin, Phill Matson, Peter Mawson, Keith Morris, Roberta Bencini
      First page: 1329
      Abstract: Populations of Australian marsupials can become overabundant, resulting in detrimental impacts on the environment. For example, the threatened black-flanked rock-wallaby ( Petrogale lateralis lateralis ) has previously been perceived as overabundant and thus ‘unwanted’ when they graze crops and cause habitat degradation. Hormonally-induced fertility control has been increasingly used to manage population size in other marsupials where alternative management options are not viable. We tested whether deslorelin, a superagonist of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), would suppress reproduction in free-living adult female rock-wallabies without adversely impacting body condition. We trapped, synchronised reproduction and allocated female rock-wallabies to a placebo implant (control, n = 22), one (n = 22) or two (n = 20) subcutaneous implants of deslorelin. Females were then recaptured over the following 36 months to monitor reproduction, including Luteinising Hormone levels, and body condition. Following treatment, diapaused blastocysts reactivated in five females and the resulting young were carried through to weaning. No wallabies treated with deslorelin, conceivede a new young for at least 27 months. We did not observe adverse effects on body condition on treated females. We conclude that deslorelin implants are effective for the medium-term suppression of reproduction in female black-flanked rock-wallabies and for managing overabundant populations of some marsupials.
      PubDate: 2015-12-16
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5040414
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 455-478: Consistent Individual Behavioral
           Variation: The Difference between Temperament, Personality and Behavioral

    • Authors: Jill MacKay, Marie Haskell
      First page: 455
      Abstract: Ethologists use a variety of terminology such as “personality”, “temperament” and “behavioral syndromes” almost interchangeably to discuss the phenomenon of individuals within a population of animals consistently varying from one another in their behavioral responses to stimuli. This interchangeable usage of terminology has contributed to confusion within the field of animal behavior and limits the study of the phenomenon. Here we use a rapid, non-exhaustive and repeatable search strategy literature review to investigate where there were unique distinctions between these three terms and where there was an overlap in their usage. We identified three main areas of confusion in terminology: historical usage which is not updated; a lack of precision between different fields of study; and a lack of precision between different levels of variation. We propose a framework with which to understand and define the terms based on the levels of variation ethologists are interested in. Consistent individual animal behavioral variation relates to the different structures of variation of between-individual/between-population and between and across contexts. By formalizing this framework we provide clarity between the three terms which can be easily defined and understood.
      PubDate: 2015-07-08
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5030366
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 479-494: Farm Management in Organic and
           Conventional Dairy Production Systems Based on Pasture in Southern Brazil
           and Its Consequences on Production and Milk Quality

    • Authors: Shirley Kuhnen, Rudinei Stibuski, Luciana Honorato, Luiz Filho
      First page: 479
      Abstract: Pasture-based dairy production is used widely on family dairy farms in Southern Brazil. This study investigates conventional high input (C-HI), conventional low input (C-LI), and organic low input (O-LI) pasture-based systems and their effects on quantity and quality of the milk produced. We conducted technical site visits and interviews monthly over one year on 24 family farms (n = 8 per type). C-HI farms had the greatest total area (28.9 ha), greatest percentage of area with annual pasture (38.7%), largest number of lactating animals (26.2) and greatest milk yield per cow (22.8 kg·day−1). O-LI farms had the largest perennial pasture area (52.3%), with the greatest botanical richness during all seasons. Area of perennial pasture was positively correlated with number of species consumed by the animals (R2 = 0.74). Milk from O-LI farms had higher levels of fat and total solids only during the winter. Hygienic and microbiological quality of the milk was poor for all farms and need to be improved. C-HI farms had high milk yield related to high input, C-LI had intermediate characteristics and O-LI utilized a year round perennial pasture as a strategy to diminish the use of supplements in animal diets, which is an important aspect in ensuring production sustainability.
      PubDate: 2015-07-09
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5030367
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 495-511: Air Quality in Alternative Housing Systems
           May Have an Impact on Laying Hen Welfare. Part I—Dust

    • Authors: Bruce David, Randi Moe, Virginie Michel, Vonne Lund, Cecilie Mejdell
      First page: 495
      Abstract: The new legislation for laying hens in the European Union put a ban on conventional cages. Production systems must now provide the hens with access to a nest, a perch, and material for dust bathing. These requirements will improve the behavioral aspects of animal welfare. However, when hens are kept with access to litter, it is a concern that polluted air may become an increased threat to health and therefore also a welfare problem. This article reviews the literature regarding the health and welfare effects birds experience when exposed to barn dust. Dust is composed of inorganic and organic compounds, from the birds themselves as well as from feed, litter, and building materials. Dust may be a vector for microorganisms and toxins. In general, studies indicate that housing systems where laying hens have access to litter as aviaries and floor systems consistently have higher concentrations of suspended dust than caged hens with little (furnished cages) or no access to litter (conventional cages). The higher dust levels in aviaries and floor housing are also caused by increased bird activity in the non-cage systems. There are gaps in both the basic and applied knowledge of how birds react to dust and aerosol contaminants, i.e., what levels they find aversive and/or impair health. Nevertheless, high dust levels may compromise the health and welfare of both birds and their caretakers and the poor air quality often found in new poultry housing systems needs to be addressed. It is necessary to develop prophylactic measures and to refine the production systems in order to achieve the full welfare benefits of the cage ban.
      PubDate: 2015-07-09
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5030368
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 512-535: Digital Dermatitis in Dairy Cows: A Review
           of Risk Factors and Potential Sources of Between-Animal Variation in

    • First page: 512
      Abstract: Digital dermatitis (DD) is a bacterial disease that primarily affects the skin on the heels of cattle. It is a major cause of lameness in dairy cows and a significant problem for the dairy industry in many countries, causing reduced animal welfare and economic loss. A wide range of infection levels has been found on infected farms, prompting investigations into both farm level and animal level risk factors for DD occurrence. There also appears to be individual variation between animals in susceptibility to the disease. The identification of factors affecting individual variation in susceptibility to DD might allow changes in breeding policies or herd management which could be used to reduce DD prevalence. Factors mentioned in the literature as possibly influencing individual variation in susceptibility to DD include physical factors such as hoof conformation and properties of the skin, physiological factors such as the efficacy of the immune response, and behavioural factors such as standing half in cubicles. Further work is required to determine the influence of these factors, identify the genetic basis of variation, clarify the level of heritability of DD susceptibility and to determine how this is correlated with production and health traits currently used in breeding programmes.
      PubDate: 2015-07-13
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5030369
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 536-544: A High Percentage of Beef Bull Pictures in
           Semen Catalogues Have Feet and Lower Legs that Are Not Visible

    • Authors: Marcy Franks, Temple Grandin
      First page: 536
      Abstract: A total of 1379 beef bull pictures were surveyed to determine visibility of feet and legs from four American semen company websites. Five different breeds were represented: Angus, Red Angus, Hereford (polled and horned), Simmental, and Charolais. In addition to visibility, data on other variables were collected to establish frequencies and correlations. These included breed, color, material that obscured visibility, such as grass, picture taken at livestock show or outside, semen company, photographer, video, and age of bull. A foot and leg visibility score was given to each bull picture. Only 19.4% of the pictures had fully visible feet and legs. Both the hooves and dewclaws were hidden on 32.5% of the pictures. Correlation between bull’s birthdate and the first four visibility scores was statistically significant (P < 0.0001). As age increased the feet and legs were more likely to be visible in the bull’s picture. This may possibly be due to greater availability of both photo editing software and digital photography. One positive finding was that 6% of the bulls had a video of the bull walking which completely showed his feet and legs.
      PubDate: 2015-07-14
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5030370
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 545-560: Effects of Oxytocin Administration on the
           Response of Piglets to Weaning

    • Authors: Jean-Loup Rault, Frank Dunshea, John Pluske
      First page: 545
      Abstract: Weaning is often an abrupt and stressful process. We studied the effects of administering oxytocin, subcutaneously or intranasally, on the ability of pigs to cope with weaning. On a commercial farm 144, 30 day-old pigs from 24 litters were used. On the day of weaning, one male and one female in each litter were administered one of three treatments: intranasal oxytocin (24 International Unit), subcutaneous oxytocin (10 International Unit per kg of body weight), or handled as a control. The pigs were placed in one of eight weaner pens, split by sex and with an equal representation of treatments. Data included body weight and growth, physiology (neutrophil:lymphocyte ratio, plasma cortisol, C-reactive protein and Tumor Necrosis Factor-α concentrations), and behavior (feeding, drinking, social behavior). Both oxytocin treatments tended to result in higher levels of mild aggression within groups (p = 0.08), specifically between oxytocin-administered and control pigs (subcutaneous to control p = 0.03; intranasal to control p = 0.10). Subcutaneously-administered pigs tended to frequent the feeder more often than intranasally-administered pigs (p < 0.10), with the latter having slightly lower body weight 38 days post-weaning (p = 0.03). However, acute oxytocin administration did not result in any noticeable physiological changes 4 or 28 h post-weaning. Hence, the use of a single administration of oxytocin prior to weaning in pigs is not recommended, at least not in the conditions studied here.
      PubDate: 2015-07-16
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5030371
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 561-575: A Critical Review of Horse-Related Risk: A
           Research Agenda for Safer Mounts, Riders and Equestrian Cultures

    • Authors: Kirrilly Thompson, Paul McGreevy, Phil McManus
      First page: 561
      Abstract: While the importance of improving horse-related safety seems self-evident, no comprehensive study into understanding or reducing horse-related risk has been undertaken. In this paper, we discuss four dimensions of horse-related risk: the risk itself, the horse, the rider and the culture in which equestrian activities takes place. We identify how the ways in which risk is constructed in each dimension affects the applicability of four basic risk management options of avoidance, transference, mitigation and acceptance. We find the acceptance and avoidance of horse-related risk is generally high, most likely due to a common construction of horses as irrevocably unpredictable, fearful and dangerous. The transference of risk management is also high, especially in the use of protective technologies such as helmets. Of concern, the strategy least utilised is risk mitigation. We highlight the potential benefit in developing mitigation strategies directed at: (a) improving the predictability of horses (to and by humans), and (b) improving riders’ competence in the physical skills that make them more resilient to injury and falls. We conclude with the presentation of a multidisciplinary agenda for research that could reduce accident, injury and death to horse-riders around the world.
      PubDate: 2015-07-17
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5030372
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 576-591: Helmet Use Amongst Equestrians: Harnessing
           Social and Attitudinal Factors Revealed in Online Forums

    • Authors: Laura Haigh, Kirrilly Thompson
      First page: 576
      Abstract: Equestrian activities pose significant head injury risks to participants. Yet, helmet use is not mandatory in Australia outside of selected competitions. Awareness of technical countermeasures and the dangers of equestrian activities has not resulted in widespread adoption of simple precautionary behaviors like helmet use. Until the use of helmets whilst riding horses is legislated in Australia, there is an urgent need to improve voluntary use. To design effective injury prevention interventions, the factors affecting helmet use must first be understood. To add to current understandings of these factors, we examined the ways horse riders discussed helmet use by analyzing 103 posts on two helmet use related threads from two different Australian equestrian forums. We found evidence of social influence on helmet use behaviors as well as three attitudes that contributed towards stated helmet use that we termed: “I Can Control Risk”, “It Does Not Feel Right” and “Accidents Happen”. Whilst we confirm barriers identified in previous literature, we also identify their ability to support helmet use. This suggests challenging but potentially useful complexity in the relationship between risk perception, protective knowledge, attitudes, decision-making and behavior. Whilst this complexity is largely due to the involvement of interspecies relationships through which safety, risk and trust are distributed; our findings about harnessing the potential of barriers could be extended to other high risk activities.
      PubDate: 2015-07-17
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5030373
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 592-609: Inroads into Equestrian Safety:
           Rider-Reported Factors Contributing to Horse-Related Accidents and Near
           Misses on Australian Roads

    • Authors: Kirrilly Thompson, Chelsea Matthews
      First page: 592
      Abstract: Horse riding and horse-related interactions are inherently dangerous. When they occur on public roads, the risk profile of equestrian activities is complicated by interactions with other road users. Research has identified speed, proximity, visibility, conspicuity and mutual misunderstanding as factors contributing to accidents and near misses. However, little is known about their significance or incidence in Australia. To explore road safety issues amongst Australian equestrians, we conducted an online survey. More than half of all riders (52%) reported having experienced at least one accident or near miss in the 12 months prior to the survey. Whilst our findings confirm the factors identified overseas, we also identified issues around rider misunderstanding of road rules and driver misunderstanding of rider hand signals. Of particular concern, we also found reports of potentially dangerous rider-directed road rage. We identify several areas for potential safety intervention including (1) identifying equestrians as vulnerable road users and horses as sentient decision-making vehicles (2) harmonising laws regarding passing horses, (3) mandating personal protective equipment, (4) improving road signage, (5) comprehensive data collection, (6) developing mutual understanding amongst road-users, (7) safer road design and alternative riding spaces; and (8) increasing investment in horse-related safety initiatives.
      PubDate: 2015-07-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5030374
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 610-623: Inclusion of Oat in Feeding Can Increase
           the Potential Probiotic Bifidobacteria in Sow Milk

    • Authors: Rabin Gyawali, Radiah Minor, Barry Donovan, Salam Ibrahim
      First page: 610
      Abstract: The objectives of this study were to (i) investigate the impact of feeding oat on the population of bifidobacteria and (ii) evaluate their probiotic potential. In this study, we investigated the effects of supplementing sows’ gestation and lactation feed with 15% oat (prebiotic source) on the levels of probiotic population in milk. We found that dietary inclusion of oat during lactation and gestation resulted in increased levels of bifidobacteria compared to lactobacilli in sow milk. Furthermore bifidobacteria within the sow milk samples were further evaluated for probiotic potential based on aggregating properties, and acid- and bile-tolerance after exposure to hydrochloric acid (pH 2.5) and bile salts (0%, 0.25%, 0.50%, 1.0% and 2.0%). All isolates survived under the condition of low pH and bile 2.0%. Autoaggregation ability ranged from 17.5% to 73%. These isolates also showed antimicrobial activity against E. coli O157:H7.Together our results suggest that inclusion of oat in feeding systems could have the potential to improve the intestinal health of piglets by increasing the population of bifidobacteria.
      PubDate: 2015-07-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5030375
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 624-642: An Insufferable Business: Ethics, Nonhuman
           Animals and Biomedical Experiments

    • Authors: Kay Peggs
      First page: 624
      Abstract: Each year millions of nonhuman animals suffer in biomedical experiments for human health benefits. Clinical ethics demand that nonhuman animals are used in the development of pharmaceuticals and vaccines. Nonhuman animals are also used for fundamental biomedical research. Biomedical research that uses nonhuman animals is big business but the financial gains are generally occluded. This paper explores how such research generates profits and gains for those associated with the industry. Research establishments, scientists, laboratories, companies that sell nonhuman animal subjects, that supply equipment for the research, and corporations that market the resulting products are among those that benefit financially. Given the complex articulation of ethical codes, enormous corporate profits that are secured and personal returns that are made, the accepted moral legitimacy of such experiments is compromised. In order to address this, within the confines of the moral orthodoxy, more could to be done to ensure transparency and to extricate the vested financial interests from the human health benefits. But such a determination would not address the fundamental issues that should be at the heart of human actions in respect of the nonhuman animals who are used in experiments. The paper concludes with such an address by calling for an end to the denigration of nonhuman animals as experimental subjects who can be used as commodities for profit-maximisation and as tools in experiments for human health benefits, and the implementation of a more inclusive ethic that is informed by universal concern about the suffering of and compassion for all oppressed beings.
      PubDate: 2015-07-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5030376
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 643-661: Predictions of Daily Milk and Fat Yields,
           Major Groups of Fatty Acids, and C18:1 cis-9 from Single Milking Data
           without a Milking Interval

    • First page: 643
      Abstract: Reducing the frequency of milk recording would help reduce the costs of official milk recording. However, this approach could also negatively affect the accuracy of predicting daily yields. This problem has been investigated in numerous studies. In addition, published equations take into account milking intervals (MI), and these are often not available and/or are unreliable in practice. The first objective of this study was to propose models in which the MI was replaced by a combination of data easily recorded by dairy farmers. The second objective was to further investigate the fatty acids (FA) present in milk. Equations to predict daily yield from AM or PM data were based on a calibration database containing 79,971 records related to 51 traits [milk yield (expected AM, expected PM, and expected daily); fat content (expected AM, expected PM, and expected daily); fat yield (expected AM, expected PM, and expected daily; g/day); levels of seven different FAs or FA groups (expected AM, expected PM, and expected daily; g/dL milk), and the corresponding FA yields for these seven FA types/groups (expected AM, expected PM, and expected daily; g/day)]. These equations were validated using two distinct external datasets. The results obtained from the proposed models were compared to previously published results for models which included a MI effect. The corresponding correlation values ranged from 96.4% to 97.6% when the daily yields were estimated from the AM milkings and ranged from 96.9% to 98.3% when the daily yields were estimated from the PM milkings. The simplicity of these proposed models should facilitate their use by breeding and milk recording organizations.
      PubDate: 2015-07-31
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5030377
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 662-686: Influence of Soft or Hard Floors before
           and after First Calving on Dairy Heifer Locomotion, Claw and Leg Health

    • Authors: Christer Bergsten, Evgenij Telezhenko, Michael Ventorp
      First page: 662
      Abstract: Claw health, an important dairy cow welfare parameter, may be affected by early-life foot/leg stresses. To investigate this, groups of pregnant heifers were allocated to deep straw bedding (Soft) or cubicles (Hard), both with scraped concrete feeding alleys. After the grazing season, they were re-housed in cubicle systems, half on slatted concrete (Hard) and half on slatted rubber (Soft) alleys. Claw measurements, contact area and pressure distribution claw/flooring, claw disorders and leg lesions were recorded at the start and end of each housing season. Locomotion and leg lesions were also scored monthly after calving. Prevalence of sole haemorrhages was higher among pregnant heifers in cubicles than in deep straw. After calving, first-calvers on Hard floors had higher odds for lameness (OR = 3.6; P < 0.01), sole haemorrhages/ulcers (OR = 2.2; P < 0.05), white-line haemorrhages (OR = 2.8; P < 0.01) and leg lesions (OR = 2.6; P < 0.02) than those on Soft floors. Lowest prevalence and severity of sole and white-line haemorrhages (non-significant) in first-calvers was found in those on Soft floors and reared on Hard floors and the highest prevalence and severity on those on Hard floors reared on Soft floors. Soft flooring after calving is of most importance for healthy feet and legs.
      PubDate: 2015-08-06
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5030378
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 687-701: Measuring Claw Conformation in Cattle:
           Assessing the Agreement between Manual and Digital Measurement

    • Authors: Linda Laven, Libin Wang, Corey Regnerus, Richard Laven
      First page: 687
      Abstract: Five measurements of claw conformation (toe angle, claw height, claw width, toe length and abaxial groove length) taken directly from the hoof were compared with the measurements taken from digital images of the same claws. Concordance correlation coefficients and limits-of-agreement analysis showed that, for four of the five measures (claw height, claw width, toe length and abaxial groove length), agreement was too poor for digital and manual measures to be used interchangeably. For all four of these measures, Liao’s modified concordance correlation coefficient (mCCC) was ≤0.4, indicating poor concordance despite Pearson’s correlation being >0.6 in all cases. The worst concordance was seen for toe length (mCCC = 0.13). Limits-of-agreement analysis showed that, for all four measures, there was a large variation in the difference between the manual and digital methods, even when the effect of mean on difference was accounted for, with the 95% limits-of-agreement for the four measures being further away from the mean difference than 10% of the mean in all four cases. The only one of the five measures with an acceptable concordance between digital and manual measurement was toe angle (mCCC = 0.81). Nevertheless, the limits-of-agreement analysis showed that there was a systematic bias with, on average, the manual measure of toe angle, being 2.1° smaller than the digital. The 95% limits-of-agreement for toe angle were ±3.4°, probably at the upper limit of what is acceptable. However, the lack of data on the variability of individual measurements of claw conformation means that it is unclear how this variability compares to measurement of toe angle in the same animal using the same or a different manual technique.
      PubDate: 2015-08-06
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5030379
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 702-716: Physiologic Measures of Animal Stress
           during Transitional States of Consciousness

    • Authors: Robert Meyer
      First page: 702
      Abstract: Determination of the humaneness of methods used to produce unconsciousness in animals, whether for anesthesia, euthanasia, humane slaughter, or depopulation, relies on our ability to assess stress, pain, and consciousness within the contexts of method and application. Determining the subjective experience of animals during transitional states of consciousness, however, can be quite difficult; further, loss of consciousness with different agents or methods may occur at substantially different rates. Stress and distress may manifest behaviorally (e.g., overt escape behaviors, approach-avoidance preferences [aversion]) or physiologically (e.g., movement, vocalization, changes in electroencephalographic activity, heart rate, sympathetic nervous system [SNS] activity, hypothalamic-pituitary axis [HPA] activity), such that a one-size-fits-all approach cannot be easily applied to evaluate methods or determine specific species applications. The purpose of this review is to discuss methods of evaluating stress in animals using physiologic methods, with emphasis on the transition between the conscious and unconscious states.
      PubDate: 2015-08-07
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5030380
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 717-747: Alterations of Innate Immunity Reactants
           in Transition Dairy Cows before Clinical Signs of Lameness

    • Authors: Guanshi Zhang, Dagnachew Hailemariam, Elda Dervishi, Qilan Deng, Seyed Goldansaz, Suzanna Dunn, Burim Ametaj
      First page: 717
      Abstract: The objectives of this study were to evaluate metabolic and innate immunity alterations in the blood of transition dairy cows before, during, and after diagnosis of lameness during periparturient period. Blood samples were collected from the coccygeal vain once per week before morning feeding from 100 multiparous Holstein dairy cows during −8, −4, disease diagnosis, and +4 weeks (wks) relative to parturition. Six healthy cows (CON) and six cows that showed clinical signs of lameness were selected for intensive serum analyses. Concentrations of interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor (TNF), haptoglobin (Hp), serum amyloid A (SAA), lipopolysaccharide binding protein (LBP), lactate, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), and β-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA) were measured in serum by ELISA or colorimetric methods. Health status, DMI, rectal temperature, milk yield, and milk composition also were monitored for each cow during the whole experimental period. Results showed that cows affected by lameness had greater concentrations of lactate, IL-6, and SAA in the serum vs. CON cows. Concentrations of TNF tended to be greater in cows with lameness compared with CON. In addition, there was a health status (Hs) by time (week) interaction for IL-1, TNF, and Hp in lameness cows vs. CON ones. Enhanced serum concentrations of lactate, IL-6, and SAA at −8 and −4 wks before parturition were different in cows with lameness as compared with those of the CON group. The disease was also associated with lowered overall milk production and DMI as well as milk fat and fat-to-protein ratio. In conclusion, cows affected postpartum by lameness had alterations in several serum variables related to innate immunity and carbohydrate metabolism that give insights into the etiopathogenesis of the disease and might serve to monitor health status of transition dairy cows in the near future.
      PubDate: 2015-08-14
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5030381
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 748-773: Relationships between Circulating Urea
           Concentrations and Endometrial Function in Postpartum Dairy Cows

    • Authors: Zhangrui Cheng, Chike Oguejiofor, Theerawat Swangchan-Uthai, Susan Carr, D. Wathes
      First page: 748
      Abstract: Both high and low circulating urea concentrations, a product of protein metabolism, are associated with decreased fertility in dairy cows through poorly defined mechanisms. The rate of involution and the endometrial ability to mount an adequate innate immune response after calving are both critical for subsequent fertility. Study 1 used microarray analysis to identify genes whose endometrial expression 2 weeks postpartum correlated significantly with the mean plasma urea per cow, ranging from 3.2 to 6.6 mmol/L. The biological functions of 781 mapped genes were analysed using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis. These were predominantly associated with tissue turnover (e.g., BRINP1, FOXG1), immune function (e.g., IL17RB, CRISPLD2), inflammation (e.g., C3, SERPINF1, SERPINF2) and lipid metabolism (e.g., SCAP, ACBD5, SLC10A). Study 2 investigated the relationship between urea concentration and expression of 6 candidate genes (S100A8, HSP5A, IGF1R, IL17RB, BRINP1, CRISPLD2) in bovine endometrial cell culture. These were treated with 0, 2.5, 5.0 or 7.5 mmol/L urea, equivalent to low, medium and high circulating values with or without challenge by bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). LPS increased S100A8 expression as expected but urea treatment had no effect on expression of any tested gene. Examination of the genes/pathways involved suggests that plasma urea levels may reflect variations in lipid metabolism. Our results suggest that it is the effects of lipid metabolism rather than the urea concentration which probably alter the rate of involution and innate immune response, in turn influencing subsequent fertility.
      PubDate: 2015-08-14
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5030382
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 774-792: RandAgiamo™, a Pilot Project
           Increasing Adoptability of Shelter Dogs in the Umbria Region (Italy)

    • Authors: Laura Menchetti, Stefania Mancini, Maria Catalani, Beatrice Boccini, Silvana Diverio
      First page: 774
      Abstract: Current Italian legislation does not permit euthanasia of dogs, unless they are ill or dangerous. Despite good intentions and ethical benefits, this ‘no-kill policy’ has caused a progressive overpopulation of dogs in shelters, due to abandonment rates being higher than adoption rates. Shelter overcrowding has negative implications for dog welfare and increases public costs. The aim of this paper is to describe the pilot project “RandAgiamo” implemented in a rescue shelter in the Umbria Region and to evaluate its effectiveness on the rate of dog adoption using official data. RandAgiamo aimed to increase adult shelter dogs’ adoptability by a standard training and socialization programme. It also promoted dogs’ visibility by publicizing them through social media and participation in events. We analysed the official data of the Umbria regional health authorities regarding dog shelters of the Perugia province of the year 2014. In the RandAgiamo shelter, the dog adoption rate was 27.5% higher than that of dogs housed in other shelters located in the same geographical area (P < 0.001). The RandAgiamo project could be beneficial for the dogs’ welfare, owner satisfaction, shelter management, and public perception of shelter dogs. However, staff were required to provide dog training and related activities.
      PubDate: 2015-08-14
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5030383
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 793-802: The Role of TCA Cycle Anaplerosis in
           Ketosis and Fatty Liver in Periparturient Dairy Cows

    • Authors: Heather White
      First page: 793
      Abstract: The transition to lactation period in dairy cattle is characterized by metabolic challenges, negative energy balance, and adipose tissue mobilization. Metabolism of mobilized adipose tissue is part of the adaptive response to negative energy balance in dairy cattle; however, the capacity of the liver to completely oxidize nonesterified fatty acids may be limited and is reflective of oxaloacetate pool, the carbon carrier of the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Alternative metabolic fates of acetyl-CoA from nonesterified fatty acids include esterification to triacylglycerides and ketogenesis, and when excessive, these pathways lead to fatty liver and ketosis. Examination of the anaplerotic and cataplerotic pull of oxaloacetate by the tricarboxylic acid cycle and gluconeogenesis may provide insight into the balance of oxidation and esterification of acetyl-CoA within the liver of periparturient dairy cows.
      PubDate: 2015-08-18
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5030384
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 803-820: Evidence for a Role of Prolactin in
           Mediating Effects of Photoperiod during the Dry Period

    • Authors: Heather Crawford, Dawn Morin, Emma Wall, Thomas McFadden, Geoffrey Dahl
      First page: 803
      Abstract: Photoperiod manipulation during the lactation cycle alters milk yield, with long days (LDPP) increasing yield in lactation and short days (SDPP) in the dry period improving subsequent yield. Circulating prolactin (PRL) is directly related to day length, with LDPP increasing and SDPP decreasing PRL, respectively. Two blocks of 24 multiparous Holstein cows were used during two consecutive years to test the hypothesis that the mammary response to SDPP is the result of decreased concentrations of PRL in the circulation relative to LDPP. Cows were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups during the dry period: SDPP, LDPP, or SDPP+PRL. Cows were returned to ambient photoperiod at calving and milk yield and DMI recorded for 120 d and 42 d, respectively. Mammary biopsies were obtained to determine rates of [3H]-thymidine incorporation into DNA in vitro. Treatment of SDPP cows with PRL caused a rapid increase in systemic PRL that reached concentrations similar to cows under LDPP. The periparturient PRL surge was similar for LDPP and SDPP+PRL cows, but those groups had greater surge concentrations versus SDPP. Cows exposed to SDPP produced more milk than LDPP cows, and there was a trend for SDPP+PRL cows to produce more milk than LDPP cows. Milk production was inversely related to the periparturient PRL surge. There was a trend for a treatment effect on mammary cell proliferation with greater proliferation in mammary tissue of SDPP cows relative to LDPP or SDPP+PRL on day −20 relative to parturition. Replacement of PRL to cows on SDPP when dry resulted in milk yield intermediate to cows on SDPP or LDPP, supporting the concept of a link between dry period PRL and yield.
      PubDate: 2015-08-19
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5030385
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 821-837: “Chickens Are a Lot Smarter than I
           Originally Thought”: Changes in Student Attitudes to Chickens
           Following a Chicken Training Class

    • First page: 821
      Abstract: A practical class using clicker training of chickens to apply knowledge of how animals learn and practice skills in animal training was added to an undergraduate course. Since attitudes to animals are related to their perceived intelligence, surveys of student attitudes were completed pre- and post- the practical class, to determine if (1) the practical class changed students’ attitudes to chickens and their ability to experience affective states, and (2) any changes were related to previous contact with chickens, training experience or gender. In the post- versus pre-surveys, students agreed more that chickens are easy to teach tricks to, are intelligent, and have individual personalities and disagreed more that they are difficult to train and are slow learners. Following the class, they were more likely to believe chickens experience boredom, frustration and happiness. Females rated the intelligence and ability to experience affective states in chickens more highly than males, although there were shifts in attitude in both genders. This study demonstrated shifts in attitudes following a practical class teaching clicker training in chickens. Similar practical classes may provide an effective method of teaching animal training skills and promoting more positive attitudes to animals.
      PubDate: 2015-08-21
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5030386
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 838-860: Lameness Detection in Dairy Cows: Part 1.
           How to Distinguish between Non-Lame and Lame Cows Based on Differences in
           Locomotion or Behavior

    • Authors: Annelies Van Nuffel, Ingrid Zwertvaegher, Liesbet Pluym, Stephanie Van Weyenberg, Vivi Thorup, Matti Pastell, Bart Sonck, Wouter Saeys
      First page: 838
      Abstract: Due to its detrimental effect on cow welfare, health and production, lameness in dairy cows has received quite a lot of attention in the last few decades—not only in terms of prevention and treatment of lameness but also in terms of detection, as early treatment might decrease the number of severely lame cows in the herds as well as decrease the direct and indirect costs associated with lameness cases. Generally, lame cows are detected by the herdsman, hoof trimmer or veterinarian based on abnormal locomotion, abnormal behavior or the presence of hoof lesions during routine trimming. In the scientific literature, several guidelines are proposed to detect lame cows based on visual interpretation of the locomotion of individual cows (i.e., locomotion scoring systems). Researchers and the industry have focused on automating such observations to support the farmer in finding the lame cows in their herds, but until now, such automated systems have rarely been used in commercial herds. This review starts with the description of normal locomotion of cows in order to define ‘abnormal’ locomotion caused by lameness. Cow locomotion (gait and posture) and behavioral features that change when a cow becomes lame are described and linked to the existing visual scoring systems. In addition, the lack of information of normal cow gait and a clear description of ‘abnormal’ gait are discussed. Finally, the different set-ups used during locomotion scoring and their influence on the resulting locomotion scores are evaluated.
      PubDate: 2015-08-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5030387
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 861-885: Lameness Detection in Dairy Cows: Part 2.
           Use of Sensors to Automatically Register Changes in Locomotion or Behavior

    • Authors: Annelies Van Nuffel, Ingrid Zwertvaegher, Stephanie Van Weyenberg, Matti Pastell, Vivi Thorup, Claudia Bahr, Bart Sonck, Wouter Saeys
      First page: 861
      Abstract: Despite the research on opportunities to automatically measure lameness in cattle, lameness detection systems are not widely available commercially and are only used on a few dairy farms. However, farmers need to be aware of the lame cows in their herds in order treat them properly and in a timely fashion. Many papers have focused on the automated measurement of gait or behavioral cow characteristics related to lameness. In order for such automated measurements to be used in a detection system, algorithms to distinguish between non-lame and mildly or severely lame cows need to be developed and validated. Few studies have reached this latter stage of the development process. Also, comparison between the different approaches is impeded by the wide range of practical settings used to measure the gait or behavioral characteristic (e.g., measurements during normal farming routine or during experiments; cows guided or walking at their own speed) and by the different definitions of lame cows. In the majority of the publications, mildly lame cows are included in the non-lame cow group, which limits the possibility of also detecting early lameness cases. In this review, studies that used sensor technology to measure changes in gait or behavior of cows related to lameness are discussed together with practical considerations when conducting lameness research. In addition, other prerequisites for any lameness detection system on farms (e.g., need for early detection, real-time measurements) are discussed.
      PubDate: 2015-08-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5030388
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 886-896: Air Quality in Alternative Housing Systems
           may have an Impact on Laying Hen Welfare. Part II—Ammonia

    • Authors: Bruce David, Cecilie Mejdell, Virginie Michel, Vonne Lund, Randi Moe
      First page: 886
      Abstract: The EU ban on conventional barren cages for laying hens from 2012 has improved many aspects of laying hen welfare. The new housing systems allow for the expression of highly-motivated behaviors. However, the systems available for intensive large-scale egg production (e.g., aviaries, floor housing systems, furnished cages) may cause other welfare challenges. We have reviewed the literature regarding the health, behavior, production characteristics, and welfare of laying hens when exposed to ammonia in their housing environment. Concentrations of ammonia gas are commonly high in aviaries and floor housing systems in which manure is not regularly removed, whereas they are usually lower in furnished cages. High levels are found during the cold season when ventilation flow is often reduced. Ammonia is a pungent gas, and behavioral studies indicate chickens are averse to the gas. High concentrations of gaseous ammonia can have adverse health effects and, when very high, even influence production performance. The most profound effects seen are the occurrence of lesions in the respiratory tract and keratoconjunctivitis. There is also evidence that high ammonia concentrations predispose poultry to respiratory disease and secondary infections. We conclude that there are animal welfare challenges related to high ammonia levels, and that immediate actions are needed. Development of improved systems and management routines for manure removal and ventilation will be important for the reduction of ammonia levels and hence will contribute to safeguarding hen welfare.
      PubDate: 2015-09-03
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5030389
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 897-909: Workplace Injuries in Thoroughbred Racing:
           An Analysis of Insurance Payments and Injuries amongst Jockeys in
           Australia from 2002 to 2010

    • Authors: Beverley Curry, Peta Hitchens, Petr Otahal, Lei Si, Andrew Palmer
      First page: 897
      Abstract: Background: There is no comprehensive study of the costs of horse-related workplace injuries to Australian Thoroughbred racing jockeys. Objectives: To analyse the characteristics of insurance payments and horse-related workplace injuries to Australian jockeys during Thoroughbred racing or training. Methods: Insurance payments to Australian jockeys and apprentice jockeys as a result of claims for injury were reviewed. The cause and nature of injuries, and the breakdown of payments associated with claims were described. Results: The incidence of claims was 2.1/1000 race rides, with an average cost of AUD 9 million/year. Race-day incidents were associated with 39% of claims, but 52% of the total cost. The mean cost of race-day incidents (AUD 33,756) was higher than non-race day incidents (AUD 20,338). Weekly benefits and medical expenses made up the majority of costs of claims. Fractures were the most common injury (29.5%), but head injuries resulting from a fall from a horse had the highest mean cost/claim (AUD 127,127). Conclusions: Costs of workplace injuries to the Australian Thoroughbred racing industry have been greatly underestimated because the focus has historically been on incidents that occur on race-days. These findings add to the evidence base for developing strategies to reduce injuries and their associated costs.
      PubDate: 2015-09-08
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5030390
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 910-933: Effects of Prepartum Dietary Energy Level
           and Nicotinic Acid Supplementation on Immunological, Hematological and
           Biochemical Parameters of Periparturient Dairy Cows Differing in Parity

    • First page: 910
      Abstract: The periparturient period is critical according to health, productivity and profitability. As this period is fundamental for the success of the lactation period, the interest in improving periparturient health by dietary supplements increased in recent years. The present study investigated the effects of feeding nicotinic acid (NA) combined with varying dietary energy densities on immunological, hematological and biochemical parameters of periparturient cows differing in parity. Thirty-six multiparous and 20 primiparous dairy cows were enrolled in the study 42 days before expected parturition date until 100 days postpartum with the half of the cows being supplemented with 24 g of NA/d. After parturition a diet with 30% concentrate was fed to all cows which was followed by different concentrate escalation strategies. Dietary NA supplementation was ceased on day 24 postpartum. Dietary NA increased (P = 0.010) serum nicotinamide concentrations (mean of 3.35 ± 1.65 µg/mL), whereas NA could not be detected. Present data emphasize that periparturient cows are faced with major physiological challenges and that both parity-groups have different prerequisites to adapt to those changes irrespective of NA supplementation. The overfeeding of energy to cows which were similar in body condition score had only minor effects on periparturient immune system function and the metabolism of those cows.
      PubDate: 2015-09-08
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5030391
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 3 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 151-160: Does the Naked Neck Meat Type Chicken
           Yield Lower Methionine Requirement Data?

    • Authors: Daulat Khan, Christian Wecke, Frank Liebert
      Pages: 151 - 160
      Abstract: Methionine (Met) requirement studies with homozygous (Na/Na) and heterozygous (Na/na) naked neck meat type chicken utilized 144 birds of average weight (50% each genotype and sex) within two N balance experiments involving both the starter (d10–20) and grower period (d25–35). The birds were randomly allotted to five experimental diets with graded protein supply and Met as the limiting amino acid. The proportion of native feed protein sources (soy protein concentrate, maize, wheat, fishmeal and wheat gluten) was kept constant to ensure a uniform protein quality in all diets. The Met requirement depending on genotype, sex, age period and growth performance (protein deposition) was estimated using a non-linear modeling procedure of N utilization in monogastric animals. On average, 0.47% (Na/Na) and 0.45% (Na/na) dietary Met was established as adequate in the starter diet, as well as 0.37% (Na/Na) and 0.36% (Na/na) Met in the grower diet for both of the sexes. In conclusion, the Met requirement of the naked neck chicken is not significantly different from its normally-feathered counterparts. In addition, the low feather production was not reflected by reduced requirement for Met in naked neck birds. However, these conclusions are valid only at the given Met:Cys ratio (1:1) in the experimental diets.
      PubDate: 2015-03-25
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5020151
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 2 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 161-172: The Use of a Shelter Software a to Track
           Frequency and Selected Risk Factors for Feline Upper Respiratory Infection

    • Authors: Ann Kommedal, Denae Wagner, Kate Hurley
      Pages: 161 - 172
      Abstract: Objective—Feline upper respiratory infection (URI) is a common, multi-factorial infectious disease syndrome endemic to many animal shelters. Although a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in shelter cats, URI is seldom formally monitored in shelter cat populations. Without monitoring, effective control and prevention of this often endemic disease is difficult. We looked at an integrated case management software system a for animal care organizations, widely used in shelters across the United States. Shelter staff routinely enter information regarding individual animals and disease status, but do not commonly use the software system to track frequency of disease. The purpose of this study was to determine if the software system a can be used to track URI frequency and selected risk factors in a population, and to evaluate the quality and completeness of the data as currently collected in a shelter. Design (type of study)—Descriptive Survey. Animals (or Sample)—317 cats in an animal shelter. Procedures—Reports from the software system a containing data regarding daily inventory, daily intake, animal identification, location, age, vaccination status, URI diagnosis and URI duration were evaluated. The reports were compared to data collected manually by an observer (Ann Therese Kommedal) to assess discrepancies, completeness, timeliness, availability and accuracy. Data were collected 6 days a week over a 4 week period. Results—Comparisons between the software system a reports and manually collected reports showed that 93% of inventory reports were complete and of these 99% were accurate. Fifty-two percent of the vaccination reports were complete, of which 97% were accurate. The accuracy of the software system’s age reports was 76%. Two-hundred and twenty-three cats were assigned a positive or negative URI diagnosis by the observer. The predictive value of the URI status in the software system a was below 60% both for positive and negative URI diagnosis. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—data currently collected and entered into the software systems in the study shelter, was not useful for tracking URI frequency and risk factors, due to issues with both data quality and capture. However, the potential exists to increase the practicality and usefulness of this shelter software system to monitor URI and other diseases. Relevant data points, i.e., health status at intake and outcome, vaccination date and status, as well as age, should be made mandatory to facilitate more useful data collection and reporting.
      PubDate: 2015-03-25
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5020161
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 2 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 173-192: Challenges of Managing Animals in
           Disasters in the U.S.

    • Authors: Sebastian Heath, Robert Linnabary
      Pages: 173 - 192
      Abstract: Common to many of the repeated issues surrounding animals in disasters in the U.S. is a pre-existing weak animal health infrastructure that is under constant pressure resulting from pet overpopulation. Unless this root cause is addressed, communities remain vulnerable to similar issues with animals they and others have faced in past disasters. In the US the plight of animals in disasters is frequently viewed primarily as a response issue and frequently handled by groups that are not integrated with the affected community’s emergency management. In contrast, animals, their owners, and communities would greatly benefit from integrating animal issues into an overall emergency management strategy for the community. There is no other factor contributing as much to human evacuation failure in disasters that is under the control of emergency management when a threat is imminent as pet ownership. Emergency managers can take advantage of the bond people have with their animals to instill appropriate behavior amongst pet owners in disasters.
      PubDate: 2015-03-26
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5020173
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 2 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 193-205: 2004 Methane and Nitrous Oxide Emissions
           from Manure Management in South Africa

    • Authors: Mokhele Moeletsi, Mphethe Tongwane
      Pages: 193 - 205
      Abstract: Manure management in livestock makes a significant contribution towards greenhouse gas emissions in the Agriculture; Forestry and Other Land Use category in South Africa. Methane and nitrous oxide emissions are prevalent in contrasting manure management systems; promoting anaerobic and aerobic conditions respectively. In this paper; both Tier 1 and modified Tier 2 approaches of the IPCC guidelines are utilized to estimate the emissions from South African livestock manure management. Activity data (animal population, animal weights, manure management systems, etc.) were sourced from various resources for estimation of both emissions factors and emissions of methane and nitrous oxide. The results show relatively high methane emissions factors from manure management for mature female dairy cattle (40.98 kg/year/animal), sows (25.23 kg/year/animal) and boars (25.23 kg/year/animal). Hence, contributions for pig farming and dairy cattle are the highest at 54.50 Gg and 32.01 Gg respectively, with total emissions of 134.97 Gg (3104 Gg CO2 Equivalent). Total nitrous oxide emissions are estimated at 7.10 Gg (2272 Gg CO2 Equivalent) and the three main contributors are commercial beef cattle; poultry and small-scale beef farming at 1.80 Gg; 1.72 Gg and 1.69 Gg respectively. Mitigation options from manure management must be taken with care due to divergent conducive requirements of methane and nitrous oxide emissions requirements.
      PubDate: 2015-03-31
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5020193
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 2 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 206-213: Behavioral Response of Invertebrates to
           Experimental Simulation of Pre-Seismic Chemical Changes

    • Authors: Rachel Grant, Hilary Conlan
      Pages: 206 - 213
      Abstract: Unusual behavior before earthquakes has been reported for millennia but no plausible mechanism has been identified. One possible way in which animals could be affected by pre-earthquake processes is via stress activated positive holes leading to the formation of hydrogen peroxide at the rock water interface. Aquatic and fossorial animals could be irritated by H2O2 and move down the concentration gradient. Here, we carry out avoidance tests with hydrogen peroxide in two model organisms; Daphnia pulex and earthworms. Daphnia were found to move away from increasing concentrations of H2O2 but earthworms appeared unaffected. It is possible that earthworm swarming behavior, reported frequently before earthquakes, is caused by electric field shifts or another unknown mechanism, whereas zooplankton may be affected by increasing levels of H2O2.
      PubDate: 2015-03-31
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5020206
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 2 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 214-225: The Efficiency of an Integrated Program
           Using Falconry to Deter Gulls from Landfills

    • Pages: 214 - 225
      Abstract: Gulls are commonly attracted to landfills, and managers are often required to implement cost-effective and socially accepted deterrence programs. Our objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of an intensive program that integrated the use of trained birds of prey, pyrotechnics, and playback of gull distress calls at a landfill located close to a large ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis) colony near Montreal, Quebec, Canada. We used long-term survey data on bird use of the landfill, conducted behavioral observations of gulls during one season and tracked birds fitted with GPS data loggers. We also carried out observations at another landfill located farther from the colony, where less refuse was brought and where a limited culling program was conducted. The integrated program based on falconry resulted in a 98% decrease in the annual total number of gulls counted each day between 1995 and 2014. A separate study indicated that the local breeding population of ring-billed gulls increased and then declined during this period but remained relatively large. In 2010, there was an average (±SE) of 59 ± 15 gulls/day using the site with falconry and only 0.4% ± 0.2% of these birds were feeding. At the other site, there was an average of 347 ± 55 gulls/day and 13% ± 3% were feeding. Twenty-two gulls tracked from the colony made 41 trips towards the landfills: twenty-five percent of the trips that passed by the site with falconry resulted in a stopover that lasted 22 ± 7 min compared to 85% at the other landfill lasting 63 ± 15 min. We concluded that the integrated program using falconry, which we consider more socially acceptable than selective culling, was effective in reducing the number of gulls at the landfill.
      PubDate: 2015-04-10
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5020214
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 2 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 226-244: Characteristics of Trailer Thermal
           Environment during Commercial Swine Transport Managed under U.S. Industry

    • Authors: Yijie Xiong, Angela Green, Richard Gates
      Pages: 226 - 244
      Abstract: Transport is a critical factor in modern pork production and can seriously affect swine welfare. While previous research has explored thermal conditions during transport, the impact of extreme weather conditions on the trailer thermal environment under industry practices has not been well documented; and the critical factors impacting microclimate are not well understood. To assess the trailer microclimate during transport events, an instrumentation system was designed and installed at the central ceiling level, pig level and floor-level in each of six zones inside a commercial swine trailer. Transport environmental data from 34 monitoring trips (approximately 1–4 h in duration each) were collected from May, 2012, to February, 2013, with trailer management corresponding to the National Pork Board Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) guidelines in 31 of these trips. According to the TQA guidelines, for outdoor temperature ranging from 5 °C (40 °F) to 27 °C (80 °F), acceptable thermal conditions were observed based on the criteria that no more than 10% of the trip duration was above 35 °C (95 °F) or below 0 °C (32 °F). Recommended bedding, boarding and water application were sufficient in this range. Measurements support relaxing boarding guidelines for moderate outdoor conditions, as this did not result in less desirable conditions. Pigs experienced extended undesirable thermal conditions for outdoor temperatures above 27 °C (80 °F) or below 5 °C (40 °F), meriting a recommendation for further assessment of bedding, boarding and water application guidelines for extreme outdoor temperatures. An Emergency Livestock Weather Safety Index (LWSI) condition was observed inside the trailer when outdoor temperature exceeded 10 °C (50 °F); although the validity of LWSI to indicate heat stress for pigs during transport is not well established. Extreme pig surface temperatures in the rear and middle zones of the trailer were more frequently experienced than in the front zones, and the few observations of pigs dead or down upon arrival were noted in these zones. Observations indicate that arranging boarding placement may alter the ventilation patterns inside the trailer.
      PubDate: 2015-04-10
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5020226
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 2 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 245-258: The Use of Refuges by Communally Housed

    • Pages: 245 - 258
      Abstract: The increase of domestic animals kept in shelters highlights the need to ensure animal welfare. Environmental enrichment can improve animal welfare in many ways, such as encouraging captive animals to use all the space available to them. The effects of physical environmental enrichment on the spatial distribution and behavioral repertoire of 35 neutered domestic cats housed communally were analyzed. The provision of boxes in the environment increases the use of available space by the cats. We suggest this improves the cats’ welfare while in communally-housed rescue shelters. The frequencies of active and especially inactive behaviors also increased in the enriched condition. In a test with vertical environmental enrichment, the animals showed an increased length of stay in refuges located at a height of 0.5 m compared to those on the ground (0.0 m). However, the entry frequency was higher in refuges at 0.0 m. Both horizontal and vertical environmental enrichment increased the use of available space, demonstrating that box refuges as enrichment are effective in providing a refuge when at a height, or a place to explore at ground level. We suggest it enhances the welfare of cats in communally housed shelters. This information adds to the body of evidence relating to cat enrichment and can be useful in designing cat housing in veterinary clinics, research laboratories, shelters and domestic homes.
      PubDate: 2015-04-24
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5020245
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 2 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 259-269: The Mississippi State University College
           of Veterinary Medicine Shelter Program

    • Authors: Philip Bushby, Kimberly Woodruff, Jake Shivley
      Pages: 259 - 269
      Abstract: The shelter program at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine provides veterinary students with extensive experience in shelter animal care including spay/neuter, basic wellness care, diagnostics, medical management, disease control, shelter management and biosecurity. Students spend five days at shelters in the junior year of the curriculum and two weeks working on mobile veterinary units in their senior year. The program helps meet accreditation standards of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education that require students to have hands-on experience and is in keeping with recommendations from the North American Veterinary Medical Education Consortium. The program responds, in part, to the challenge from the Pew Study on Future Directions for Veterinary Medicine that argued that veterinary students do not graduate with the level of knowledge and skills that is commensurate with the number of years of professional education.
      PubDate: 2015-04-24
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5020259
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 2 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 270-275: Bleeding Diathesis in Fawn Hooded
           Rats—Possible Implications for Invasive Procedures and Refinement

    • Authors: Manon Schaap, Hugo van Oostom, Saskia Arndt, Ludo Hellebrekers
      Pages: 270 - 275
      Abstract: The Fawn hooded (FH) rat is commonly used in biomedical research. It is widely acknowledged that the FH rat has a bleeding disorder; leading to abundant bleedings. Although this bleeding disorder is investigated to model the storage pool defect; its impact on commonly performed invasive laboratory procedures has not yet been described. Our research group experienced clinically significant consequences of this bleeding disorder following invasive procedures (including intraperitoneal injections and neurocranial surgery) in the Rjlbm: FH stock. The clinical consequences of the surgical and anesthetic protocols applied; are described including the subsequent procedural refinements applied to minimize the impact of this disorder. It is strongly recommended to take the bleeding diathesis into account when performing invasive procedures in FH rats and to apply the suggested refinement of procedures.
      PubDate: 2015-04-24
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5020270
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 2 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 276-314: Determinants of Cat Choice and Outcomes
           for Adult Cats and Kittens Adopted from an Australian Animal Shelter

    • Authors: Sarah Zito, Mandy Paterson, Dianne Vankan, John Morton, Pauleen Bennett, Clive Phillips
      Pages: 276 - 314
      Abstract: The percentage of adult cats euthanized in animal shelters is greater than that of kittens because adult cats are less likely to be adopted. This study aimed to provide evidence to inform the design of strategies to encourage adult cat adoptions. One such strategy is to discount adoption prices, but there are concerns that this may result in poor adoption outcomes. We surveyed 382 cat adopters at the time of adoption, to assess potential determinants of adopters’ cat age group choice (adult or kitten) and, for adult cat adopters, the price they are willing to pay. The same respondents were surveyed again 6–12 months after the adoption to compare outcomes between cat age groups and between adult cats in two price categories. Most adopters had benevolent motivations for adopting from the shelter and had put considerable thought into the adoption and requirements for responsible ownership. However, adult cat adopters were more likely to have been influenced by price than kitten adopters. Adoption outcomes were generally positive for both adult cats and kittens and for adult cats adopted at low prices. The latter finding alleviates concerns about the outcomes of “low-cost” adoptions in populations, such as the study population, and lends support for the use of “low-cost” adoptions as an option for attempting to increase adoption rates. In addition, the results provide information that can be used to inform future campaigns aimed at increasing the number of adult cat adoptions, particularly in devising marketing strategies for adult cats.
      PubDate: 2015-04-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5020276
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 2 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 315-331: A Critical Look at Biomedical
           Journals’ Policies on Animal Research by Use of a Novel Tool: The
           EXEMPLAR Scale

    • Authors: Ana Martins, Nuno Franco
      Pages: 315 - 331
      Abstract: Animal research is not only regulated by legislation but also by self-regulatory mechanisms within the scientific community, which include biomedical journals’ policies on animal use. For editorial policies to meaningfully impact attitudes and practice, they must not only be put into effect by editors and reviewers, but also be set to high standards. We present a novel tool to classify journals’ policies on animal use—the EXEMPLAR scale—as well as an analysis by this scale of 170 journals publishing studies on animal models of three human diseases: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Type-1 Diabetes and Tuberculosis. Results show a much greater focus of editorial policies on regulatory compliance than on other domains, suggesting a transfer of journals’ responsibilities to scientists, institutions and regulators. Scores were not found to vary with journals’ impact factor, country of origin or antiquity, but were, however, significantly higher for open access journals, which may be a result of their greater exposure and consequent higher public scrutiny.
      PubDate: 2015-04-30
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5020315
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 2 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 332-348: Problems Associated with the Microchip
           Data of Stray Dogs and Cats Entering RSPCA Queensland Shelters

    • Authors: Emily Lancaster, Jacquie Rand, Sheila Collecott, Mandy Paterson
      Pages: 332 - 348
      Abstract: A lack of published information documenting problems with the microchip data for the reclaiming of stray animals entering Australian shelters limits improvement of the current microchipping system. A retrospective study analysing admission data for stray, adult dogs (n = 7258) and cats (n = 6950) entering the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Queensland between January 2012 and December 2013 was undertaken to determine the character and frequency of microchip data problems and their impact on outcome for the animal. Only 28% of dogs and 9% of cats were microchipped, and a substantial proportion (37%) had problems with their data, including being registered to a previous owner or organisation (47%), all phone numbers incorrect/disconnected (29%), and the microchip not registered (14%). A higher proportion of owners could be contacted when the microchip had no problems, compared to those with problems (dogs, 93% vs. 70%; cats, 75% vs. 41%). The proportion of animals reclaimed declined significantly between microchipped animals with no data problems, microchipped animals with data problems and non-microchipped animals—87%, 69%, and 37%, respectively, for dogs and 61%, 33%, and 5%, respectively, for cats. Strategies are needed to increase the accuracy of microchip data to facilitate the reclaiming of stray dogs and cats.
      PubDate: 2015-05-13
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5020332
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 2 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 349-360: Adaptation of Piglets Using Different
           Methods of Stress Prevention

    • Authors: Vitaly Bekenev, Arlene Garcia, Vyacheslav Hasnulin
      Pages: 349 - 360
      Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the viability and growth rate of piglets after weaning, the content of lipids in the blood and liver, antioxidant activity (AOA) and lipid peroxidation (LPO) when various additives are used in feed. The experiments were performed on two crosses of piglets obtained from Large White breed sows and Landrace breed boars. Twenty to 28 animals were randomly assigned per group. The following additives were tested: the benzodiazepine phenazepam, the neuroleptic aminazine, vitamins E and C, and the extract Eleutherococcus senticosus (Araliaceae). Different doses and combinations of the additives against ultraviolet irradiation were used. The addition of these substances improved the growth rate and viability of piglets. AOA increased under the influence of all factors studied, especially with the addition of extract of Eleutherococcus in feed in combination with aminazine and UV-irradiation (p < 0.01). However, the addition of Eleutherococcus extract and aminazine intensified LPO (p < 0.01), but use of UV irradiation helped to decrease LPO values (p < 0.01). Feeding a mixture of additives per pig per day of 3 mL of Eleutherococcus extract, 80 mg of 25% tocopherol, and 500 mg of ascorbic acid increased survival rate, average daily gain, and live weight at the end of the experiment. Thus, the use of prophylactic antistress and sedative drugs during weaning helps AOA normalize LPO of red blood cells; enhance post weaning growth of the pigs by 4.8% to 24.6% and increases piglet survival rate by 5% to 5.1%.
      PubDate: 2015-05-13
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5020349
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 2 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 361-394: The Impacts of Climate Change Mitigation
           Strategies on Animal Welfare

    • Authors: Sara Shields, Geoffrey Orme-Evans
      Pages: 361 - 394
      Abstract: The objective of this review is to point out that the global dialog on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in animal agriculture has, thus far, not adequately considered animal welfare in proposed climate change mitigation strategies. Many suggested approaches for reducing emissions, most of which could generally be described as calls for the intensification of production, can have substantial effects on the animals. Given the growing world-wide awareness and concern for animal welfare, many of these approaches are not socially sustainable. This review identifies the main emission abatement strategies in the climate change literature that would negatively affect animal welfare and details the associated problems. Alternative strategies are also identified as possible solutions for animal welfare and climate change, and it is suggested that more attention be focused on these types of options when allocating resources, researching mitigation strategies, and making policy decisions on reducing emissions from animal agriculture.
      PubDate: 2015-05-21
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5020361
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 2 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 395-406: The First Shared Online Curriculum
           Resources for Veterinary Undergraduate Learning and Teaching in Animal
           Welfare and Ethics in Australia and New Zealand

    • Authors: Jane Johnson, Teresa Collins, Christopher Degeling, Anne Fawcett, Andrew Fisher, Rafael Freire, Susan Hazel, Jennifer Hood, Janice Lloyd, Clive Phillips, Kevin Stafford, Vicky Tzioumis, Paul McGreevy
      First page: 395
      Abstract: The need for undergraduate teaching of Animal Welfare and Ethics (AWE) in Australian and New Zealand veterinary courses reflects increasing community concerns and expectations about AWE; global pressures regarding food security and sustainability; the demands of veterinary accreditation; and fears that, unless students encounter AWE as part of their formal education, as veterinarians they will be relatively unaware of the discipline of animal welfare science. To address this need we are developing online resources to ensure Australian and New Zealand veterinary graduates have the knowledge, and the research, communication and critical reasoning skills, to fulfill the AWE role demanded of them by contemporary society. To prioritize development of these resources we assembled leaders in the field of AWE education from the eight veterinary schools in Australia and New Zealand and used modified deliberative polling. This paper describes the role of the poll in developing the first shared online curriculum resource for veterinary undergraduate learning and teaching in AWE in Australia and New Zealand. The learning and teaching strategies that ranked highest in the exercise were: scenario-based learning; a quality of animal life assessment tool; the so-called ‘Human Continuum’ discussion platform; and a negotiated curriculum.
      PubDate: 2015-05-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5020362
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 2 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 407-425: Effect of Provision of Feed and Water
           during Transport on the Welfare of Weaned Pigs

    • Authors: Arlene Garcia, Glenna Pirner, Guilherme Picinin, Matthew May, Kimberly Guay, Brittany Backus, Mhairi Sutherland, John McGlone
      First page: 407
      Abstract: Transportation is a complex stressor made up of factors including weaning itself and withdrawal from feed and water. Therefore, transportation has the potential to negatively impact the health and welfare of weaned pigs. Pigs were transported for 32 h and measures of performance, physiology, and behavior were taken to assess piglet welfare. Treatment groups included pigs not weaned or transported (CON), weaned pigs provided with feed and water (WEAN+), weaned pigs not provided with feed and water (WEAN−), weaned and transported pigs provided with feed and water (TRANS+), and weaned and transported pigs not provided with feed and water (TRANS−). Body weight loss was different among treatments (p < 0.01). CON pigs had a 6.5% ± 0.45% gain in body weight after 32 h. WEAN+, WEAN−, TRANS+, and TRANS− groups all had a loss in body weight of 5.9% ± 0.45%, 7.8% ± 0.45%, 6.5% ± 0.45% and 9.1% ± 0.46%, respectively. The N:L was greater in all weaned pigs at 8 h compared to CON pigs (p < 0.01). WEAN− and transported pigs had significantly higher N:L than CON pigs from 8 h through 16 h, however, all treatment groups were similar to CON pigs after 16 h irrespective of provision of feed and water. Blood glucose levels were lower in transported and/or weaned pigs than CON pigs after 16 h irrespective of the provision of feed and water. TRANS+ females had higher creatine kinase (CK) levels than males (p < 0.05). After a 16 h transport period, TRANS− pigs had higher total plasma protein (TP) levels than all other treatment groups (p < 0.05). Significant changes in behavior were observed during and after transportation, which could also be indicative of stress. Overall, transportation and weaning had a negative effect on performance, physiology and behavior (both during and post-weaning) of pigs, especially when feed and water was not provided. Transporting pigs without feed and water for more than 24 h was a welfare concern as indicated by changes in body weight and physiology measures of stress.
      PubDate: 2015-06-04
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5020363
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 2 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 426-441: Epidemiology of Dog and Cat Abandonment in
           Spain (2008–2013)

    • First page: 426
      Abstract: Millions of pets are abandoned worldwide every year, which is an important animal welfare and financial problem. This paper was divided into three studies. Our first two studies were designed as a national survey of animal shelters to profile the population of stray dogs and cats, as well as to gather information on both relinquishment and adoption. The aim of our third study was to test the impact of identification on the recovery of dogs entering animal shelters. Studies one and two indicate that more than 100,000 dogs and more than 30,000 cats enter animal shelters annually in Spain. We observed a seasonal effect in the number of admissions in cats. Two-thirds of dogs and cats entering shelters were found as strays, while the rest were relinquished directly to the shelter. Most pets admitted to animal shelters were adult, non-purebred, and without a microchip, with the majority of dogs being medium sized. Adult dogs spent significantly more time in shelters than puppies. While most animals were either adopted or recovered by their owner, a considerable percentage remained at the shelter or was euthanized. The identification of dogs with a microchip increased by 3-fold the likelihood of them being returned to the owner.
      PubDate: 2015-06-12
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5020364
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 2 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 442-454: Dietary Mannoheptulose Increases Fasting
           Serum Glucagon Like Peptide-1 and Post-Prandial Serum Ghrelin
           Concentrations in Adult Beagle Dogs

    • Authors: Leslie McKnight, Ryan Eyre, Margaret Gooding, Gary Davenport, Anna Shoveller
      First page: 442
      Abstract: There is a growing interest in the use of nutraceuticals for weight management in companion animals. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of mannoheptulose (MH), a sugar in avocados that inhibits glycolysis, on energy metabolism in adult Beagle dogs. The study was a double-blind, randomized controlled trial where dogs were allocated to a control (CON, n = 10, 10.1 ± 0.4 kg) or MH containing diet (168 mg/kg, n = 10, 10.3 ± 0.4 kg). Blood was collected after an overnight fast and 1 h post-feeding (week 12) to determine serum satiety related hormones and biochemistry. Resting and post-prandial energy expenditure and respiratory quotient were determined by indirect calorimetry (weeks 4 and 8). Physical activity was measured using an accelerometer (weeks 3, 7, 11). Body composition was assessed using dual X-ray absorptiometry (week 12). MH significantly (p < 0.05) increased fasting serum glucagon-like peptide-1 and post-prandial serum ghrelin. MH tended (p < 0.1) to increase fasting serum gastric inhibitory peptide and decrease physical activity. Together, these findings suggest that dietary MH has the ability to promote satiation and lowers daily energy expenditure.
      PubDate: 2015-06-16
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5020365
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 2 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 27-40: Selecting a Conservation Surrogate Species
           for Small Fragmented Habitats Using Ecological Niche Modelling

    • Authors: K. Nekaris, Andrew Arnell, Magdalena Svensson
      Pages: 27 - 40
      Abstract: Flagship species are traditionally large, charismatic animals used to rally conservation efforts. Accepted flagship definitions suggest they need only fulfil a strategic role, unlike umbrella species that are used to shelter cohabitant taxa. The criteria used to select both flagship and umbrella species may not stand up in the face of dramatic forest loss, where remaining fragments may only contain species that do not suit either set of criteria. The Cinderella species concept covers aesthetically pleasing and overlooked species that fulfil the criteria of flagships or umbrellas. Such species are also more likely to occur in fragmented habitats. We tested Cinderella criteria on mammals in the fragmented forests of the Sri Lankan Wet Zone. We selected taxa that fulfilled both strategic and ecological roles. We created a shortlist of ten species, and from a survey of local perceptions highlighted two finalists. We tested these for umbrella characteristics against the original shortlist, utilizing Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modelling, and analysed distribution overlap using ArcGIS. The criteria highlighted Loris tardigradus tardigradus and Prionailurus viverrinus as finalists, with the former having highest flagship potential. We suggest Cinderella species can be effective conservation surrogates especially in habitats where traditional flagship species have been extirpated.
      PubDate: 2015-01-05
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5010027
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 1 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 41-42: Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Animals in

    • Authors: Animals Office
      Pages: 41 - 42
      Abstract: The editors of Animals would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2014:[...]
      PubDate: 2015-01-07
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5010041
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 1 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 43-55: Pet Food Palatability Evaluation: A Review
           of Standard Assay Techniques and Interpretation of Results with a Primary
           Focus on Limitations

    • Authors: Gregory Aldrich, Kadri Koppel
      Pages: 43 - 55
      Abstract: The pet food industry continues to grow steadily as a result of new innovative products. Quality control and product development tests for pet foods are typically conducted through palatability testing with dogs and cats. Palatability is the measure of intake of a food that indicates acceptance or the measure of preference of one food over another. Pet food palatability is most commonly measured using a single-bowl or a two-bowl assay. While these tests answer some questions about the animals’ perception of the food, there are many limitations as well. This review addresses some of these limitations and indicates opportunities for future research.
      PubDate: 2015-01-16
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5010043
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 1 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 56-70: Evaluating the Age-Dependent Potential for
           Protein Deposition in Naked Neck Meat Type Chicken

    • Authors: Daulat Khan, Christian Wecke, Ahmad Sharifi, Frank Liebert
      Pages: 56 - 70
      Abstract: The introduction of the naked neck gene (Na) into modern meat type chicken is known to be helpful in increasing the tolerance for a high ambient temperature (AT) by reducing the feather coverage which allows for a higher level of heat dissipation compared to normally feathered (na/na) birds. In addition, reduced feather coverage could affect requirements for sulfur containing amino acids. As a prerequisite for further modeling of individual amino acid requirements, the daily N maintenance requirement (NMR) and the threshold value of daily N retention (NRmaxT) were determined. This was carried out using graded dietary protein supply and exponential modeling between N intake (NI) and N excretion (NEX) or N deposition (ND), respectively. Studies with homozygous (Na/Na) and heterozygous (Na/na) naked neck meat type chicken utilized 144 birds of average weight (50% of each genotype and sex) within two N balance experiments during both the starter (days 10–20) and the grower period (days 25–35). Birds were randomly allotted to five diets with graded dietary protein supply but constant protein quality. The observed estimates depending on genotype, sex and age varied for NMR and NRmaxT from 224 to 395 and 2881 to 4049 mg N/BWkg0.67/day, respectively.
      PubDate: 2015-01-19
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5010056
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 1 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 71-88: Modification of the Feline-Ality™
           Assessment and the Ability to Predict Adopted Cats’ Behaviors in
           Their New Homes

    • Authors: Emily Weiss, Shannon Gramann, Natasha Drain, Emily Dolan, Margaret Slater
      Pages: 71 - 88
      Abstract: It is estimated that 2.5 million cats enter animal shelters in the United States every year and as few as 20% leave the shelter alive. Of those adopted, the greatest risk to post-adoption human animal bond is unrealistic expectations set by the adopter. The ASPCA®’s Meet Your Match® Feline-ality™ adoption program was developed to provide adopters with an accurate assessment of an adult cat’s future behavior in the home. However, the original Feline-ality™ required a three-day hold time to collect cat behaviors on a data card, which was challenging for some shelters. This research involved creating a survey to determine in-home feline behavior post adoption and explored the predictive ability of the in-shelter assessment without the data card. Our results show that the original Feline-ality™ assessment and our modified version were predictive of feline behavior post adoption. Our modified version also decreased hold time for cats to one day. Shelters interested in increasing cat adoptions, decreasing length of stay and improving the adoption experience can now implement the modified version for future feline adoption success.
      PubDate: 2015-02-05
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5010071
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 1 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 89-100: Maintenance Energy Requirements of
           Double-Muscled Belgian Blue Beef Cows

    • Pages: 89 - 100
      Abstract: Sixty non-pregnant, non-lactating double-muscled Belgian Blue (DMBB) cows were used to estimate the energy required to maintain body weight (BW). They were fed one of three energy levels for 112 or 140 days, corresponding to approximately 100%, 80% or 70% of their total energy requirements. The relationship between daily energy intake and BW and daily BW change was developed using regression analysis. Maintenance energy requirements were estimated from the regression equation by setting BW gain to zero. Metabolizable and net energy for maintenance amounted to 0.569 ± 0.001 and 0.332 ± 0.001 MJ per kg BW0.75/d, respectively. Maintenance energy requirements were not dependent on energy level (p > 0.10). Parity affected maintenance energy requirements (p < 0.001), although the small numerical differences between parities may hardly be nutritionally relevant. Maintenance energy requirements of DMBB beef cows were close to the mean energy requirements of other beef genotypes reported in the literature.
      PubDate: 2015-02-13
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5010089
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 1 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 101-109: The Choice of Diet Affects the Oral Health
           of the Domestic Cat

    • Authors: Fernando Mata
      Pages: 101 - 109
      Abstract: In this cross-sectional study, the gingivitis and the calculus indices of the teeth of N = 41 cats were used to model oral health as a dependent variable using a Poisson regression. The independent variables used were “quadrant”, “teeth type”, “age”, and “diet”. Teeth type (p < 0.001) and diet (p < 0.001) were found to be significant, however, age was not (p > 0.05). Interactions were all significant: age x teeth (p < 0.01), age × diet (p < 0.01), teeth × diet (p < 0.001), and teeth × age × diet (p < 0.001). The probability of poor oral health is lower in the incisors of young or adult cats, fed a dry diet in comparison to the cheek teeth of older cats fed a wet diet. Diet has a higher contribution to poor oral health than age. It is argued that cats’ oral health may be promoted with an early age hygiene of the cheek teeth and with provision of abrasive dry food.
      PubDate: 2015-02-16
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5010101
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 1 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 110-125: The Effects of Fiber Inclusion on Pet Food
           Sensory Characteristics and Palatability

    • Authors: Kadri Koppel, Mariana Monti, Michael Gibson, Sajid Alavi, Brizio Donfrancesco, Aulus Carciofi
      Pages: 110 - 125
      Abstract: The objectives of this study were to determine (a) the influence of fiber on the sensory characteristics of dry dog foods; (b) differences of coated and uncoated kibbles for aroma and flavor characteristics; (c) palatability of these dry dog foods; and (d) potential associations between palatability and sensory attributes. A total of eight fiber treatments were manufactured: a control (no fiber addition), guava fiber (3%, 6%, and 12%), sugar cane fiber (9%; large and small particle size), and wheat bran fiber (32%; large and small particle size). The results indicated significant effects of fibers on both flavor and texture properties of the samples. Bitter taste and iron and stale aftertaste were examples of flavor attributes that differed with treatment, with highest intensity observed for 12% guava fiber and small particle size sugar cane fiber treatments. Fracturability and initial crispness attributes were lowest for the sugar cane fiber treatments. Flavor of all treatments changed after coating with a palatant, increasing in toasted, brothy, and grainy attributes. The coating also had a masking effect on aroma attributes such as stale, flavor attributes such as iron and bitter taste, and appearance attributes such as porosity. Palatability testing results indicated that the control treatment was preferred over the sugar cane or the wheat bran treatment. The treatment with large sugarcane fiber particles was preferred over the treatment with small particles, while both of the wheat bran treatments were eaten at a similar level. Descriptive sensory analysis data, especially textural attributes, were useful in pinpointing the underlying characteristics and were considered to be reasons that may influence palatability of dog foods manufactured with inclusion of different fibers.
      PubDate: 2015-02-16
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5010110
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 1 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 126-137: Assessing Food Preferences in Dogs and
           Cats: A Review of the Current Methods

    • Pages: 126 - 137
      Abstract: Food is a major aspect of pet care; therefore, ensuring that pet foods are not only healthful but attractive to companion animals and their owners is essential. The petfood market remains active and requires ongoing evaluation of the adaptation and efficiency of the new products. Palatability—foods’ characteristics enticing animals and leading them to consumption—is therefore a key element to look at. Based on the type of information needed, different pet populations (expert or naïve) can be tested to access their preference and acceptance for different food products. Classical techniques are the one-bowl and two-bowl tests, but complementary (i.e., operant conditioning) and novel (i.e., exploratory behavior) approaches are available to gather more information on the evaluation of petfood palatability.
      PubDate: 2015-03-18
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5010126
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 1 (2015)
  • Animals, Vol. 5, Pages 138-150: A Critical Analysis of the British
           Horseracing Authority’s Review of the Use of the Whip in Horseracing

    • Authors: Bidda Jones, Jed Goodfellow, James Yeates, Paul McGreevy
      Pages: 138 - 150
      Abstract: There is increasing controversy about the use of the whip as a performance aid in Thoroughbred horseracing and its impact on horse welfare. This paper offers a critical analysis of the British Horseracing Authority’s (BHA) 2011 Report Responsible Regulation: A Review of the Use of the Whip in Horseracing. It examines the BHA’s process of consultation and use of science and public opinion research through the application of current scientific literature and legal analysis. This analysis suggests that the BHA’s findings on the welfare impact and justification for whip use are insufficiently defended by the report. These findings indicate that the report is an inadequate basis from which to draw any definitive conclusions on the impact of whips on racehorse welfare. Further review is needed, undertaken by an independent scientific body, to advance this debate.
      PubDate: 2015-03-20
      DOI: 10.3390/ani5010138
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 1 (2015)
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