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Animals, Volume 8, Issue 2 (February 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Electronic tracking of free-range laying hens reveals that some hens never venture outside. Fear [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle In the Eye of the Beholder: Owner Preferences for Variations in Cats’ Appearances with Specific Focus on Skull Morphology
Animals 2018, 8(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8020030
Received: 29 January 2018 / Revised: 15 February 2018 / Accepted: 18 February 2018 / Published: 20 February 2018
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Abstract
Changes in the popularity of cat breeds are largely driven by human perceptions of, and selection for, phenotypic traits including skull morphology. The popularity of breeds with altered skull shapes appears to be increasing, and owner preferences are an important part of this
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Changes in the popularity of cat breeds are largely driven by human perceptions of, and selection for, phenotypic traits including skull morphology. The popularity of breeds with altered skull shapes appears to be increasing, and owner preferences are an important part of this dynamic. This study sought to establish how and why a range of phenotypic attributes, including skull shape, affect preferences shown by cat owners. Two questionnaires were distributed on-line to cat owners who were asked to rate preferences for pictures of cats on a 0–10 scale. Veterinarian consensus established the skull types of the cats pictured (i.e., level of brachycephaly (BC) or dolichocephaly (DC)). Preferences were then explored relative to cat skull type, coat and eye color, and coat length. Generalized estimating equations identified relationships between physical characteristics and respondent ratings. Further sub-analyses explored effects of respondents’ occupation, location and previous cat ownership on rating scores. Overall, cats with extreme changes in skull morphology (both BC and DC) were significantly less preferred than mesocephalic cats. Green eyes, ginger coat color and medium length coat were most preferred. Current owners of a BC or DC pure bred cat showed significantly greater preference for cats with similar features and significantly lower preference for the opposite extreme. Respondents from Asia were significantly more likely to prefer both BC and DC cats as compared to respondents from other locations. Finally, those in an animal care profession, as compared to other professions, provided a significantly lower preference rating for BC cats but not for DC cats. This work, despite the acknowledged limitations, provides preliminary evidence that preferences for cat breeds, and their associated skull morphologies, are driven by both cultural and experiential parameters. This information may allow for better targeting of educational materials concerning cat breeds. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle A Comparison of Cats (Felis silvestris catus) Housed in Groups and Single Cages at a Shelter: A Retrospective Matched Cohort Study
Animals 2018, 8(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8020029
Received: 8 December 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 11 February 2018 / Published: 14 February 2018
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Abstract
The merits of various housing options for domestic cats in shelters have been debated. However, comparisons are difficult to interpret because cats are typically not able to be randomly assigned to different housing conditions. In the current study, we attempted to address some
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The merits of various housing options for domestic cats in shelters have been debated. However, comparisons are difficult to interpret because cats are typically not able to be randomly assigned to different housing conditions. In the current study, we attempted to address some of these issues by creating a retrospective matched cohort of cats in two housing types. Cats in group housing (GH) were matched with cats in single housing (SH) that were the same age, sex, breed, coat color, and size. Altogether we were able to find a match for 110 GH cats. We compared these two groups on several measures related to their experience at the shelter such as moves and the development of behavioral problems. We also compared these groups on outcomes including length of stay, live release, and returns after adoption. We found that while the frequency of moves was similar in both groups, SH cats were more likely to be moved to offsite facilities than GH cats. SH cats also spent a smaller proportion of time on the adoption floor. Length of stay and, live release and returns after adoption did not significantly differ across groups, however GH cats were two times as likely to be returned after adoption. Future research should look at the behavioral impacts of shelter decision-making regarding moving and management of cats in different housing systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Sheltering)
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Open AccessReview Justifiability and Animal Research in Health: Can Democratisation Help Resolve Difficulties?
Animals 2018, 8(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8020028
Received: 13 January 2018 / Revised: 8 February 2018 / Accepted: 12 February 2018 / Published: 14 February 2018
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Abstract
Current animal research ethics frameworks emphasise consequentialist ethics through cost-benefit or harm-benefit analysis. However, these ethical frameworks along with institutional animal ethics approval processes cannot satisfactorily decide when a given potential benefit is outweighed by costs to animals. The consequentialist calculus should, theoretically,
[...] Read more.
Current animal research ethics frameworks emphasise consequentialist ethics through cost-benefit or harm-benefit analysis. However, these ethical frameworks along with institutional animal ethics approval processes cannot satisfactorily decide when a given potential benefit is outweighed by costs to animals. The consequentialist calculus should, theoretically, provide for situations where research into a disease or disorder is no longer ethical, but this is difficult to determine objectively. Public support for animal research is also falling as demand for healthcare is rising. Democratisation of animal research could help resolve these tensions through facilitating ethical health consumerism or giving the public greater input into deciding the diseases and disorders where animal research is justified. Labelling drugs to disclose animal use and providing a plain-language summary of the role of animals may help promote public understanding and would respect the ethical beliefs of objectors to animal research. National animal ethics committees could weigh the competing ethical, scientific, and public interests to provide a transparent mandate for animal research to occur when it is justifiable and acceptable. Democratic processes can impose ethical limits and provide mandates for acceptable research while facilitating a regulatory and scientific transition towards medical advances that require fewer animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Ethics)
Open AccessArticle The Impact of Excluding Food Guarding from a Standardized Behavioral Canine Assessment in Animal Shelters
Animals 2018, 8(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8020027
Received: 23 November 2017 / Revised: 3 February 2018 / Accepted: 5 February 2018 / Published: 8 February 2018
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Abstract
Many shelters euthanize or restrict adoptions for dogs that exhibit food guarding while in the animal shelter. However, previous research showed that only half the dogs exhibiting food guarding during an assessment food guard in the home. So, dogs are often misidentified as
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Many shelters euthanize or restrict adoptions for dogs that exhibit food guarding while in the animal shelter. However, previous research showed that only half the dogs exhibiting food guarding during an assessment food guard in the home. So, dogs are often misidentified as future food guarders during shelter assessments. We examined the impact of shelters omitting food guarding assessments. Nine shelters conducted a two-month baseline period of assessing for food guarding followed by a two-month investigative period during which they omitted the food guarding assessment. Dogs that guarded their food during a standardized assessment were less likely to be adopted, had a longer shelter stay, and were more likely to be euthanized. When the shelters stopped assessing for food guarding, there was no significant difference in the rate of returns of food guarding dogs, even though more dogs were adopted because fewer were identified with food guarding behavior. Additionally, the number of injuries to staff, volunteers, and adopters was low (104 incidents from a total of 14,180 dogs) and did not change when the food guarding assessment was omitted. These results support a recommendation that shelters discontinue the food guarding assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Sheltering)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Spatial Cognition and Range Use in Free-Range Laying Hens
Animals 2018, 8(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8020026
Received: 9 January 2018 / Revised: 27 January 2018 / Accepted: 3 February 2018 / Published: 8 February 2018
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Abstract
Radio-frequency identification tracking shows individual free-range laying hens vary in range use, with some never going outdoors. The range is typically more environmentally complex, requiring navigation to return to the indoor resources. Outdoor-preferring hens may have improved spatial abilities compared to indoor-preferring hens.
[...] Read more.
Radio-frequency identification tracking shows individual free-range laying hens vary in range use, with some never going outdoors. The range is typically more environmentally complex, requiring navigation to return to the indoor resources. Outdoor-preferring hens may have improved spatial abilities compared to indoor-preferring hens. Experiment 1 tested 32 adult ISA Brown hens in a T-maze learning task that showed exclusively-indoor birds were slowest to reach the learning success criterion (p < 0.05). Experiment 2 tested 117 pullets from enriched or non-enriched early rearing treatments (1 pen replicate per treatment) in the same maze at 15–16 or 17–18 weeks. Enriched birds reached learning success criterion faster at 15–16 weeks (p < 0.05) but not at 17–18 weeks (p > 0.05), the age that coincided with the onset of lay. Enriched birds that were faster to learn the maze task showed more range visits in the first 4 weeks of range access. Enriched and non-enriched birds showed no differences in telencephalon or hippocampal volume (p > 0.05). Fear may reduce spatial abilities but further testing with more pen replicates per early rearing treatments would improve our understanding of the relationship between spatial cognitive abilities and range use. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Online Relinquishments of Dogs and Cats in Australia
Animals 2018, 8(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8020025
Received: 11 December 2017 / Revised: 2 February 2018 / Accepted: 5 February 2018 / Published: 7 February 2018
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Abstract
While traditionally people relinquish their pets to an animal shelter or pound, the internet provides a newer method to re-home. We analyzed advertisements (ads) on the largest website in Australia for trading dogs and cats: Gumtree. Data was collected in 2016. Dogs were
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While traditionally people relinquish their pets to an animal shelter or pound, the internet provides a newer method to re-home. We analyzed advertisements (ads) on the largest website in Australia for trading dogs and cats: Gumtree. Data was collected in 2016. Dogs were sampled on 7, 16 and 24 February 2016 and cats on 9, 19 and 26 February 2016, with 2640 ads for relinquished dogs, and 2093 ads for relinquished cats. It was estimated >31,000 puppies/dogs and >24,000 kittens/cats are relinquished on Gumtree per year. The median age of dogs was 1.42 and cats 0.9 years of age. There were 23% of dog ads and 62% of cat ads for free animals. Compared to the human population, there were proportionately more ads in Queensland and fewer ads in Victoria. A total of 15 people were surveyed who had relinquished a dog or cat using Gumtree. The dog owners used Gumtree for two reasons: because they believed the shelters were full (n = 4); and they wanted to see/interview the new owner (n = 2). For cat owners: they had originally got the cat on Gumtree (n = 2); they use Gumtree for other things, and it works (n = 2), and; they wanted to see/interview the new owner (n = 2). The data collected will be valuable for implementation of policy and interventions to protect the welfare of unwanted dogs and cats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Sheltering)
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Open AccessReview Mudskippers and Their Genetic Adaptations to an Amphibious Lifestyle
Animals 2018, 8(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8020024
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 25 January 2018 / Accepted: 3 February 2018 / Published: 7 February 2018
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Abstract
Mudskippers are the largest group of amphibious teleost fish that are uniquely adapted to live on mudflats. During their successful transition from aqueous life to terrestrial living, these fish have evolved morphological and physiological modifications of aerial vision and olfaction, higher ammonia tolerance,
[...] Read more.
Mudskippers are the largest group of amphibious teleost fish that are uniquely adapted to live on mudflats. During their successful transition from aqueous life to terrestrial living, these fish have evolved morphological and physiological modifications of aerial vision and olfaction, higher ammonia tolerance, aerial respiration, improved immunological defense against terrestrial pathogens, and terrestrial locomotion using protruded pectoral fins. Comparative genomic and transcriptomic data have been accumulated and analyzed for understanding molecular mechanisms of the terrestrial adaptations. Our current review provides a general introduction to mudskippers and recent research advances of their genetic adaptations to the amphibious lifestyle, which will be helpful for understanding the evolutionary transition of vertebrates from water to land. Our insights into the genomes and transcriptomes will also support molecular breeding, functional identification, and natural compound screening. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Surrenderers’ Relationships with Cats Admitted to Four Australian Animal Shelters
Animals 2018, 8(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8020023
Received: 20 November 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 1 February 2018 / Published: 7 February 2018
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Abstract
The surrender of cats to animal shelters results in financial, social and moral burdens for the community. Correlations of caretaking and interactions with surrendered cats were calculated, to understand more about humans’ relationships with surrendered cats and the contribution of semi-owned cats to
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The surrender of cats to animal shelters results in financial, social and moral burdens for the community. Correlations of caretaking and interactions with surrendered cats were calculated, to understand more about humans’ relationships with surrendered cats and the contribution of semi-owned cats to shelter intakes. A questionnaire was used to collect detailed information about 100 surrenderers’ relationships with cats they surrendered to four animal shelters in Australia, with each surrenderer classifying themselves as being either the owner or a non-owner of the surrendered cat (ownership perception). Method of acquisition of the cat, association time, closeness of the relationship with the cat and degree of responsibility for the cat’s care were all associated with ownership perception. Many non-owners (59%) fed and interacted with the cat they surrendered but rarely displayed other caretaking behaviours. However, most surrenderers of owned and unowned cats were attached to and felt responsible for the cat. Based on these results and other evidence, a causal model of ownership perception was proposed to provide a better understanding of factors influencing ownership perception. This model consisted of a set of variables proposed as directly or indirectly influencing ownership perception, with connecting arrows to indicate proposed causal relationships. Understanding ownership perception and the contribution of semi-owned cats to shelter intake is important as these can inform the development of more targeted and effective intervention strategies to reduce numbers of unwanted cats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Sheltering)
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Open AccessPerspective Parallels between Postpartum Disorders in Humans and Preweaning Piglet Mortality in Sows
Animals 2018, 8(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8020022
Received: 10 December 2017 / Revised: 22 January 2018 / Accepted: 3 February 2018 / Published: 6 February 2018
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Abstract
Pregnancy and parturition in all mammals is accompanied with physical, psychological, social, and hormonal shifts that impact the mother physically and psychologically. Pre-weaning piglet mortality continues to be a major welfare and economic issue in U.S. swine production, running at 12–15% with crushing
[...] Read more.
Pregnancy and parturition in all mammals is accompanied with physical, psychological, social, and hormonal shifts that impact the mother physically and psychologically. Pre-weaning piglet mortality continues to be a major welfare and economic issue in U.S. swine production, running at 12–15% with crushing by the sow the major cause. Much research has focused on farrowing environment design, yet the fact that little progress has been made emphasizes that psychosocial factors may impact rates of postpartum disorders (PPD). There is a mismatch between evolved adaptations and contemporary psychosocial and management practices. Many factors associated with the development of PPD in humans are mirrored in sows that perform piglet crushing. These factors include poor mental welfare (anxiety, difficulty coping with stress), a lack of experience, a lack of social support, and individual differences in their sensitivity to hormone concentrations. Understanding what strategies are effective in preventing PPD in humans may have welfare and production benefits for sows—and sows may be a possible model for better understanding PPD in humans. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Novel Non-Invasive Selection Criterion for the Preservation of Primitive Dutch Konik Horses
Animals 2018, 8(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8020021
Received: 23 November 2017 / Revised: 23 December 2017 / Accepted: 29 January 2018 / Published: 1 February 2018
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Abstract
The Dutch Konik is valued from a genetic conservation perspective and also for its role in preservation of natural landscapes. The primary management objective for the captive breeding of this primitive horse is to maintain its genetic purity, whilst also maintaining the nature
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The Dutch Konik is valued from a genetic conservation perspective and also for its role in preservation of natural landscapes. The primary management objective for the captive breeding of this primitive horse is to maintain its genetic purity, whilst also maintaining the nature reserves on which they graze. Breeding selection has traditionally been based on phenotypic characteristics consistent with the breed description, and the selection of animals for removal from the breeding program is problematic at times due to high uniformity within the breed, particularly in height at the wither, colour (mouse to grey dun) and presence of primitive markings. With the objective of identifying an additional non-invasive selection criterion with potential uniqueness to the Dutch Konik, this study investigates the anatomic parameters of the distal equine limb, with a specific focus on the relative lengths of the individual splint bones. Post-mortem dissections performed on distal limbs of Dutch Konik (n = 47) and modern domesticated horses (n = 120) revealed significant differences in relation to the length and symmetry of the 2nd and 4th Metacarpals and Metatarsals. Distal limb characteristics with apparent uniqueness to the Dutch Konik are described which could be an important tool in the selection and preservation of the breed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Management in the 21st Century)
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Open AccessArticle Email Reminders Increase the Frequency That Pet Owners Update Their Microchip Information
Animals 2018, 8(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8020020
Received: 8 December 2017 / Revised: 25 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
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Abstract
Stray animals with incorrect microchip details are less likely to be reclaimed, and unclaimed strays are at increased risk of euthanasia. A retrospective cohort study was performed using 394,747 cats and 904,909 dogs registered with Australia’s largest microchip database to describe animal characteristics,
[...] Read more.
Stray animals with incorrect microchip details are less likely to be reclaimed, and unclaimed strays are at increased risk of euthanasia. A retrospective cohort study was performed using 394,747 cats and 904,909 dogs registered with Australia’s largest microchip database to describe animal characteristics, determine whether annual email reminders increased the frequency that owners updated their information, and to compare frequencies of microchip information updates according to pet and owner characteristics. More than twice as many dogs (70%) than cats (30%) were registered on the database; the most numerous pure-breeds were Ragdoll cats and Staffordshire Bull Terrier dogs, and the number of registered animals per capita varied by Australian state or territory. Owners were more likely (p < 0.001) to update their details soon after they were sent a reminder email, compared to immediately before that email, and there were significant (p < 0.001) differences in the frequency of owner updates by state or territory of residence, animal species, animal age, and socioeconomic index of the owner’s postcode. This research demonstrates that email reminders increase the probability of owners updating their details on the microchip database, and this could reduce the percentages of stray animals that are unclaimed and subsequently euthanized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Sheltering)
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Open AccessCommentary Exploring the Gaps in Practical Ethical Guidance for Animal Welfare Considerations of Field Interventions and Innovations Targeting Dogs and Cats
Animals 2018, 8(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8020019
Received: 28 November 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 27 January 2018
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Abstract
Domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) and cats (Felis silvestris catus) are common species targeted by nongovernmental or intergovernmental organizations, veterinarians and government agencies worldwide, for field interventions (e.g., population management, rabies vaccination programs) or innovations (e.g., development of technologies
[...] Read more.
Domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) and cats (Felis silvestris catus) are common species targeted by nongovernmental or intergovernmental organizations, veterinarians and government agencies worldwide, for field interventions (e.g., population management, rabies vaccination programs) or innovations (e.g., development of technologies or pharmaceuticals to improve animal welfare). We have a moral responsibility to ensure that the conduct of this work is humane for dogs or cats, and to consider the human communities in which the animals live. Ethical review is widely accepted as being integral to responsible practice, and it is fundamental to good science that underpins innovation. Despite the necessity of field interventions or innovations to advance the welfare of individuals or populations of animals, we found a lack of specific guidance and review processes to help navigate ethical dilemmas surrounding the conduct of such work. This can be detrimental to the wellbeing of animals and their human communities. Here we identify the gaps in existing ethical frameworks (specifically application of Reduction and Refinement principles, challenges of obtaining meaningful informed consent with variations in the quality of human-animal relationships, and limited resources regarding considerations of local stakeholders), and outline the need for additional tools to promote ethical conduct in the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Ethics)
Open AccessArticle Offshore Earthquakes Do Not Influence Marine Mammal Stranding Risk on the Washington and Oregon Coasts
Animals 2018, 8(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8020018
Received: 22 September 2017 / Revised: 20 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
The causes of marine mammals stranding on coastal beaches are not well understood, but may relate to topography, currents, wind, water temperature, disease, toxic algal blooms, and anthropogenic activity. Offshore earthquakes are a source of intense sound and disturbance and could be a
[...] Read more.
The causes of marine mammals stranding on coastal beaches are not well understood, but may relate to topography, currents, wind, water temperature, disease, toxic algal blooms, and anthropogenic activity. Offshore earthquakes are a source of intense sound and disturbance and could be a contributing factor to stranding probability. We tested the hypothesis that the probability of marine mammal stranding events on the coasts of Washington and Oregon, USA is increased by the occurrence of offshore earthquakes in the nearby Cascadia subduction zone. The analysis carried out here indicated that earthquakes are at most, a very minor predictor of either single, or large (six or more animals) stranding events, at least for the study period and location. We also tested whether earthquakes inhibit stranding and again, there was no link. Although we did not find a substantial association of earthquakes with strandings in this study, it is likely that there are many factors influencing stranding of marine mammals and a single cause is unlikely to be responsible. Analysis of a subset of data for which detailed descriptions were available showed that most live stranded animals were pups, calves, or juveniles, and in the case of dead stranded mammals, the commonest cause of death was trauma, disease, and emaciation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Behavior and Natural Disasters)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Exploring the Framing of Animal Farming and Meat Consumption: On the Diversity of Topics Used and Qualitative Patterns in Selected Demographic Contexts
Animals 2018, 8(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8020017
Received: 15 October 2017 / Revised: 13 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
In various contexts, people talk about animal farming and meat consumption using different arguments to construct and justify their (non-)acceptability. This article presents the results of an in-depth qualitative inquiry into the content of and contextual patterns in the everyday-life framing regarding this
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In various contexts, people talk about animal farming and meat consumption using different arguments to construct and justify their (non-)acceptability. This article presents the results of an in-depth qualitative inquiry into the content of and contextual patterns in the everyday-life framing regarding this issue, performed among consumers in various settings in two extremes in the European sphere: the Netherlands and Turkey. We describe the methodological steps of collecting, coding, and organizing the variety of encountered framing topics, as well as our search for symbolic convergence in groups of consumers from different selected demographic contexts (country, urban-rural areas, gender, age, and education level). The framing of animal farming and meat consumption in everyday-life is not a simple one-issue rational display of facts; people referred to a vast range of topics in the categories knowledge, convictions, pronounced behaviour, values, norms, interests, and feelings. Looking at framing in relation to the researched demographic contexts, most patterns were found on the level of topics; symbolic convergence in lines of reasoning and composite framing was less prominent in groups based on single demographic contexts than anticipated. An explanation for this lies in the complexity of frame construction, happening in relation with multiple interdependent contextual features. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Genetic Selection to Enhance Animal Welfare Using Meat Inspection Data from Slaughter Plants
Animals 2018, 8(2), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8020016
Received: 14 November 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
Animal health and welfare are monitored during meat inspection in many slaughter plants around the world. Carcasses are examined by meat inspectors and remarks are made with respect to different diseases, injuries, and other abnormalities. This is a valuable data resource for disease
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Animal health and welfare are monitored during meat inspection in many slaughter plants around the world. Carcasses are examined by meat inspectors and remarks are made with respect to different diseases, injuries, and other abnormalities. This is a valuable data resource for disease prevention and enhancing animal welfare, but it is rarely used for this purpose. Records on carcass remarks on 140,375 finisher pigs were analyzed to investigate the possibility of genetic selection to reduce the risk of the most prevalent diseases and indicators of suboptimal animal welfare. As part of this, effects of some non-genetic factors such as differences between farms, sexes, and growth rates were also examined. The most frequent remarks were pneumonia (15.4%), joint disorders (9.8%), pleuritis (4.7%), pericarditis (2.3%), and liver lesions (2.2%). Joint disorders were more frequent in boars than in gilts. There were also significant differences between farms. Pedigree records were available for 142,324 pigs from 14 farms and were used for genetic analysis. Heritability estimates for pneumonia, pleuritis, pericarditis, liver lesions, and joint disorders were 0.10, 0.09, 0.14, 0.24, and 0.17 on the liability scale, respectively, suggesting the existence of substantial genetic variation. This was further confirmed though genome wide associations using deregressed breeding values as phenotypes. The genetic correlations between these remarks and finishing traits were small but mostly negative, suggesting the possibility of enhancing pig health and welfare simultaneously with genetic improvement in finishing traits. A selection index based on the breeding values for these traits and their economic values was developed. This index is used to enhance animal welfare in pig farms. Full article
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