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Animals, Volume 6, Issue 9 (September 2016)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Dietary Betaine Impacts the Physiological Responses to Moderate Heat Conditions in a Dose Dependent Manner in Sheep
Animals 2016, 6(9), 51; doi:10.3390/ani6090051
Received: 10 June 2016 / Revised: 10 August 2016 / Accepted: 22 August 2016 / Published: 29 August 2016
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Abstract
Heat exposure (HE) results in decreased production in ruminant species and betaine is proposed as a dietary mitigation method. Merino ewes ( n = 36, 40 kg, n = 6 per group) were maintained at thermoneutral (TN, n = 18, 21 °C) or
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Heat exposure (HE) results in decreased production in ruminant species and betaine is proposed as a dietary mitigation method. Merino ewes ( n = 36, 40 kg, n = 6 per group) were maintained at thermoneutral (TN, n = 18, 21 °C) or cyclical HE ( n = 18, 18–43 °C) conditions for 21 days, and supplemented with either 0 (control), 2 or 4 g betaine/day. Sheep had ad libitum access to water and were pair fed such that intake of sheep on the TN treatment matched that of HE animals. Heart rate (HR), respiration rate (RR), rectal (T R ) and skin temperatures (T S ) were measured 3 times daily (0900 h, 1300 h, 1700 h). Plasma samples were obtained on 8 days for glucose and NEFA analysis. The HE treatment increased T R by 0.7 °C (40.1 vs. 39.4 °C for HE and TN respectively p < 0.001), T S by +1.8 °C (39.3 vs. 37.5 °C, p < 0.001) and RR by +46 breaths/min (133 vs. 87 breaths/min, p < 0.001) compared to TN. The 2 g betaine/day treatment decreased T R (39.8, 39.6 and 39.8 °C, p < 0.001), T S (38.7, 38.0 and 38.5 °C, p < 0.001) and RR (114, 102 and 116 breaths/min for control, 2 and 4 g betaine/day, p < 0.001) compared to control. Betaine supplementation decreased plasma NEFA concentrations by ~25 μM (80, 55 and 54 μmol/L for 0, 2 and 4 g/day respectively, p = 0.05). These data indicate that dietary betaine supplementation at 2 g betaine/day provides improvements in physiological responses typical of ewes exposed to heat stress and may be a beneficial supplement for the management of sheep during summer. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of Intramuscular or Subcutaneous Injections vs. Castration in Pigs—Impacts on Behavior and Welfare
Animals 2016, 6(9), 52; doi:10.3390/ani6090052
Received: 3 May 2016 / Revised: 12 August 2016 / Accepted: 22 August 2016 / Published: 29 August 2016
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Abstract
Physical castration (PC) is painful and stressful for nursing piglets. One alternative to PC is immunological castration (IC), but the pain and stress of handling associated with injections have not been assessed. The objectives of this study were to measure the pain and
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Physical castration (PC) is painful and stressful for nursing piglets. One alternative to PC is immunological castration (IC), but the pain and stress of handling associated with injections have not been assessed. The objectives of this study were to measure the pain and distress of subcutaneous (SQ) and intramuscular (IM) injections compared to PC in piglets, and to compare SQ or IM injections in finishing pigs. After farrowing, 3 to 5 d old male piglets were randomly assigned to (control) no handling treatment (NO), sham-handling (SHAM), IM, SQ, or PC. Finishing pigs were assigned to NO, SHAM, IM, or SQ. Behavior was monitored for 1 h prior and 1 h post treatment in each age group. Social, feeding behaviors, and signs of pain were recorded. Finishing pigs treated with SQ injections had higher feeding behaviors pre-treatment than they did post-treatment. Overall, physical castrations caused measurable pain-like behaviors and general behavioral dysregulation at a much higher level than the other treatment groups. SQ and IM injections did not cause either significant behavioral or physiological alterations in piglets. SQ injections caused a decrease in finishing pig feed behaviors post treatment ( p = 0.02) and SHAM treated finishing pigs spent significantly more time lying than the other treatment groups. In general IM and SQ injections did not cause any other significant changes in behavior or physiology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Ethology and Welfare of Animals)
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Open AccessArticle Modelling the Effect of Diet Composition on Enteric Methane Emissions across Sheep, Beef Cattle and Dairy Cows
Animals 2016, 6(9), 54; doi:10.3390/ani6090054
Received: 13 May 2016 / Revised: 2 September 2016 / Accepted: 5 September 2016 / Published: 8 September 2016
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Abstract
Enteric methane (CH 4 ) is a by-product from fermentation of feed consumed by ruminants, which represents a nutritional loss and is also considered a contributor to climate change. The aim of this research was to use individual animal data from 17 published
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Enteric methane (CH 4 ) is a by-product from fermentation of feed consumed by ruminants, which represents a nutritional loss and is also considered a contributor to climate change. The aim of this research was to use individual animal data from 17 published experiments that included sheep ( n = 288), beef cattle ( n = 71) and dairy cows ( n = 284) to develop an empirical model to describe enteric CH 4 emissions from both cattle and sheep, and then evaluate the model alongside equations from the literature. Data were obtained from studies in the United Kingdom (UK) and Australia, which measured enteric CH 4 emissions from individual animals in calorimeters. Animals were either fed solely forage or a mixed ration of forage with a compound feed. The feed intake of sheep was restricted to a maintenance amount of 875 g of DM per day (maintenance level), whereas beef cattle and dairy cows were fed to meet their metabolizable energy (ME) requirement (i.e., production level). A linear mixed model approach was used to develop a multiple linear regression model to predict an individual animal’s CH 4 yield (g CH 4 /kg dry matter intake) from the composition of its diet. The diet components that had significant effects on CH 4 yield were digestible organic matter (DOMD), ether extract (EE) (both g/kg DM) and feeding level above maintenance intake: CH 4 (g/kg DM intake) = 0.046 (±0.001) × DOMD − 0.113 (±0.023) × EE − 2.47 (±0.29) × (feeding level − 1), with concordance correlation coefficient ( CCC ) = 0.655 and RMSPE = 14.0%. The predictive ability of the model developed was as reliable as other models assessed from the literature. These components can be used to predict effects of diet composition on enteric CH 4 yield from sheep, beef and dairy cattle from feed analysis information. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Monty Roberts’ Public Demonstrations: Preliminary Report on the Heart Rate and Heart Rate Variability of Horses Undergoing Training during Live Audience Events
Animals 2016, 6(9), 55; doi:10.3390/ani6090055
Received: 2 June 2016 / Revised: 23 August 2016 / Accepted: 5 September 2016 / Published: 9 September 2016
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Abstract
Effective training of horses relies on the trainer’s awareness of learning theory and equine ethology, and should be undertaken with skill and time. Some trainers, such as Monty Roberts, share their methods through the medium of public demonstrations. This paper describes the opportunistic
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Effective training of horses relies on the trainer’s awareness of learning theory and equine ethology, and should be undertaken with skill and time. Some trainers, such as Monty Roberts, share their methods through the medium of public demonstrations. This paper describes the opportunistic analysis of beat-to-beat (RR) intervals and heart rate variability (HRV) of ten horses being used in Monty Roberts’ public demonstrations within the United Kingdom. RR and HRV was measured in the stable before training and during training. The HRV variables standard deviation of the RR interval (SDRR), root mean square of successive RR differences (RMSSD), geometric means standard deviation 1 (SD1) and 2 (SD2), along with the low and high frequency ratio (LF/HF ratio) were calculated. The minimum, average and maximum RR intervals were significantly lower in training (indicative of an increase in heart rate as measured in beats-per-minute) than in the stable ( p = 0.0006; p = 0.01; p = 0.03). SDRR, RMSSD, SD1, SD2 and the LF/HF ratio were all significantly lower in training than in the stable ( p = 0.001; p = 0.049; p = 0.049; p = 0.001; p = 0.01). When comparing the HR and HRV of horses during Join-up ® to overall training, there were no significant differences in any variable with the exception of maximum RR which was significantly lower ( p = 0.007) during Join-up ® , indicative of short increases in physical exertion (canter) associated with this training exercise. In conclusion, training of horses during public demonstrations is a low-moderate physiological, rather than psychological stressor for horses. The physiological stress responses observed within this study were comparable or less to those previously reported in the literature for horses being trained outside of public audience events. Furthermore, there is no evidence that the use of Join-up ® alters HR and HRV in a way to suggest that this training method negatively affects the psychological welfare of horses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Rescue and Rehabilitation of Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) in Southeast Queensland
Animals 2016, 6(9), 56; doi:10.3390/ani6090056
Received: 1 August 2016 / Revised: 6 September 2016 / Accepted: 7 September 2016 / Published: 15 September 2016
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Abstract
Koala populations in southeast Queensland are under threat from many factors, particularly habitat loss, dog attack, vehicle trauma and disease. Animals not killed from these impacts are often rescued and taken into care for rehabilitation, and eventual release back to the wild if
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Koala populations in southeast Queensland are under threat from many factors, particularly habitat loss, dog attack, vehicle trauma and disease. Animals not killed from these impacts are often rescued and taken into care for rehabilitation, and eventual release back to the wild if deemed to be healthy. This study investigated current rescue, rehabilitation and release data for koalas admitted to the four major wildlife hospitals in southeast Queensland (Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital (AZWH), Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Hospital (CWH), Moggill Koala Hospital (MKH) and the Royal Society for the Prevention Against Cruelty to Animals Wildlife Hospital at Wacol (RSPCA)), and suggests aspects of the practice that may be changed to improve its contribution to the preservation of the species. It concluded that: (a) the main threats to koalas across southeast Queensland were related to urbanization (vehicle collisions, domestic animal attacks and the disease chlamydiosis); (b) case outcomes varied amongst hospitals, including time spent in care, euthanasia and release rates; and (c) the majority (66.5%) of rescued koalas were either euthanized or died in care with only 27% released back to the wild. The results from this study have important implications for further research into koala rescue and rehabilitation to gain a better understanding of its effectiveness as a conservation strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife-human interactions in urban landscapes)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Vegetarian versus Meat-Based Diets for Companion Animals
Animals 2016, 6(9), 57; doi:10.3390/ani6090057
Received: 8 July 2016 / Revised: 12 September 2016 / Accepted: 14 September 2016 / Published: 21 September 2016
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Abstract
Companion animal owners are increasingly concerned about the links between degenerative health conditions, farm animal welfare problems, environmental degradation, fertilizers and herbicides, climate change, and causative factors; such as animal farming and the consumption of animal products. Accordingly, many owners are increasingly interested
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Companion animal owners are increasingly concerned about the links between degenerative health conditions, farm animal welfare problems, environmental degradation, fertilizers and herbicides, climate change, and causative factors; such as animal farming and the consumption of animal products. Accordingly, many owners are increasingly interested in vegetarian diets for themselves and their companion animals. However, are vegetarian canine and feline diets nutritious and safe? Four studies assessing the nutritional soundness of these diets were reviewed, and manufacturer responses to the most recent studies are provided. Additional reviewed studies examined the nutritional soundness of commercial meat-based diets and the health status of cats and dogs maintained on vegetarian and meat-based diets. Problems with all of these dietary choices have been documented, including nutritional inadequacies and health problems. However, a significant and growing body of population studies and case reports have indicated that cats and dogs maintained on vegetarian diets may be healthy—including those exercising at the highest levels—and, indeed, may experience a range of health benefits. Such diets must be nutritionally complete and reasonably balanced, however, and owners should regularly monitor urinary acidity and should correct urinary alkalinisation through appropriate dietary additives, if necessary. Full article
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Open AccessReview Changes in the Welfare of an Injured Working Farm Dog Assessed Using the Five Domains Model
Animals 2016, 6(9), 58; doi:10.3390/ani6090058
Received: 12 June 2016 / Revised: 7 August 2016 / Accepted: 14 September 2016 / Published: 21 September 2016
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Abstract
The present structured, systematic and comprehensive welfare evaluation of an injured working farm dog using the Five Domains Model is of interest in its own right. It is also an example for others wanting to apply the Model to welfare evaluations in different
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The present structured, systematic and comprehensive welfare evaluation of an injured working farm dog using the Five Domains Model is of interest in its own right. It is also an example for others wanting to apply the Model to welfare evaluations in different species and contexts. Six stages of a fictitious scenario involving the dog are considered: (1) its on-farm circumstances before one hind leg is injured; (2) its entanglement in barbed wire, cutting it free and transporting it to a veterinary clinic; (3) the initial veterinary examination and overnight stay; (4) amputation of the limb and immediate post-operative recovery; (5) its first four weeks after rehoming to a lifestyle block; and (6) its subsequent life as an amputee and pet. Not all features of the scenario represent average-to-good practice; indeed, some have been selected to indicate poor practice. It is shown how the Model can draw attention to areas of animal welfare concern and, importantly, to how welfare enhancement may be impeded or facilitated. Also illustrated is how the welfare implications of a sequence of events can be traced and evaluated, and, in relation to specific situations, how the degrees of welfare compromise and enhancement may be graded. In addition, the choice of a companion animal, contrasting its welfare status as a working dog and pet, and considering its treatment in a veterinary clinical setting, help to highlight various welfare impacts of some practices. By focussing attention on welfare problems, the Model can guide the implementation of remedies, including ways of promoting positive welfare states. Finally, wider applications of the Five Domains Model are noted: by enabling both negative and positive welfare-relevant experiences to be graded, the Model can be applied to quality of life assessments and end-of-life decisions and, with particular regard to negative experiences, the Model can also help to strengthen expert witness testimony during prosecutions for serious ill treatment of animals. Full article
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Other

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Open AccessConference Report A Good Death? Report of the Second Newcastle Meeting on Laboratory Animal Euthanasia
Animals 2016, 6(9), 50; doi:10.3390/ani6090050
Received: 8 December 2015 / Revised: 29 July 2016 / Accepted: 11 August 2016 / Published: 23 August 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1657 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Millions of laboratory animals are killed each year worldwide. There is an ethical, and in many countries also a legal, imperative to ensure those deaths cause minimal suffering. However, there is a lack of consensus regarding what methods of killing are humane for
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Millions of laboratory animals are killed each year worldwide. There is an ethical, and in many countries also a legal, imperative to ensure those deaths cause minimal suffering. However, there is a lack of consensus regarding what methods of killing are humane for many species and stages of development. In 2013, an international group of researchers and stakeholders met at Newcastle University, United Kingdom to discuss the latest research and which methods could currently be considered most humane for the most commonly used laboratory species (mice, rats and zebrafish). They also discussed factors to consider when making decisions about appropriate techniques for particular species and projects, and priorities for further research. This report summarises the research findings and discussions, with recommendations to help inform good practice for humane killing. Full article
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Open AccessBook Review Anicare Book Reviews: The Assessment and Treatment of Children Who Abuse Animals. By Kenneth Shapiro, Mary Lou Randour, Susan Krinsk and Joann L. Wolf. Springer: Cham, Switzerland, 2014; 124 pp; $49.99; ISBN 978-3-319-01088-5; The Identification, Assessment, and Treatment of Adults who Abuse Animals. By Kenneth Shapiro and Antonia J.Z. Henderson. Springer: Cham, Switzerland, 2016; 115 pp; $79.99; ISBN: 978-3-319-27362-4
Animals 2016, 6(9), 53; doi:10.3390/ani6090053
Received: 12 August 2016 / Accepted: 26 August 2016 / Published: 31 August 2016
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Abstract
The connection between abuse of animals and human interpersonal violence has attracted increasing interest from researchers, professionals and the community in recent decades.[...] Full article
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