Animals2014, 4(4), 643-656; doi:10.3390/ani4040643 - published 10 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Although reflecting a long tradition of moral reflection that the use of animals is acceptable as long as it is humane, the tension between causing harm to animals in research and the benefits to humans can nevertheless be troubling. Utilitarian arguments that appeal to the value of those practices in sustaining and enhancing human lives, and rights-based arguments which seek to constrain them, can be inadequate. Reflecting a more engaging, inclusive and sophisticated understanding of human activity, justification for animal use could be expanded to reflect the fullness and richness of ethical thinking. This might see more explicit inclusion of perspectives borne of virtues, caring, experiences, and respect for the essence of the animal, and different ways of understanding and knowing animals, values drawn from the middle ground of commonly acceptable human-animal relationships. Such values, already clearly evident in research, could be more widely integrated into arguments justifying animal use. A more expansive approach would not only reflect reality and acknowledge that costs and benefits are shared more widely, but it might result in more equitable, effective and humane science. It might also serve to reduce some of the tension long evident in the relationship between humans and animals.
Animals2014, 4(4), 627-642; doi:10.3390/ani4040627 - published 29 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of seasonal environment, transport conditions, and time in lairage on pork quality and serum cortisol concentrations. Market hogs were slaughtered during winter (n = 535), spring (n = 645), summer (n = 644), and fall (n = 488). Within season, hogs were randomly assigned to treatments in a 2 × 2 × 2 factorial arrangement, with 2 deck locations (top vs. bottom) and 2 transport and lairage durations (3 h vs. 6 h). Blood samples were collected at exsanguination for analysis of cortisol concentration. Loins were collected at 24 h postmortem for pork quality assessment. Season and deck did not have a main effect on cortisol concentrations or pork quality. Hogs transported 6 h had increased cortisol concentrations (103.0 vs. 95.5 ng/mL; P < 0.001) and decreased L* (52.49 vs. 52.69; P = 0.09), b* (6.28 vs. 6.36; P = 0.03), and hue angle (20.70 vs. 20.95; P = 0.03) compared to hogs transported 3 h. Hogs subjected to 6 h of lairage had increased 24-h pH (5.69 vs. 5.66; P = 0.005), a* (16.64 vs. 16.48; P < 0.0001), b* (6.42 vs. 6.22; P < 0.0001), saturation (17.85 vs. 17.64; P < 0.0001), and hue angle (21.01 vs. 20.65; P = 0.002) and decreased L* (52.49 vs. 52.69; P = 0.07) when compared to hogs subjected to 3 h of lairage.
Animals2014, 4(4), 612-626; doi:10.3390/ani4040612 - published 29 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Leptospirosis is an emerging zoonotic disease of worldwide distribution. A cross-sectional study was conducted in urban and rural environments in southern Chile (1) to detect domestic cats with serologic evidence of exposure to Leptospira spp.;(2) to determine the prevalence of anti-Leptospira antibodies; (3) to describe seroprevalences according to different characteristics of the animals, and (4) to identify risk factors associated with the seropositivity in the Microscopic Agglutination Test (MAT). Blood samples were taken from 124 owned cats. A frequentist and Bayesian approach were applied for prevalence estimation. The overall apparent prevalence of anti-Leptospira antibodies was 8.1% (95% Confident Interval = 3.9–4.3). With the Bayesian approach, the overall True Prevalence (TP) was 5.2% (95% Credibility Interval (CrI) = 0.6–12.4). The TP for urban cats was 1.8% (95% CrI = 0.1–7.2) and the TP for rural felines was 25.2% (95% CrI = 9.3–46.6). Cats that live in a place where agricultural activities are performed with water that flows in streams or backwater and cats that live in places near flooded areas had a higher risk of seropositivity in MAT. The exposure to Leptospira spp. in domestic cats of urban and rural origin in Southern Chile is a public health concern that requires an increased awareness and the implementation of preventive measures.
Animals2014, 4(4), 599-611; doi:10.3390/ani4040599 - published 29 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A study was undertaken to establish how visiting tourists to Samoa perceived free-roaming dogs (Canis familiaris) and their management, additionally some factors that influence their perceptions were assessed. Questionnaires were administered to 281 tourists across Samoa over 5 weeks. Free-roaming dogs were seen by 98.2% (n = 269/274) of respondents, with 64.9% (n = 137/211) reporting that their presence had a negative effect on overall holiday experience. Respondents staying in the Apia (capital city) area were more likely to consider dogs a problem (p < 0.0001), and there was a significant association between whether the respondent owned a dog and if they thought dogs were a nuisance in Samoa (p < 0.003). Forty-four percent (20/89) of non-dog owners agreed that dogs were a nuisance compared to 22% (80/182) of dog owners. The majority felt that dogs required better control and management in Samoa (81%, n = 222) and that there were too many “stray” dogs (67.9%, n = 188). More respondents were negatively affected by the dogs’ presence (64.9%, 137/211), and felt that the dogs made their holiday worse, than respondents that felt the dogs’ presence improved their holiday experience (35.1%, 74/211). Most respondents stated that the dogs had a low impact (one to three; 68%, 187/275) on their stay in Samoa, whilst 24% (65/275) and 8% (23/275) stated they had a medium or high impact, respectively, on their stay. Respondents showed strong support for humane population management. Free-roaming dogs present a complex problem for Samoa and for its tourism industry in particular. The findings of this study further support the need for more discussion and action about the provision of veterinary services and population management for dogs in Samoa. It also provides information complementing an earlier study of the attitudes of local Samoans.
Animals2014, 4(4), 583-598; doi:10.3390/ani4040583 - published 29 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The effect of bedding levels and trailer compartment on internal trailer temperature and relative humidity (RH) during loading and transport of finishing pigs was evaluated in cold and mild weather. Three levels of bedding were used in each experiment: 0.6 m3, 1.2 m3, and 2.4 m3. In mild weather, internal temperatures were lower when 1.2 m3 or 2.4 m3 of bedding were used during loading and transport compared to 0.6 m3 (P < 0.05). Internal trailer temperature increased in a quadratic fashion in the top front compartment when 1.2 m3 was used (P < 0.05), and in a linear fashion in the top rear compartment when 2.4 m3 were used in cold weather (P < 0.05). In mild weather, temperature increased linearly in the top front compartment with heavy bedding levels. Relative humidity increased in a linear fashion in the top front compartment with 0.6 m3, bottom front with 1.2 m3, and top front with 1.2 m3 in cold weather (P < 0.05). In general, temperature and RH increased as bedding levels increased in both cold and mild temperatures. Excess bedding can absorb more moisture, resulting in transport loss and decreased animal welfare.
Animals2014, 4(3), 562-582; doi:10.3390/ani4030562 - published 15 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Traditionally, culling has been the expedient, most common, and in many cases, the only tool used to control free-ranging kangaroo populations. We applied a reproductive control program to a population of eastern grey kangaroos confined to a golf course in South East Queensland. The program aimed to reduce fecundity sufficiently for the population to decrease over time so that overgrazing of the fairways and the frequency of human–animal conflict situations were minimised. In 2003, 92% of the female kangaroos above 5 kg bodyweight were implanted with the GnRH agonist deslorelin after darting with a dissociative anaesthetic. In 2007, 86% of the females above 5 kg were implanted with deslorelin and also 87% of the males above 5 kg were sterilised by either orchidectomy or vasectomy. In 2005, 2008 and 2009, the population was censused to assess the effect of each treatment. The 2003 deslorelin program resulted in effective zero population growth for approximately 2.5 years. The combined deslorelin–surgery program in 2007 reduced the birth rate from 0.3 to 0.06%/year for 16 months, resulting in a 27% population reduction by November 2009. The results were consistent with implants conferring contraception to 100% of implanted females for at least 12 months. The iatrogenic mortality rates for each program were 10.5% and 4.9%, respectively, with 50% of all mortalities due to darting-related injuries, exertional myopathy/hyperthermia or recovery misadventure. The short term sexual and agonistic behaviour of the males was assessed for the 2007 program: no significant changes were seen in adult males given the vasectomy procedure, while sexual behaviours’ were decreased in adult males given the orchidectomy procedure. It is concluded that female reproduction was effectively controlled by implantation with deslorrelin and male reproductive behaviour was reduced by orchidectomy, which together achieved population control.