Open AccessArticle
Tech-Savvy Beef Cattle? How Heifers Respond to Moving Virtual Fence Lines
Animals 2017, 7(9), 72; doi:10.3390/ani7090072 -
Abstract
Global Positioning System (GPS)-based virtual fences offer the potential to improve the management of grazing animals. Prototype collar devices utilising patented virtual fencing algorithms were placed on six Angus heifers in a 6.15 hectare paddock. After a “no fence” period, sequential, shifting virtual
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Global Positioning System (GPS)-based virtual fences offer the potential to improve the management of grazing animals. Prototype collar devices utilising patented virtual fencing algorithms were placed on six Angus heifers in a 6.15 hectare paddock. After a “no fence” period, sequential, shifting virtual fences restricted the animals to 40%, 60%, and 80% of the paddock area widthways and 50% lengthways across 22 days. Audio cues signaled the virtual boundary, and were paired with electrical stimuli if the animals continued forward into the boundary. Within approximately 48 h, the cattle learned the 40% fence and were henceforth restricted to the subsequent inclusion zones a minimum of 96.70% (±standard error 0.01%) of the time. Over time, the animals increasingly stayed within the inclusion zones using audio cues alone, and on average, approached the new fence within 4.25 h. The animals were thus attentive to the audio cue, not the fence location. The time spent standing and lying and the number of steps were similar between inclusion zones (all p ≥ 0.42). More lying bouts occurred at the 80% and lengthways inclusion zones relative to “no fence” (p = 0.04). Further research should test different cattle groups in variable paddock settings and measure physiological welfare responses to the virtual fencing stimuli. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Penile Injuries in Immunocastrated and Entire Male Pigs of One Fattening Farm
Animals 2017, 7(9), 71; doi:10.3390/ani7090071 -
Abstract
Penile injuries in boars have been discussed as a relevant welfare problem in pork production with entire males (EM). The incidence of penile injuries with immunocastrated boars has not been described so far. Thus, it was the aim of this study to systematically
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Penile injuries in boars have been discussed as a relevant welfare problem in pork production with entire males (EM). The incidence of penile injuries with immunocastrated boars has not been described so far. Thus, it was the aim of this study to systematically compare frequency and severity of penile injuries in EM and IC. Incidence and size of penile injuries (wounds, scars, hematomas) were evaluated in 192 IC and 215 EM from one farm after slaughter (120 kg live weight; four batches (BA) in at least weekly intervals over five weeks). 75.8% EM and 48.4% IC showed injuries at the pars libra of the penis. Scars were observed in 71.2% EM and 44.8% IC. Scars/animal were significantly influenced by treatment (IC vs. EM), B and treatment x B and increased with age in EM (BA1: 2.61 ± 3.05; BA4: 3.59 ± 3.47), but not in IC (BA1: 2.00 ± 3.02; BA4: 1.22 ± 1.91). Wounds were obvious in 17.2% EM and 8.3% IC. Wounds/animal were only influenced significantly by treatment and were lower in IC than in EM. Thus, it is concluded that immunocastration reduces the frequency and severity of penile injuries in IC when compared to EM of same age and weight. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperCommentary
The Road to Hell Is Paved with Good Intentions: Why Harm–Benefit Analysis and Its Emphasis on Practical Benefit Jeopardizes the Credibility of Research
Animals 2017, 7(9), 70; doi:10.3390/ani7090070 -
Abstract
It is our concern that European Union Directive 2010/63/EU with its current project evaluation of animal research in the form of a harm–benefit analysis may lead to an erosion of the credibility of research. The HBA assesses whether the inflicted harm on animals
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It is our concern that European Union Directive 2010/63/EU with its current project evaluation of animal research in the form of a harm–benefit analysis may lead to an erosion of the credibility of research. The HBA assesses whether the inflicted harm on animals is outweighed by potential prospective benefits. Recent literature on prospective benefit analysis prioritizes “societal benefits” that have a foreseeable, positive impact on humans, animals, or the environment over benefit in the form of knowledge. In this study, we will argue that whether practical benefits are realized is (a) impossible to predict and (b) exceeds the scope and responsibility of researchers. Furthermore, we believe that the emphasis on practical benefits has the drawback of driving researchers into speculation on the societal benefit of their research and, therefore, into promising too much, thereby leading to a loss of trust and credibility. Thus, the concepts of benefit and benefit assessment in the HBA require a re-evaluation in a spirit that embraces the value of knowledge in our society. The generation of scientific knowledge has been utilised to great benefit for humans, animals, and the environment. The HBA, as it currently stands, tends to turn this idea upside down and implies that research is of value only if the resulting findings bring about immediate societal benefit. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Survey of Veterinarians Using a Novel Physical Compression Squeeze Procedure in the Management of Neonatal Maladjustment Syndrome in Foals
Animals 2017, 7(9), 69; doi:10.3390/ani7090069 -
Abstract
Horses are a precocious species that must accomplish several milestones that are critical to survival in the immediate post-birth period for their survival. One essential milestone is the successful transition from the intrauterine unconsciousness to an extrauterine state of consciousness or awareness. This
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Horses are a precocious species that must accomplish several milestones that are critical to survival in the immediate post-birth period for their survival. One essential milestone is the successful transition from the intrauterine unconsciousness to an extrauterine state of consciousness or awareness. This transition involves a complex withdrawal of consciousness inhibitors and an increase in neuroactivating factors that support awareness. This process involves neuroactive hormones as well as inputs related to factors such as cold, visual, olfactory, and auditory stimuli. One factor not previously considered in this birth transition is a yet unreported direct neural reflex response to labor-induced physical compression of the fetus in the birth canal (squeezing). Neonatal maladjustment syndrome (NMS) is a disorder of the newborn foal characterized by altered behavior, low affinity for the mare, poor awareness of the environment, failure to bond to the mother, abnormal sucking, and other neurologically-based abnormalities. This syndrome has been associated with altered events during birth, and was believed to be caused exclusively by hypoxia and ischemia. However, recent findings revealed an association of the NMS syndrome with the persistence of high concentrations of in utero neuromodulating hormones (neurosteroids) in the postnatal period. Anecdotal evidence demonstrated that a novel physical compression (squeeze) method that applies 20 min of sustained pressure to the thorax of some neonatal foals with this syndrome might rapidly hasten recovery. This survey provides information about outcomes and time frames to recovery comparing neonatal foals that were given this squeeze treatment to foals treated with routine medical therapy alone. Results revealed that the squeeze procedure, when applied for 20 min, resulted in a faster full recovery of some foals diagnosed with NMS. The adjunctive use of a non-invasive squeeze method may improve animal welfare by hastening recovery and foal–mare interactions that minimize health problems. This would also avoid or reduce costs arising from hospitalization associated with veterinary and nursing care that sometimes leads owners to elect for euthanasia. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Use of a Virtual Online Debating Platform to Facilitate Student Discussion of Potentially Polarising Topics
Animals 2017, 7(9), 68; doi:10.3390/ani7090068 -
Abstract
The merits of students exchanging views through the so-called human continuum exercise (HCE) are well established. The current article describes the creation of the virtual human continuum (VHC), an online platform that facilitates the same teaching exercise. It also reports feedback on the
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The merits of students exchanging views through the so-called human continuum exercise (HCE) are well established. The current article describes the creation of the virtual human continuum (VHC), an online platform that facilitates the same teaching exercise. It also reports feedback on the VHC from veterinary science students (n = 38). First-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students at the University of Sydney, Australia, trialed the platform and provided feedback. Most students agreed or strongly agreed that the VHC offered: a non-threatening environment for discussing emotive and challenging issues; and an opportunity to see how other people form ideas. It also made them think about how to express their ideas and make arguments; and left them feeling more comfortable about expressing their views using it than they would discussing ideas face-to-face (98%, 84%, 79% and 76%, respectively). All respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the VHC encouraged them to consider other opinions. These data suggest that the transition of the HCE to an online platform facilitates dialogue on difficult ethical issues in a supportive environment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characteristics and Outcomes of Dogs Admitted into Queensland RSPCA Shelters
Animals 2017, 7(9), 67; doi:10.3390/ani7090067 -
Abstract
Over 200,000 stray and surrendered dogs are admitted to shelters and municipal facilities in Australia each year, and approximately 20% are euthanized. Contemporary, comprehensive data on the characteristics and outcomes of dogs entering shelters are required to reduce shelter admissions and euthanasia. However,
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Over 200,000 stray and surrendered dogs are admitted to shelters and municipal facilities in Australia each year, and approximately 20% are euthanized. Contemporary, comprehensive data on the characteristics and outcomes of dogs entering shelters are required to reduce shelter admissions and euthanasia. However, there are currently limited up-to-date data published on dog admission into shelters. A retrospective single cohort study was conducted to describe the characteristics and outcomes of the dog population entering Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Queensland (RSPCA-QLD) shelters in 2014 (n = 11,967). The majority of dog admissions were strays from the public (24%) or from municipal councils (34%). Just over a quarter of admissions were puppies, 18% of adults (>6 months) were desexed, and the majority of admissions were crossbred dogs (92%). The majority of owner surrenders (86%) were due to human-related reasons. Most dogs were reclaimed (32%) or adopted (43%) and aggression was the most common reason for euthanasia of adult dogs (45%). Low-cost or free desexing and identification programs targeted to areas and breeds contributing to high intake, and increased support services for owners at risk of surrendering their dog, should be trialed to determine their cost effectiveness in reducing shelter admissions and euthanasia. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Understanding Animal Detection of Precursor Earthquake Sounds
Animals 2017, 7(9), 66; doi:10.3390/ani7090066 -
Abstract
We use recent research to provide an explanation of how animals might detect earthquakes before they occur. While the intrinsic value of such warnings is immense, we show that the complexity of the process may result in inconsistent responses of animals to the
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We use recent research to provide an explanation of how animals might detect earthquakes before they occur. While the intrinsic value of such warnings is immense, we show that the complexity of the process may result in inconsistent responses of animals to the possible precursor signal. Using the results of our research, we describe a logical but complex sequence of geophysical events triggered by precursor earthquake crustal movements that ultimately result in a sound signal detectable by animals. The sound heard by animals occurs only when metal or other surfaces (glass) respond to vibrations produced by electric currents induced by distortions of the earth’s electric fields caused by the crustal movements. A combination of existing measurement systems combined with more careful monitoring of animal response could nevertheless be of value, particularly in remote locations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Understanding Adolescents’ Categorisation of Animal Species
Animals 2017, 7(9), 65; doi:10.3390/ani7090065 -
Abstract
Categorisations are a means of investigating cognitive maps. The present study, for the first time, investigates adolescents’ spontaneous categorisation of 34 animal species. Furthermore, explicit evaluations of 16 selected animals in terms of their perceived utility and likeability were analysed. 105 British adolescents,
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Categorisations are a means of investigating cognitive maps. The present study, for the first time, investigates adolescents’ spontaneous categorisation of 34 animal species. Furthermore, explicit evaluations of 16 selected animals in terms of their perceived utility and likeability were analysed. 105 British adolescents, 54% female, mean age 14.5 (SD = 1.6) participated in the study. Results of multidimensional scaling (MDS) techniques indicate 3-dimensional data representation regardless of gender or age. Property fittings show that affect and perceived utility of animals explain two of the MDS dimensions, and hence partly explain adolescents’ categorisation. Additionally, hierarchical cluster analyses show a differentiation between farm animals, birds, pet animals, and wild animals possibly explaining MDS dimension 3. The results suggest that utility perceptions predominantly underlie adolescents’ categorisations and become even more dominant in older adolescents, which potentially has an influence on attitudes to animals with implications for animal welfare, conservation, and education. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
American Citizens’ Views of an Ideal Pig Farm
Animals 2017, 7(8), 64; doi:10.3390/ani7080064 -
Abstract
Food animal production practices are often cited as having negative animal welfare consequences. The U.S. swine industry has not been exempt from such criticisms. Little is known, however, about how lay citizens who are not actively engaged in agricultural discussions, think about swine
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Food animal production practices are often cited as having negative animal welfare consequences. The U.S. swine industry has not been exempt from such criticisms. Little is known, however, about how lay citizens who are not actively engaged in agricultural discussions, think about swine production. Thus, the aim of this study was to explore the views of people not affiliated with the swine industry on what they perceived to be the ideal pig/pork farm, and their associated reasons. Through an online survey, participants were invited to respond to the following open-ended question: “What do you consider to be an ideal pig/pork farm and why are these characteristics important to you?”. Generally respondents considered animal welfare (e.g., space, freedom to move, and humane treatment), respondents considered the business operation role important for pork production (e.g., profitability, compliance with sanitary, environmental rules and regulations, and workers′ rights), and naturalness (e.g., natural feeding, behaviours and life) important for pork production. Concerns relating to pigs’ quality of life included space to move, feeding, contact with outdoors or nature, absence of pain, suffering and mistreatment. Perspectives were also raised regarding the ideal farm as a profitable business operation, clean, and with optimal sanitary conditions. Respondents also emphasized naturalness, frequently stating that pigs should have access to the outdoors, and rejected the use of hormones, antibiotics, and other chemicals for the purposes of increasing production. In summary, the findings of this study suggest that the U.S. swine industry should strive to adopt animal management practices that resonate with societal values, such as ensuring humane treatment, and the failure to do so could risk the sustainability of the swine industry. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Veterinary and Equine Science Students’ Interpretation of Horse Behaviour
Animals 2017, 7(8), 63; doi:10.3390/ani7080063 -
Abstract
Many veterinary and undergraduate equine science students have little previous horse handling experience and a poor understanding of horse behaviour; yet horses are one of the most unsafe animals with which veterinary students must work. It is essential for veterinary and equine students
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Many veterinary and undergraduate equine science students have little previous horse handling experience and a poor understanding of horse behaviour; yet horses are one of the most unsafe animals with which veterinary students must work. It is essential for veterinary and equine students to learn how to interpret horse behaviour in order to understand demeanour and levels of arousal, and to optimise their own safety and the horses’ welfare. The study utilised a qualitative research approach to investigate veterinary science and veterinary technology and undergraduate equine science students’ interpretation of expressive behaviours shown by horses. The students (N = 127) were shown six short video clips and asked to select the most applicable terms, from a pre-determined list, to describe the behavioural expression of each individual horse. A wide variation of terms were selected by students and in some situations of distress, or situations that may be dangerous or lead to compromised welfare, apparently contradictory terms were also selected (happy or playful) by students with less experience with horses. Future studies should consider the use of Qualitative Behavioural Analysis (QBA) and free-choice profiling to investigate the range of terms used by students to describe the expressive demeanour and arousal levels of horses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Epidemiology of Musculoskeletal Injury during Racing on New Zealand Racetracks 2005–2011
Animals 2017, 7(8), 62; doi:10.3390/ani7080062 -
Abstract
The objective of the study was to determine the incidence of veterinary events that resulted in a horse failing to finish a race and identify risk factors for musculoskeletal injury (MSI) during a race. Data were obtained on Thoroughbred flat race starts in
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The objective of the study was to determine the incidence of veterinary events that resulted in a horse failing to finish a race and identify risk factors for musculoskeletal injury (MSI) during a race. Data were obtained on Thoroughbred flat race starts in New Zealand between 1 August 2005 and 31 July 2011 (six racing seasons). Stipendiary Steward’s reports were key-word searched to identify veterinary events that prevented a horse from finishing a race. Race data were used calculate the incidence of veterinary events per 1000 horse starts and Poisson regression was used to investigate risk factors for MSI. There were 188,616 race starts and 177 reported veterinary events. The incidence of MSI on race day was 0.72 per 1000 starts, whilst the incidence of respiratory events was 0.21 per 1000 starts. The rate of MSI was significantly lower on ‘dead’ and ‘slow’ tracks compared with ‘good’ tracks and significantly greater in longer races (≥1671 m) compared with races of ≤1200 m. The rate of MSI during flat races in New Zealand appears lower than that reported worldwide, which may be due to the management and training of horses in New Zealand or differences in case definitions used in comparable studies. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Optimum Drug Combinations for the Sedation of Growing Boars Prior to Castration
Animals 2017, 7(8), 61; doi:10.3390/ani7080061 -
Abstract
Juvenile male pigs were sedated for castration. Eight five-month old boars were sedated twice (two weeks apart) with a combination of detomidine (0.1 mg/kg), midazolam (0.2 mg/kg) and either butorphanol (0.2 mg/kg) (Group MDB, n = 8) or morphine (0.2 mg/kg) (Group MDM,
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Juvenile male pigs were sedated for castration. Eight five-month old boars were sedated twice (two weeks apart) with a combination of detomidine (0.1 mg/kg), midazolam (0.2 mg/kg) and either butorphanol (0.2 mg/kg) (Group MDB, n = 8) or morphine (0.2 mg/kg) (Group MDM, n = 8) intramuscularly. The boars were positioned in lateral recumbency and lidocaine (200 mg total) was injected into the testicle and scrotal skin. Castration of a single testicle was performed on two occasions. Sedation and reaction (to positioning and surgery) scores, pulse rate, respiratory rate, haemoglobin oxygen saturation, body temperature, arterial blood gas parameters and the times to immobility and then recovery were recorded. Atipamezole was administered if spontaneous recovery was not evident within 60 min of sedative administration. Data were compared with either a paired-sample t-test or a Wilcoxon-Signed Rank Test. There was no difference in sedation score, body temperature, respiratory rate and haemoglobin oxygen saturation between MDB and MDM. Mild hypoxaemia was noted in both groups. There was less reaction to castration after MDB. The pulse rate was higher after MDM sedation. The times to immobility and then recovery were similar. The combination of MDB provided more reliable sedation than MDM. MDB may be useful for sedation for short procedures in pigs, though oxygen supplementation is recommended to avoid hypoxaemia. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Operational Details of the Five Domains Model and Its Key Applications to the Assessment and Management of Animal Welfare
Animals 2017, 7(8), 60; doi:10.3390/ani7080060 -
Abstract
In accord with contemporary animal welfare science understanding, the Five Domains Model has a significant focus on subjective experiences, known as affects, which collectively contribute to an animal’s overall welfare state. Operationally, the focus of the Model is on the presence or absence
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In accord with contemporary animal welfare science understanding, the Five Domains Model has a significant focus on subjective experiences, known as affects, which collectively contribute to an animal’s overall welfare state. Operationally, the focus of the Model is on the presence or absence of various internal physical/functional states and external circumstances that give rise to welfare-relevant negative and/or positive mental experiences, i.e., affects. The internal states and external circumstances of animals are evaluated systematically by referring to each of the first four domains of the Model, designated “Nutrition”, “Environment”, “Health” and “Behaviour”. Then affects, considered carefully and cautiously to be generated by factors in these domains, are accumulated into the fifth domain, designated “Mental State”. The scientific foundations of this operational procedure, published in detail elsewhere, are described briefly here, and then seven key ways the Model may be applied to the assessment and management of animal welfare are considered. These applications have the following beneficial objectives—they (1) specify key general foci for animal welfare management; (2) highlight the foundations of specific welfare management objectives; (3) identify previously unrecognised features of poor and good welfare; (4) enable monitoring of responses to specific welfare-focused remedial interventions and/or maintenance activities; (5) facilitate qualitative grading of particular features of welfare compromise and/or enhancement; (6) enable both prospective and retrospective animal welfare assessments to be conducted; and, (7) provide adjunct information to support consideration of quality of life evaluations in the context of end-of-life decisions. However, also noted is the importance of not overstating what utilisation of the Model can achieve. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Stated Preferences for Dog Characteristics and Sources of Acquisition
Animals 2017, 7(8), 59; doi:10.3390/ani7080059 -
Abstract
People’s preferences for where they acquire dogs and the characteristics they focus on may provide insight into their perceptions of socially responsible pet ownership, as acquiring a dog is the first step in dog ownership. An online survey of 1523 U.S. residents was
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People’s preferences for where they acquire dogs and the characteristics they focus on may provide insight into their perceptions of socially responsible pet ownership, as acquiring a dog is the first step in dog ownership. An online survey of 1523 U.S. residents was used to aid understanding of public perceptions of dog acquisition. Likert-scale questions allowed respondents to assign a level of agreement, within the given scale, to ten statements related to dog acquisition. A significantly higher percentage of women (39.6%) than men (31.7%) agreed that the only responsible way to acquire a dog is through a shelter/rescue. More women (71.3%) than men (66.4%), as well as those with a higher household income (71%), identified source as important. Best-worst methodology was used to elicit perceptions regarding the most/least ethical ways to acquire a dog. Three subgroups were identified, one of which had an overwhelmingly large preference share (96%) for adoption. The second group had more evenly distributed preference shares amongst the various dog acquisition methods, while the third indicated a preference for “homeless” pets. Additional investigation of the values/beliefs underlying the preferences of these groups is necessary to design appropriately tailored companion animal-focused communication strategies for these different groups. Full article
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Open AccessErratum
Erratum: Caroline Good; et al.; A Cultural Conscience for Conservation. Animals 2017, 7, 52
Animals 2017, 7(8), 58; doi:10.3390/ani7080058 -
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Open AccessArticle
Direct Observation of Dog Density and Composition during Street Counts as a Resource Efficient Method of Measuring Variation in Roaming Dog Populations over Time and between Locations
Animals 2017, 7(8), 57; doi:10.3390/ani7080057 -
Abstract
Dog population management is conducted in many countries to address the public health risks from roaming dogs and threats to their welfare. To assess its effectiveness, we need to monitor indicators from both the human and dog populations that are quick and easy
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Dog population management is conducted in many countries to address the public health risks from roaming dogs and threats to their welfare. To assess its effectiveness, we need to monitor indicators from both the human and dog populations that are quick and easy to collect, precise and meaningful to intervention managers, donors and local citizens. We propose that the most appropriate indicators from the roaming dog population are population density and composition, based on counting dogs along standard routes using a standard survey protocol. Smart phone apps are used to navigate and record dogs along standard routes. Density expressed as dogs seen per km predicts the number of dogs residents will encounter as they commute to work or school and is therefore more meaningful than total population size. Composition in terms of gender, age and reproductive activity is measured alongside welfare, in terms of body and skin condition. The implementation of this method in seven locations reveals significant difference in roaming dog density between locations and reduction in density within one location subject to intervention. This method provides a resource efficient and reliable measure of roaming dog density, composition and welfare for the assessment of intervention impact. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Welfare Status of Working Horses and Owners′ Perceptions of Their Animals
Animals 2017, 7(8), 56; doi:10.3390/ani7080056 -
Abstract
Appropriate interventions to improve working equine welfare should be proposed according to scientific evidence that arises from different geo-cultural contexts. This study aims to assess and compare the welfare status of working horses in two administrative regions of Chile and to determine how
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Appropriate interventions to improve working equine welfare should be proposed according to scientific evidence that arises from different geo-cultural contexts. This study aims to assess and compare the welfare status of working horses in two administrative regions of Chile and to determine how owners perceive their horses. Horses’ welfare status was assessed through direct indicators (direct observation and clinical examination) and indirect indicators (an interview with the owner). Owners′ perceptions of their horses were determined through a discourse analysis of their statements. In total, 100 horses and 100 owners were assessed. Results showed a low prevalence of health problems and negative behavior responses among horses in the two regions evaluated. Significant associations were found between inadequate body condition and the absence of deworming, and between hoof abnormalities and a low frequency of shoeing. Between regions, significant differences were found in the presence of lesions and the person responsible for horseshoeing. In regards to the owners′ appreciations, two differing perceptions of working horses were found: a predominantly affective perception and a perception of the animal as a working instrument. Although the instrumental perception was more frequent in the Araucania region, the affective perception was widely shared by both owner populations. The results reveal a good welfare status in working horses and suggest that both affective and instrumental perceptions of these animals can coexist. Full article
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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