Open AccessOpinion
A Cultural Conscience for Conservation
Animals 2017, 7(7), 52; doi:10.3390/ani7070052 -
Abstract
On 2 July 2015, the killing of a lion nicknamed “Cecil” prompted the largest global reaction in the history of wildlife conservation. In response to this, it is propitious to consider the ways in which this moment can be developed into a financial
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On 2 July 2015, the killing of a lion nicknamed “Cecil” prompted the largest global reaction in the history of wildlife conservation. In response to this, it is propitious to consider the ways in which this moment can be developed into a financial movement to transform the conservation of species such as the lion that hold cultural significance and sentiment but whose numbers in the wild are dwindling dangerously. This provocative piece explores how a species royalty could be used effectively by drawing revenue from the heavy symbolic use of charismatic animals in affluent economies. This would, in turn, reduce strain on limited government funds in threatened animals’ native homelands. Three potential areas of lucrative animal symbolism—fashion, sports mascots, and national animals—provide examples of the kind of revenue that could be created from a species royalty. These examples also demonstrate how this royalty could prove to be a desirable means by which both corporations and consumers could positively develop their desired selves while simultaneously contributing to a relevant and urgent cause. These examples intend to ignite a multi-disciplinary conversation on the global cultural economy’s use of endangered species symbols. An overhaul in perspective and practice is needed because time is running out for much of the wildlife and their ecosystems that embellish products and embody anthropocentric business identities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Estimating the Availability of Potential Homes for Unwanted Horses in the United States
Animals 2017, 7(7), 53; doi:10.3390/ani7070053 -
Abstract
There are approximately 200,000 unwanted horses annually in the United States. This study aimed to better understand the potential homes for horses that need to be re-homed. Using an independent survey company through an Omnibus telephone (land and cell) survey, we interviewed a
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There are approximately 200,000 unwanted horses annually in the United States. This study aimed to better understand the potential homes for horses that need to be re-homed. Using an independent survey company through an Omnibus telephone (land and cell) survey, we interviewed a nationally projectable sample of 3036 adults (using both landline and cellular phone numbers) to learn of their interest and capacity to adopt a horse. Potential adopters with interest in horses with medical and/or behavioral problems and self-assessed perceived capacity to adopt, constituted 0.92% of the total sample. Extrapolating the results of this survey using U.S. Census data, suggests there could be an estimated 1.25 million households who have both the self-reported and perceived resources and desire to house an unwanted horse. This number exceeds the estimated number of unwanted horses living each year in the United States. This study points to opportunities and need to increase communication and support between individuals and organizations that have unwanted horses to facilitate re-homing with people in their community willing to adopt them. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Ranging Behaviour of Commercial Free-Range Broiler Chickens 1: Factors Related to Flock Variability
Animals 2017, 7(7), 54; doi:10.3390/ani7070054 -
Abstract
Little is known about the ranging behaviour of chickens. Understanding ranging behaviour is required to improve management and shed and range design to ensure optimal ranging opportunities. Using Radio Frequency Identification technology, we tracked 300 individual broiler chickens in each of four mixed
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Little is known about the ranging behaviour of chickens. Understanding ranging behaviour is required to improve management and shed and range design to ensure optimal ranging opportunities. Using Radio Frequency Identification technology, we tracked 300 individual broiler chickens in each of four mixed sex ROSS 308 flocks on one commercial farm across two seasons. Ranging behaviour was tracked from the first day of range access (21 days of age) until 35 days of age in winter and 44 days of age in summer. Range use was higher than previously reported from scan sampling studies. More chickens accessed the range in summer (81%) than winter (32%; p < 0.05). On average, daily frequency and duration of range use was greater in summer flocks (4.4 ± 0.1 visits for a total of 26.3 ± 0.8 min/day) than winter flocks (3.2 ± 0.2 visits for a total of 7.9 ± 1.0 min/day). Seasonal differences were only marginally explained by weather conditions and may reflect the reduction in range exposure between seasons (number of days, hours per day, and time of day). Specific times of the day (p < 0.01) and pop-holes were favoured (p < 0.05). We provide evidence of relationships between ranging and external factors that may explain ranging preferences. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Ranging Behaviour of Commercial Free-Range Broiler Chickens 2: Individual Variation
Animals 2017, 7(7), 55; doi:10.3390/ani7070055 -
Abstract
Little is known about broiler chicken ranging behaviour. Previous studies have monitored ranging behaviour at flock level but whether individual ranging behaviour varies within a flock is unknown. Using Radio Frequency Identification technology, we tracked 1200 individual ROSS 308 broiler chickens across four
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Little is known about broiler chicken ranging behaviour. Previous studies have monitored ranging behaviour at flock level but whether individual ranging behaviour varies within a flock is unknown. Using Radio Frequency Identification technology, we tracked 1200 individual ROSS 308 broiler chickens across four mixed sex flocks in two seasons on one commercial farm. Ranging behaviour was tracked from first day of range access (21 days of age) until 35 days of age in winter flocks and 44 days of age in summer flocks. We identified groups of chickens that differed in frequency of range visits: chickens that never accessed the range (13 to 67% of tagged chickens), low ranging chickens (15 to 44% of tagged chickens) that accounted for <15% of all range visits and included chickens that used the range only once (6 to 12% of tagged chickens), and high ranging chickens (3 to 9% of tagged chickens) that accounted for 33 to 50% of all range visits. Males spent longer on the range than females in winter (p < 0.05). Identifying the causes of inter-individual variation in ranging behaviour may help optimise ranging opportunities in free-range systems and is important to elucidate the potential welfare implications of ranging. Full article
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Open AccessBrief Report
A Note on Suckling Behavior and Laterality in Nursing Humpback Whale Calves from Underwater Observations
Animals 2017, 7(7), 51; doi:10.3390/ani7070051 -
Abstract
We investigated nursing behavior on the Hawaiian breeding grounds for first year humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) calves. We observed and video-documented underwater events with nursing behavior from five different whale groups. The observed nursing events include behaviors where a calf positions
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We investigated nursing behavior on the Hawaiian breeding grounds for first year humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) calves. We observed and video-documented underwater events with nursing behavior from five different whale groups. The observed nursing events include behaviors where a calf positions itself at a 30–45° angle to the midline of the mother’s body, with its mouth touching her mammary slit (i.e., suckling position). On two occasions, milk in the water column was recorded in close proximity to a mother/calf pair, and on one occasion, milk was recorded 2.5 min after suckling observed. Nursing events, where the calf was located in the suckling position, were found to be short in duration with a mean of 30.6 s (range 15.0–55.0, standard deviation (SD) = 16.9). All observations of the calf in the suckling position (n = 5, 100%) were with the calf located on the right side of the mother, suggesting a potential for right side laterality preference in the context of nursing behavior. Our study provides insight into mother/calf behaviors from a unique underwater vantage. Results supplement previous accounts of humpback whale nursing in Hawaiian waters, validate mother/calf positioning, document milk in the water column, and introduce the potential for laterality in nursing behavior for humpback whale calves. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Surrendered and Stray Dogs in Australia—Estimation of Numbers Entering Municipal Pounds, Shelters and Rescue Groups and Their Outcomes
Animals 2017, 7(7), 50; doi:10.3390/ani7070050 -
Abstract
There is no national system for monitoring numbers of dogs entering municipal council pounds and shelters in Australia, or their outcomes. This limits understanding of the surrendered and stray dog issue, and prevents the evaluation of management strategies. We aimed to estimate these
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There is no national system for monitoring numbers of dogs entering municipal council pounds and shelters in Australia, or their outcomes. This limits understanding of the surrendered and stray dog issue, and prevents the evaluation of management strategies. We aimed to estimate these in 2012–2013. Dog intake and outcome data were collected for municipal councils and animal welfare organizations using annual reports, publications, primary peer-reviewed journal articles, websites and direct correspondence. More comprehensive data were obtained for New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Australian Capital Territory, whereas it was necessary to impute some or all data for Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and Tasmania, as data were incomplete/unavailable. A refined methodology was developed to address the numerous limitations of the available data. An estimated national total of 211,655 dog admissions (9.3 admissions/1000 residents) occurred in 2012–2013. Of these admissions, the numbers where the dog was reclaimed, rehomed or euthanized were estimated as 4.4, 2.9 and 1.9/1000 residents, respectively. Differences in outcomes were evident between states, and between municipal councils, welfare organizations and rescue groups. This study emphasizes the need for an ongoing standardized monitoring system with appropriate data routinely collected from all municipal councils, animal welfare organizations and rescue groups in Australia. Such a system would only require data that are easily collected by all relevant organizations and could be implemented at relatively low cost. This could facilitate ongoing evaluation of the magnitude of the surrendered and stray dog problem, and allow assessment of strategies aiming to reduce numbers of admissions and euthanasia. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Survey of Public Opinion on Cat (Felis catus) Predation and the Future Direction of Cat Management in New Zealand
Animals 2017, 7(7), 49; doi:10.3390/ani7070049 -
Abstract
Cat predation is a prominent issue in New Zealand that provokes strong and opposing views. We explored, via 1011 face-to-face questionnaires, public opinion on (a) support for a National Cat Management Strategy (78% support); (b) concern regarding predation of wildlife by owned and
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Cat predation is a prominent issue in New Zealand that provokes strong and opposing views. We explored, via 1011 face-to-face questionnaires, public opinion on (a) support for a National Cat Management Strategy (78% support); (b) concern regarding predation of wildlife by owned and un-owned cats (managed stray, unmanaged stray, and feral cats); (c) the acceptability of management techniques for owned cats; and (d) the acceptability of population management techniques for un-owned cats. The highest concern was expressed regarding the predation of non-native and native wildlife by feral cats (60 and 86% repectively), followed by unmanaged stray cats (59 and 86% respectively), managed stray cats (54 and 82% respectively), and finally owned cats (38 and 69% repectively). Limits to the number of cats owned and cat restriction zones received high levels of support (>65%), and compulsory microchipping, Council registration, and de-sexing were supported by the majority (>58%). Public support of population control methods for unowned cats was explored, and the influence of participant demographic variables on responses is described. These findings provide insight into public opinion regarding the management of cats in New Zealand, which should be considered during the development of legislation in this area. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Factors that Influence Intake to One Municipal Animal Control Facility in Florida: A Qualitative Study
Animals 2017, 7(7), 48; doi:10.3390/ani7070048 -
Abstract
This qualitative study identified a study area by visualizing one year of animal intake from a municipal animal shelter on geographic information systems (GIS) maps to select an area of high stray-dog intake to investigate. Researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with residents of the
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This qualitative study identified a study area by visualizing one year of animal intake from a municipal animal shelter on geographic information systems (GIS) maps to select an area of high stray-dog intake to investigate. Researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with residents of the selected study area to elucidate why there were high numbers of stray dogs coming from this location. Using grounded theory, three themes emerged from the interviews: concerns, attitudes, and disparities. The residents expressed concerns about animal welfare, personal safety, money, and health. They held various attitudes toward domestic animals in the community, including viewing them as pets, pests, or useful commodities (products). Residents expressed acceptance as well as some anger and fear about the situation in their community. Interviewees revealed they faced multiple socioeconomic disparities related to poverty. Pet abandonment can result when pet owners must prioritize human needs over animal needs, leading to increased shelter intake of stray dogs. Community-specific strategies for reducing local animal shelter intake should address the issue of pet abandonment by simultaneously targeting veterinary needs of animals, socioeconomic needs of residents, and respecting attitude differences between residents and shelter professionals. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
ExNOTic: Should We Be Keeping Exotic Pets?
Animals 2017, 7(6), 47; doi:10.3390/ani7060047 -
Abstract
There has been a recent trend towards keeping non-traditional companion animals, also known as exotic pets. These pets include parrots, reptiles, amphibians and rabbits, as well as small species of rodent such as degus and guinea pigs. Many of these exotic pet species
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There has been a recent trend towards keeping non-traditional companion animals, also known as exotic pets. These pets include parrots, reptiles, amphibians and rabbits, as well as small species of rodent such as degus and guinea pigs. Many of these exotic pet species are not domesticated, and often have special requirements in captivity, which many owners do not have the facilities or knowledge to provide. Keeping animals in settings to which they are poorly adapted is a threat to their welfare. Additionally, owner satisfaction with the animal may be poor due to a misalignment of expectations, which further impacts on welfare, as it may lead to repeated rehoming or neglect. We investigate a range of commonly kept exotic species in terms of their suitability as companion animals from the point of view of animal welfare and owner satisfaction, and make recommendations on the suitability of various species as pets. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Trap-Neuter-Return Activities in Urban Stray Cat Colonies in Australia
Animals 2017, 7(6), 46; doi:10.3390/ani7060046 -
Abstract
Trap, neuter and return (TNR) describes a non-lethal approach to the control of urban stray cat populations. Currently, in Australia, lethal control is common, with over 85% of cats entering some municipal pounds euthanized. No research has been published describing TNR activities in
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Trap, neuter and return (TNR) describes a non-lethal approach to the control of urban stray cat populations. Currently, in Australia, lethal control is common, with over 85% of cats entering some municipal pounds euthanized. No research has been published describing TNR activities in Australia. Adults involved with TNR in Australia were invited to participate. Data from 53 respondents were collected via an anonymous online questionnaire. Most respondents were females 36 to 65 years of age, and slightly more participated in TNR as individuals than as part of an organization. Respondents generally self-funded at least some of their TNR activities. The median number of colonies per respondent was 1.5 (range 1 to over 100). Median colony size declined from 11.5 to 6.5 cats under TNR over a median of 2.2 years, and the median percent reduction was 31%; this was achieved by rehoming cats and kittens and reducing reproduction. A median of 69% of cats in each colony were desexed at the time of reporting. Most respondents fed cats once or twice daily, and at least 28% of respondents microchipped cats. Prophylactic healthcare was provided to adult cats and kittens, commonly for intestinal parasites (at least 49%), and fleas (at least 46%); vaccinations were less common. Time-consuming activities for respondents were feeding (median 4 h/week) and locating resources (median 1.1 h/week). These findings indicate that TNR, when involving high desexing rates within colonies, adoption of kittens and friendly adults, and ongoing oversight by volunteer caretakers, can reduce cat numbers over time, improve health and welfare of cats and kittens, and is largely funded by private individuals and organizations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring the Role of Farm Animals in Providing Care at Care Farms
Animals 2017, 7(6), 45; doi:10.3390/ani7060045 -
Abstract
We explore the role of farm animals in providing care to different types of participants at care farms (e.g., youngsters with behavioural problems, people with severe mental problems and people with dementia). Care farms provide alternative and promising settings where people can interact
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We explore the role of farm animals in providing care to different types of participants at care farms (e.g., youngsters with behavioural problems, people with severe mental problems and people with dementia). Care farms provide alternative and promising settings where people can interact with animals compared to a therapeutic healthcare setting. We performed a literature review, conducted focus group meetings and carried out secondary data-analysis of qualitative studies involving care farmers and different types of participants. We found that farm animals are important to many participants and have a large number of potential benefits. They can (i) provide meaningful day occupation; (ii) generate valued relationships; (iii) help people master tasks; (iv) provide opportunities for reciprocity; (v) can distract people from them problems; (vi) provide relaxation; (vii) facilitate customized care; (viii) facilitate relationships with other people; (ix) stimulate healthy behavior; (x) contribute to a welcoming environment; (xi) make it possible to experience basic elements of life; and (xii) provide opportunities for reflection and feedback. This shows the multi-facetted importance of interacting with animals on care farms. In this study the types of activities with animals and their value to different types of participants varied. Farm animals are an important element of the care farm environment that can address the care needs of different types of participants. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Long Term Physiologic and Behavioural Effects of Housing Density and Environmental Resource Provision for Adult Male and Female Sprague Dawley Rats
Animals 2017, 7(6), 44; doi:10.3390/ani7060044 -
Abstract
There is considerable interest in refining laboratory rodent environments to promote animal well-being, as well as research reproducibility. Few studies have evaluated the long term impact of enhancing rodent environments with resources and additional cagemates. To that end, male and female Sprague Dawley
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There is considerable interest in refining laboratory rodent environments to promote animal well-being, as well as research reproducibility. Few studies have evaluated the long term impact of enhancing rodent environments with resources and additional cagemates. To that end, male and female Sprague Dawley (SD) rats were housed singly (n = 8/sex), in pairs (n = 16/sex), or in groups of four (n = 16/sex) for five months. Single and paired rats were housed in standard cages with a nylon chew toy, while group-housed rats were kept in double-wide cages with two PVC shelters and a nylon chew toy and were provided with food enrichment three times weekly. Animal behaviour, tests of anxiety (open field, elevated plus maze, and thermal nociception), and aspects of animal physiology (fecal corticoid levels, body weight, weekly food consumption, organ weights, and cerebral stress signaling peptide and receptor mRNA levels) were measured. Significant differences were noted, primarily in behavioural data, with sustained positive social interactions and engagement with environmental resources noted throughout the study. These results suggest that modest enhancements in the environment of both male and female SD rats may be beneficial to their well-being, while introducing minimal variation in other aspects of behavioural or physiologic responses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Salmonid Jumping and Playing: Potential Cultural and Welfare Implications
Animals 2017, 7(6), 42; doi:10.3390/ani7060042 -
Abstract
Salmonids of several species and other fishes can jump into the air from the water. This behavior has been used in net pen culture applications to control parasitic sea lice. The reasons that salmonids jump remain a topic for speculation. Research on these
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Salmonids of several species and other fishes can jump into the air from the water. This behavior has been used in net pen culture applications to control parasitic sea lice. The reasons that salmonids jump remain a topic for speculation. Research on these behaviors has focused on Atlantic salmon in net pen culture in Northwest Europe. Jumping in salmonids is a heterogeneous behavioral category with diverse functional outcomes. Additional research is needed from broad perspectives spanning indigenous and institutional science, cultural wisdom, and ethological direct observation. In theory and in practice, it is interesting that some salmonid jumping behavior may be a form of play. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A National Census of Birth Weight in Purebred Dogs in Italy
Animals 2017, 7(6), 43; doi:10.3390/ani7060043 -
Abstract
Despite increasing professionalism in dog breeding, the physiological range of birth weight in this species remains unclear. Low birth weight can predispose to neonatal mortality and growth deficiencies in humans. To date, the influence of the morphotype on birth weight has never been
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Despite increasing professionalism in dog breeding, the physiological range of birth weight in this species remains unclear. Low birth weight can predispose to neonatal mortality and growth deficiencies in humans. To date, the influence of the morphotype on birth weight has never been studied in dogs. For this purpose, an Italian census of birth weight was collected from 3293 purebred pups based on maternal morphotype, size, body weight and breed, as well as on litter size and sex of pups. Multivariate analysis outcomes showed that birth weight (p < 0.001) and litter size (p < 0.05) increased with maternal size and body weight. Birth weight was also influenced by the maternal head and body shape, with brachycephalic and brachymorph dogs showing the heaviest and the lightest pups, respectively (p < 0.001). Birth weight decreased with litter size (p < 0.001), and male pups were heavier than females (p < 0.001). These results suggest that canine morphotype, not only maternal size and body weight, can affect birth weight and litter size with possible practical implications in neonatal assistance. Full article
Open AccessReview
Equine Welfare during Exercise: An Evaluation of Breathing, Breathlessness and Bridles
Animals 2017, 7(6), 41; doi:10.3390/ani7060041 -
Abstract
Horses engaged in strenuous exercise display physiological responses that approach the upper functional limits of key organ systems, in particular their cardiorespiratory systems. Maximum athletic performance is therefore vulnerable to factors that diminish these functional capacities, and such impairment might also lead to
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Horses engaged in strenuous exercise display physiological responses that approach the upper functional limits of key organ systems, in particular their cardiorespiratory systems. Maximum athletic performance is therefore vulnerable to factors that diminish these functional capacities, and such impairment might also lead to horses experiencing unpleasant respiratory sensations, i.e., breathlessness. The aim of this review is to use existing literature on equine cardiorespiratory physiology and athletic performance to evaluate the potential for various types of breathlessness to occur in exercising horses. In addition, we investigate the influence of management factors such as rein and bit use and of respiratory pathology on the likelihood and intensity of equine breathlessness occurring during exercise. In ridden horses, rein use that reduces the jowl angle, sometimes markedly, and conditions that partially obstruct the nasopharynx and/or larynx, impair airflow in the upper respiratory tract and lead to increased flow resistance. The associated upper airway pressure changes, transmitted to the lower airways, may have pathophysiological sequelae in the alveolae, which, in their turn, may increase airflow resistance in the lower airways and impede respiratory gas exchange. Other sequelae include decreases in respiratory minute volume and worsening of the hypoxaemia, hypercapnia and acidaemia commonly observed in healthy horses during strenuous exercise. These and other factors are implicated in the potential for ridden horses to experience three forms of breathlessness—”unpleasant respiratory effort”, “air hunger” and “chest tightness”—which arise when there is a mismatch between a heightened ventilatory drive and the adequacy of the respiratory response. It is not known to what extent, if at all, such mismatches would occur in strenuously exercising horses unhampered by low jowl angles or by pathophysiological changes at any level of the respiratory tract. However, different combinations of the three types of breathlessness seem much more likely to occur when pathophysiological conditions significantly reduce maximal athletic performance. Finally, most horses exhibit clear behavioural evidence of aversion to a bit in their mouths, varying from the bit being a mild irritant to very painful. This in itself is a significant animal welfare issue that should be addressed. A further major point is the potential for bits to disrupt the maintenance of negative pressure in the oropharynx, which apparently acts to prevent the soft palate from rising and obstructing the nasopharynx. The untoward respiratory outcomes and poor athletic performance due to this and other obstructions are well established, and suggest the potential for affected animals to experience significant intensities of breathlessness. Bitless bridle use may reduce or eliminate such effects. However, direct comparisons of the cardiorespiratory dynamics and the extent of any respiratory pathophysiology in horses wearing bitted and bitless bridles have not been conducted. Such studies would be helpful in confirming, or otherwise, the claimed potential benefits of bitless bridle use. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
A Decade of Progress toward Ending the Intensive Confinement of Farm Animals in the United States
Animals 2017, 7(5), 40; doi:10.3390/ani7050040 -
Abstract
In this paper, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) farm animal protection work over the preceding decade is described from the perspective of the organization. Prior to 2002, there were few legal protections for animals on the farm, and in 2005,
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In this paper, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) farm animal protection work over the preceding decade is described from the perspective of the organization. Prior to 2002, there were few legal protections for animals on the farm, and in 2005, a new campaign at the HSUS began to advance state ballot initiatives throughout the country, with a decisive advancement in California (Proposition 2) that paved the way for further progress. Combining legislative work with undercover farm and slaughterhouse investigations, litigation and corporate engagement, the HSUS and fellow animal protection organizations have made substantial progress in transitioning the veal, pork and egg industries away from intensive confinement systems that keep the animals in cages and crates. Investigations have become an important tool for demonstrating widespread inhumane practices, building public support and convincing the retail sector to publish meaningful animal welfare policies. While federal legislation protecting animals on the farm stalled, there has been steady state-by-state progress, and this is complemented by major brands such as McDonald’s and Walmart pledging to purchase only from suppliers using cage-free and crate-free animal housing systems. The evolution of societal expectations regarding animals has helped propel the recent wave of progress and may also be driven, in part, by the work of animal protection organizations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Behavioural Profiles of Brown and Sloth Bears in Captivity
Animals 2017, 7(5), 39; doi:10.3390/ani7050039 -
Abstract
Three brown bear (Ursusarctosarctos) individuals and two sloth bear (Melursusursinusinornatus) individuals were observed in captivity to produce behavioural profiles for each individual. Data collected through behavioural observations were used to produce activity budgets, and to
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Three brown bear (Ursusarctosarctos) individuals and two sloth bear (Melursusursinusinornatus) individuals were observed in captivity to produce behavioural profiles for each individual. Data collected through behavioural observations were used to produce activity budgets, and to identify space usage and certain aspects of social behavior. Behaviour monitoring allowed the researchers to evaluate the welfare of the animals by identifying the occurrence of stereotypic behaviours, which are sometimes associated with stress. Behavioural profiles were created using data obtained through behavioural observations (coding) and keeper questionnaires (rating). The behavioural observations indicated a number of stereotypic behaviours in sloth bears but not in brown bears. The uniformity of zone usage was calculated to investigate if the enclosure size and features were adequate for use, and a social aspect of otherwise solitary animals was also identified. The behavioural profiles generated through coding and rating were compared to determine the reliability between these two methods in Ursids. Profiles were not compared between individuals since this study is not a comparison between different personality types but rather an effort (one of the few ones existing in literature) to select a valid and reproducible methodology capable of assessing personality in bears. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Intake Procedures in Colorado Animal Shelters
Animals 2017, 7(5), 38; doi:10.3390/ani7050038 -
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to describe intake procedures in Colorado animal shelters, compare infectious disease screening protocols in shelters taking in animals from out-of-state to shelters only accepting animals from Colorado, and analyze perceived risk of diseases in Colorado by responding
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The purpose of this study was to describe intake procedures in Colorado animal shelters, compare infectious disease screening protocols in shelters taking in animals from out-of-state to shelters only accepting animals from Colorado, and analyze perceived risk of diseases in Colorado by responding shelter personnel. A questionnaire was designed and administered to shelter personnel across the state of Colorado via the survey tool SurveyMonkey© (http://www.surveymonkey.com) or a mailed hard copy. Information collected concerned general shelter characteristics and intake procedures performed in various circumstances as reported by responding shelter personnel. Only 12.5% (5/40) of respondents reported providing core vaccines to all animals upon intake at their shelter, with young age (65.0%; 26/40), pregnancy (55.0%; 22/40), and mild existing illness (40.0%; 16/40) being cited as the top reasons for not administering core vaccines. A significantly larger proportion of shelters taking animals in from around the U.S. screened for Dirofilaria immitis than shelters taking in animals only from within the state of Colorado (p = 0.001), though a majority of respondents considered cats and dogs to be at risk of heartworm and endoparasitic infection in the state of Colorado. Based on the results of this questionnaire, relatively few shelters test dogs and cats for infectious diseases and some of those utilize tests for diagnostic purposes rather than routine screening. Additionally, vaccination protocols in several shelters are not consistent with The Association of Shelter Veterinarians Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters. This study provides important information on intake procedures in Colorado animal shelters and highlights the importance of educating shelter staff on varying risk of infection based on the history and origin of the animal being taken in. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Practices for Alleviating Heat Stress of Dairy Cows in Humid Continental Climates: A Literature Review
Animals 2017, 7(5), 37; doi:10.3390/ani7050037 -
Abstract
Heat stress negatively affects the health and performance of dairy cows, resulting in considerable economic losses for the industry. In future years, climate change will exacerbate these losses by making the climate warmer. Physical modification of the environment is considered to be the
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Heat stress negatively affects the health and performance of dairy cows, resulting in considerable economic losses for the industry. In future years, climate change will exacerbate these losses by making the climate warmer. Physical modification of the environment is considered to be the primary means of reducing adverse effects of hot weather conditions. At present, to reduce stressful heat exposure and to cool cows, dairy farms rely on shade screens and various forms of forced convection and evaporative cooling that may include fans and misters, feed-line sprinklers, and tunnel- or cross-ventilated buildings. However, these systems have been mainly tested in subtropical areas and thus their efficiency in humid continental climates, such as in the province of Québec, Canada, is unclear. Therefore, this study reviewed the available cooling applications and assessed their potential for northern regions. Thermal stress indices such as the temperature-humidity index (THI) were used to evaluate the different cooling strategies. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Exploration Feeding and Higher Space Allocation Improve Welfare of Growing-Finishing Pigs
Animals 2017, 7(5), 36; doi:10.3390/ani7050036 -
Abstract
Lack of environmental enrichment and high stocking densities in growing-finishing pigs can lead to adverse social behaviors directed to pen mates, resulting in skin lesions, lameness, and tail biting. The objective of the study was to improve animal welfare and prevent biting behavior
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Lack of environmental enrichment and high stocking densities in growing-finishing pigs can lead to adverse social behaviors directed to pen mates, resulting in skin lesions, lameness, and tail biting. The objective of the study was to improve animal welfare and prevent biting behavior in an experiment with a 2 × 2 × 2 factorial design on exploration feeding, stocking density, and sex. We kept 550 pigs in 69 pens from 63 days to 171 days of life. Pigs were supplemented with or without exploration feeding, kept in groups of seven (1.0 m2/pig) or nine animals (0.8 m2/pig) and separated per sex. Exploration feeding provided small amounts of feed periodically on the solid floor. Skin lesion scores were significantly lower in pens with exploration feeding (p = 0.028, p < 0.001, p < 0.001 for front, middle, and hind body), in pens with high compared to low space allowance (p = 0.005, p = 0.006, p < 0.001 for front, middle and hind body), and in pens with females compared to males (p < 0.001, p = 0.005, p < 0.001 for front, middle and hind body). Males with exploration feeding had fewer front skin lesions than females with exploration feeding (p = 0.022). Pigs with 1.0 m2 compared to 0.8 m2 per pig had a higher daily gain of 27 g per pig per day (p = 0.04) and males compared to females had a higher daily gain of 39 g per pig per day (p = 0.01). These results indicate that exploration feeding might contribute to the development of a more welfare-friendly pig husbandry with intact tails in the near future. Full article
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