Animals2016, 6(2), 11; doi:10.3390/ani6020011 - published 3 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Long-distance dog transfer programs are a topic of burgeoning interest in the animal welfare community, but little research has focused on such programs. This exploratory study, which surveyed 193 individuals associated with animal shelter and rescue organizations in the United States, evaluated factors that impacted organizations’ decisions to transfer in dogs over long distances (>100 miles) and assessed what criteria were commonly valued by destination organizations. Specifically, we examined the following aspects of long-distance transfer programs: (1) logistics of long-distance dog transfers; (2) factors impacting dog selection; (3) medical requirements; (4) partnerships formed between source and destination organizations; and (5) perceptions of long-distance dog transfer programs by individuals affiliated with the destination organizations. This study revealed that many logistical considerations factor into transfer decisions and the formation of healthy partnerships between source and destination organizations. Participants indicated their organization’s willingness to receive dogs of various sizes, coat colors and ages, but organizations often had restrictions regarding the breeds they would accept. Study findings indicate some organizations have strict quarantine policies and pre-transfer medical requirements, while others have no such requirements.
Animals2016, 6(2), 10; doi:10.3390/ani6020010 - published 2 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Tracking individual animals within large groups is increasingly possible, offering an exciting opportunity to researchers. Whereas previously only relatively indistinguishable groups of individual animals could be observed and combined into pen level data, we can now focus on individual actors within these large groups and track their activities across time and space with minimal intervention and disturbance. The development is particularly relevant to the poultry industry as, due to a shift away from battery cages, flock sizes are increasingly becoming larger and environments more complex. Many efforts have been made to track individual bird behavior and activity in large groups using a variety of methodologies with variable success. Of the technologies in use, each has associated benefits and detriments, which can make the approach more or less suitable for certain environments and experiments. Within this article, we have divided several tracking systems that are currently available into two major categories (radio frequency identification and radio signal strength) and review the strengths and weaknesses of each, as well as environments or conditions for which they may be most suitable. We also describe related topics including types of analysis for the data and concerns with selecting focal birds.
Animals2016, 6(2), 9; doi:10.3390/ani6020009 - published 29 January 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The objective of this study was to compare physiological and thermographic responses to heat stress in three breeds of cattle. Fifteen animals of each of the Nelore, Pantaneiro and Curraleiro Pe-Duro breeds, of approximately two years of age, were evaluated. Heart and respiratory rates, rectal and surface temperature of animals as well as soil temperature were recorded at 8:30 and 15:30 on six days. Variance, correlation, principal factors and canonical analyses were carried out. There were significant differences in the rectal temperature, heart and respiratory rate between breeds (p < 0.001). Nelore and Pantaneiro breeds had the highest rectal temperatures and the lowest respiratory rate (p < 0.001). Breed was also significant for surface temperatures (p < 0.05) showing that this factor significantly affected the response of the animal to heat tolerance in different ways. The Curraleiro Pe-Duro breed had the lowest surface temperatures independent of the period evaluated, with fewer animals that suffered with the climatic conditions, so this may be considered the best adapted when heat challenged under the experimental conditions. Thermography data showed a good correlation with the physiological indexes, and body area, neck and rump were the main points.
Animals2016, 6(1), 7; doi:10.3390/ani6010007 - published 15 January 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Since primordial times, vultures have been competing with man for animal carcasses. One of these vultures, the once widespread bearded vulture ( Gypaetus barbatus ), has the habit of bathing its polluted feathers and skin in red iron oxide - ochre - tainted water puddles. Why? Primitive man may have tried to find out and may have discovered its advantages. Red ochre, which has accompanied human rituals and everyday life for more than 100,000 years, is not just a simple red paint for decoration or a symbol for blood. As modern experiments demonstrate, it is active in sunlight producing aggressive chemical species. They can kill viruses and bacteria and convert smelly organic substances into volatile neutral carbon dioxide gas. In this way, ochre can in sunlight sterilize and clean the skin to provide health and comfort and make it scentless, a definitive advantage for nomadic meat hunters. This research thus also demonstrates a sanitary reason for the vulture’s habit of bathing in red ochre mud. Prehistoric people have therefore included ochre use into their rituals, especially into those in relation to birth and death. Significant ritual impulses during evolution of man may thus have developed bio-mimetically, inspired from the habits of a vulture. It is discussed how this health strategy could be developed to a modern standard helping to fight antibiotics-resistant bacteria in hospitals.
Animals2016, 6(1), 6; doi:10.3390/ani6010006 - published 15 January 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Public perception of bats has historically been largely negative with bats often portrayed as carriers of disease. Bats are commonly associated with vampire lore and thus elicit largely fearful reactions despite the fact that they are a vital and valuable part of the ecosystem. Bats provide a variety of essential services from pest control to plant pollination. Despite the benefits of bats to the environment and the economy, bats are suffering at the hands of humans. They are victims of turbines, human encroachment, pesticides, and, most recently, white nose syndrome. Because of their critical importance to the environment, humans should do what they can to help protect bats. We propose that humans will be more likely to do so if their perceptions and attitudes toward bats can be significantly improved. In a preliminary study we found some support for the idea that people can be educated about bats through bat oriented events and exhibits, and that this greater knowledge can inspire humans to act to save bats.