Open AccessReview
Moving beyond the “Five Freedoms” by Updating the “Five Provisions” and Introducing Aligned “Animal Welfare Aims”
Animals 2016, 6(10), 59; doi:10.3390/ani6100059 -
Abstract
Although the Five Freedoms paradigm has been very influential in shaping animal welfare thinking for the last two decades, it has two key disadvantages. First, the focus on “freedom” from a range of negative experiences and states has been misunderstood in a [...] Read more.
Although the Five Freedoms paradigm has been very influential in shaping animal welfare thinking for the last two decades, it has two key disadvantages. First, the focus on “freedom” from a range of negative experiences and states has been misunderstood in a number of quarters to mean that complete freedom from these experiences and states is possible, when in fact the best that can be achieved is for them to be minimised. Second, the major focus of the Freedoms on negative experiences and states is now seen to be a disadvantage in view of current understanding that animal welfare management should also include the promotion of positive experiences and states. The challenge therefore was to formulate a paradigm that overcame these two main problems and yet was straightforward enough to be accessible to non-specialists, including members of the lay public who are interested in animal welfare. This was achieved by highlighting the Five Provisions, originally aligned with the Five Freedoms, but now updated to direct welfare management towards activities that both minimise negative experiences or states and promote positive experiences or states as specified by particular Animal Welfare Aims assigned to each Provision. Aspects of the four welfare principles from the European Welfare Quality assessment system (WQ ® ) and elements of all domains of the Five Domains Model for animal welfare assessment have been incorporated into the new Five Provisions/Welfare Aims paradigm. Thus, the paradigm is easily understood and provides clear guidance on beneficial objectives for animal welfare management. It is anticipated that the paradigm will have application to many species found in a wide range of circumstances. Full article
Open AccessReview
Vegetarian versus Meat-Based Diets for Companion Animals
Animals 2016, 6(9), 57; doi:10.3390/ani6090057 -
Abstract
Companion animal owners are increasingly concerned about the links between degenerative health conditions, farm animal welfare problems, environmental degradation, fertilizers and herbicides, climate change, and causative factors; such as animal farming and the consumption of animal products. Accordingly, many owners are increasingly [...] Read more.
Companion animal owners are increasingly concerned about the links between degenerative health conditions, farm animal welfare problems, environmental degradation, fertilizers and herbicides, climate change, and causative factors; such as animal farming and the consumption of animal products. Accordingly, many owners are increasingly interested in vegetarian diets for themselves and their companion animals. However, are vegetarian canine and feline diets nutritious and safe? Four studies assessing the nutritional soundness of these diets were reviewed, and manufacturer responses to the most recent studies are provided. Additional reviewed studies examined the nutritional soundness of commercial meat-based diets and the health status of cats and dogs maintained on vegetarian and meat-based diets. Problems with all of these dietary choices have been documented, including nutritional inadequacies and health problems. However, a significant and growing body of population studies and case reports have indicated that cats and dogs maintained on vegetarian diets may be healthy—including those exercising at the highest levels—and, indeed, may experience a range of health benefits. Such diets must be nutritionally complete and reasonably balanced, however, and owners should regularly monitor urinary acidity and should correct urinary alkalinisation through appropriate dietary additives, if necessary. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Changes in the Welfare of an Injured Working Farm Dog Assessed Using the Five Domains Model
Animals 2016, 6(9), 58; doi:10.3390/ani6090058 -
Abstract
The present structured, systematic and comprehensive welfare evaluation of an injured working farm dog using the Five Domains Model is of interest in its own right. It is also an example for others wanting to apply the Model to welfare evaluations in [...] Read more.
The present structured, systematic and comprehensive welfare evaluation of an injured working farm dog using the Five Domains Model is of interest in its own right. It is also an example for others wanting to apply the Model to welfare evaluations in different species and contexts. Six stages of a fictitious scenario involving the dog are considered: (1) its on-farm circumstances before one hind leg is injured; (2) its entanglement in barbed wire, cutting it free and transporting it to a veterinary clinic; (3) the initial veterinary examination and overnight stay; (4) amputation of the limb and immediate post-operative recovery; (5) its first four weeks after rehoming to a lifestyle block; and (6) its subsequent life as an amputee and pet. Not all features of the scenario represent average-to-good practice; indeed, some have been selected to indicate poor practice. It is shown how the Model can draw attention to areas of animal welfare concern and, importantly, to how welfare enhancement may be impeded or facilitated. Also illustrated is how the welfare implications of a sequence of events can be traced and evaluated, and, in relation to specific situations, how the degrees of welfare compromise and enhancement may be graded. In addition, the choice of a companion animal, contrasting its welfare status as a working dog and pet, and considering its treatment in a veterinary clinical setting, help to highlight various welfare impacts of some practices. By focussing attention on welfare problems, the Model can guide the implementation of remedies, including ways of promoting positive welfare states. Finally, wider applications of the Five Domains Model are noted: by enabling both negative and positive welfare-relevant experiences to be graded, the Model can be applied to quality of life assessments and end-of-life decisions and, with particular regard to negative experiences, the Model can also help to strengthen expert witness testimony during prosecutions for serious ill treatment of animals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Rescue and Rehabilitation of Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) in Southeast Queensland
Animals 2016, 6(9), 56; doi:10.3390/ani6090056 -
Abstract
Koala populations in southeast Queensland are under threat from many factors, particularly habitat loss, dog attack, vehicle trauma and disease. Animals not killed from these impacts are often rescued and taken into care for rehabilitation, and eventual release back to the wild [...] Read more.
Koala populations in southeast Queensland are under threat from many factors, particularly habitat loss, dog attack, vehicle trauma and disease. Animals not killed from these impacts are often rescued and taken into care for rehabilitation, and eventual release back to the wild if deemed to be healthy. This study investigated current rescue, rehabilitation and release data for koalas admitted to the four major wildlife hospitals in southeast Queensland (Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital (AZWH), Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Hospital (CWH), Moggill Koala Hospital (MKH) and the Royal Society for the Prevention Against Cruelty to Animals Wildlife Hospital at Wacol (RSPCA)), and suggests aspects of the practice that may be changed to improve its contribution to the preservation of the species. It concluded that: (a) the main threats to koalas across southeast Queensland were related to urbanization (vehicle collisions, domestic animal attacks and the disease chlamydiosis); (b) case outcomes varied amongst hospitals, including time spent in care, euthanasia and release rates; and (c) the majority (66.5%) of rescued koalas were either euthanized or died in care with only 27% released back to the wild. The results from this study have important implications for further research into koala rescue and rehabilitation to gain a better understanding of its effectiveness as a conservation strategy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Monty Roberts’ Public Demonstrations: Preliminary Report on the Heart Rate and Heart Rate Variability of Horses Undergoing Training during Live Audience Events
Animals 2016, 6(9), 55; doi:10.3390/ani6090055 -
Abstract
Effective training of horses relies on the trainer’s awareness of learning theory and equine ethology, and should be undertaken with skill and time. Some trainers, such as Monty Roberts, share their methods through the medium of public demonstrations. This paper describes the [...] Read more.
Effective training of horses relies on the trainer’s awareness of learning theory and equine ethology, and should be undertaken with skill and time. Some trainers, such as Monty Roberts, share their methods through the medium of public demonstrations. This paper describes the opportunistic analysis of beat-to-beat (RR) intervals and heart rate variability (HRV) of ten horses being used in Monty Roberts’ public demonstrations within the United Kingdom. RR and HRV was measured in the stable before training and during training. The HRV variables standard deviation of the RR interval (SDRR), root mean square of successive RR differences (RMSSD), geometric means standard deviation 1 (SD1) and 2 (SD2), along with the low and high frequency ratio (LF/HF ratio) were calculated. The minimum, average and maximum RR intervals were significantly lower in training (indicative of an increase in heart rate as measured in beats-per-minute) than in the stable ( p = 0.0006; p = 0.01; p = 0.03). SDRR, RMSSD, SD1, SD2 and the LF/HF ratio were all significantly lower in training than in the stable ( p = 0.001; p = 0.049; p = 0.049; p = 0.001; p = 0.01). When comparing the HR and HRV of horses during Join-up ® to overall training, there were no significant differences in any variable with the exception of maximum RR which was significantly lower ( p = 0.007) during Join-up ® , indicative of short increases in physical exertion (canter) associated with this training exercise. In conclusion, training of horses during public demonstrations is a low-moderate physiological, rather than psychological stressor for horses. The physiological stress responses observed within this study were comparable or less to those previously reported in the literature for horses being trained outside of public audience events. Furthermore, there is no evidence that the use of Join-up ® alters HR and HRV in a way to suggest that this training method negatively affects the psychological welfare of horses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Modelling the Effect of Diet Composition on Enteric Methane Emissions across Sheep, Beef Cattle and Dairy Cows
Animals 2016, 6(9), 54; doi:10.3390/ani6090054 -
Abstract
Enteric methane (CH 4 ) is a by-product from fermentation of feed consumed by ruminants, which represents a nutritional loss and is also considered a contributor to climate change. The aim of this research was to use individual animal data from 17 [...] Read more.
Enteric methane (CH 4 ) is a by-product from fermentation of feed consumed by ruminants, which represents a nutritional loss and is also considered a contributor to climate change. The aim of this research was to use individual animal data from 17 published experiments that included sheep ( n = 288), beef cattle ( n = 71) and dairy cows ( n = 284) to develop an empirical model to describe enteric CH 4 emissions from both cattle and sheep, and then evaluate the model alongside equations from the literature. Data were obtained from studies in the United Kingdom (UK) and Australia, which measured enteric CH 4 emissions from individual animals in calorimeters. Animals were either fed solely forage or a mixed ration of forage with a compound feed. The feed intake of sheep was restricted to a maintenance amount of 875 g of DM per day (maintenance level), whereas beef cattle and dairy cows were fed to meet their metabolizable energy (ME) requirement (i.e., production level). A linear mixed model approach was used to develop a multiple linear regression model to predict an individual animal’s CH 4 yield (g CH 4 /kg dry matter intake) from the composition of its diet. The diet components that had significant effects on CH 4 yield were digestible organic matter (DOMD), ether extract (EE) (both g/kg DM) and feeding level above maintenance intake: CH 4 (g/kg DM intake) = 0.046 (±0.001) × DOMD − 0.113 (±0.023) × EE − 2.47 (±0.29) × (feeding level − 1), with concordance correlation coefficient ( CCC ) = 0.655 and RMSPE = 14.0%. The predictive ability of the model developed was as reliable as other models assessed from the literature. These components can be used to predict effects of diet composition on enteric CH 4 yield from sheep, beef and dairy cattle from feed analysis information. Full article
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Open AccessBook Review
Anicare Book Reviews: The Assessment and Treatment of Children Who Abuse Animals. By Kenneth Shapiro, Mary Lou Randour, Susan Krinsk and Joann L. Wolf. Springer: Cham, Switzerland, 2014; 124 pp; $49.99; ISBN 978-3-319-01088-5; The Identification, Assessment, and Treatment of Adults who Abuse Animals. By Kenneth Shapiro and Antonia J.Z. Henderson. Springer: Cham, Switzerland, 2016; 115 pp; $79.99; ISBN: 978-3-319-27362-4
Animals 2016, 6(9), 53; doi:10.3390/ani6090053 -
Abstract The connection between abuse of animals and human interpersonal violence has attracted increasing interest from researchers, professionals and the community in recent decades.[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Intramuscular or Subcutaneous Injections vs. Castration in Pigs—Impacts on Behavior and Welfare
Animals 2016, 6(9), 52; doi:10.3390/ani6090052 -
Abstract
Physical castration (PC) is painful and stressful for nursing piglets. One alternative to PC is immunological castration (IC), but the pain and stress of handling associated with injections have not been assessed. The objectives of this study were to measure the pain [...] Read more.
Physical castration (PC) is painful and stressful for nursing piglets. One alternative to PC is immunological castration (IC), but the pain and stress of handling associated with injections have not been assessed. The objectives of this study were to measure the pain and distress of subcutaneous (SQ) and intramuscular (IM) injections compared to PC in piglets, and to compare SQ or IM injections in finishing pigs. After farrowing, 3 to 5 d old male piglets were randomly assigned to (control) no handling treatment (NO), sham-handling (SHAM), IM, SQ, or PC. Finishing pigs were assigned to NO, SHAM, IM, or SQ. Behavior was monitored for 1 h prior and 1 h post treatment in each age group. Social, feeding behaviors, and signs of pain were recorded. Finishing pigs treated with SQ injections had higher feeding behaviors pre-treatment than they did post-treatment. Overall, physical castrations caused measurable pain-like behaviors and general behavioral dysregulation at a much higher level than the other treatment groups. SQ and IM injections did not cause either significant behavioral or physiological alterations in piglets. SQ injections caused a decrease in finishing pig feed behaviors post treatment ( p = 0.02) and SHAM treated finishing pigs spent significantly more time lying than the other treatment groups. In general IM and SQ injections did not cause any other significant changes in behavior or physiology. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Dietary Betaine Impacts the Physiological Responses to Moderate Heat Conditions in a Dose Dependent Manner in Sheep
Animals 2016, 6(9), 51; doi:10.3390/ani6090051 -
Abstract
Heat exposure (HE) results in decreased production in ruminant species and betaine is proposed as a dietary mitigation method. Merino ewes ( n = 36, 40 kg, n = 6 per group) were maintained at thermoneutral (TN, n = 18, 21 °C) [...] Read more.
Heat exposure (HE) results in decreased production in ruminant species and betaine is proposed as a dietary mitigation method. Merino ewes ( n = 36, 40 kg, n = 6 per group) were maintained at thermoneutral (TN, n = 18, 21 °C) or cyclical HE ( n = 18, 18–43 °C) conditions for 21 days, and supplemented with either 0 (control), 2 or 4 g betaine/day. Sheep had ad libitum access to water and were pair fed such that intake of sheep on the TN treatment matched that of HE animals. Heart rate (HR), respiration rate (RR), rectal (T R ) and skin temperatures (T S ) were measured 3 times daily (0900 h, 1300 h, 1700 h). Plasma samples were obtained on 8 days for glucose and NEFA analysis. The HE treatment increased T R by 0.7 °C (40.1 vs. 39.4 °C for HE and TN respectively p < 0.001), T S by +1.8 °C (39.3 vs. 37.5 °C, p < 0.001) and RR by +46 breaths/min (133 vs. 87 breaths/min, p < 0.001) compared to TN. The 2 g betaine/day treatment decreased T R (39.8, 39.6 and 39.8 °C, p < 0.001), T S (38.7, 38.0 and 38.5 °C, p < 0.001) and RR (114, 102 and 116 breaths/min for control, 2 and 4 g betaine/day, p < 0.001) compared to control. Betaine supplementation decreased plasma NEFA concentrations by ~25 μM (80, 55 and 54 μmol/L for 0, 2 and 4 g/day respectively, p = 0.05). These data indicate that dietary betaine supplementation at 2 g betaine/day provides improvements in physiological responses typical of ewes exposed to heat stress and may be a beneficial supplement for the management of sheep during summer. Full article
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Open AccessConference Report
A Good Death? Report of the Second Newcastle Meeting on Laboratory Animal Euthanasia
Animals 2016, 6(9), 50; doi:10.3390/ani6090050 -
Abstract
Millions of laboratory animals are killed each year worldwide. There is an ethical, and in many countries also a legal, imperative to ensure those deaths cause minimal suffering. However, there is a lack of consensus regarding what methods of killing are humane [...] Read more.
Millions of laboratory animals are killed each year worldwide. There is an ethical, and in many countries also a legal, imperative to ensure those deaths cause minimal suffering. However, there is a lack of consensus regarding what methods of killing are humane for many species and stages of development. In 2013, an international group of researchers and stakeholders met at Newcastle University, United Kingdom to discuss the latest research and which methods could currently be considered most humane for the most commonly used laboratory species (mice, rats and zebrafish). They also discussed factors to consider when making decisions about appropriate techniques for particular species and projects, and priorities for further research. This report summarises the research findings and discussions, with recommendations to help inform good practice for humane killing. Full article
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Open AccessOpinion
Orca Behavior and Subsequent Aggression Associated with Oceanarium Confinement
Animals 2016, 6(8), 49; doi:10.3390/ani6080049 -
Abstract
Based on neuroanatomical indices such as brain size and encephalization quotient, orcas are among the most intelligent animals on Earth. They display a range of complex behaviors indicative of social intelligence, but these are difficult to study in the open ocean where [...] Read more.
Based on neuroanatomical indices such as brain size and encephalization quotient, orcas are among the most intelligent animals on Earth. They display a range of complex behaviors indicative of social intelligence, but these are difficult to study in the open ocean where protective laws may apply, or in captivity, where access is constrained for commercial and safety reasons. From 1979 to 1980, however, we were able to interact with juvenile orcas in an unstructured way at San Diego’s SeaWorld facility. We observed in the animals what appeared to be pranks, tests of trust, limited use of tactical deception, emotional self-control, and empathetic behaviors. Our observations were consistent with those of a former Seaworld trainer, and provide important insights into orca cognition, communication, and social intelligence. However, after being trained as performers within Seaworld’s commercial entertainment program, a number of orcas began to exhibit aggressive behaviors. The orcas who previously established apparent friendships with humans were most affected, although significant aggression also occurred in some of their descendants, and among the orcas they lived with. Such oceanaria confinement and commercial use can no longer be considered ethically defensible, given the current understanding of orcas’ advanced cognitive, social, and communicative capacities, and of their behavioral needs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Dingoes at the Doorstep: Home Range Sizes and Activity Patterns of Dingoes and Other Wild Dogs around Urban Areas of North-Eastern Australia
Animals 2016, 6(8), 48; doi:10.3390/ani6080048 -
Abstract
Top-predators around the world are becoming increasingly intertwined with humans, sometimes causing conflict and increasing safety risks in urban areas. In Australia, dingoes and dingo×domesticdoghybridsarecommoninmanyurbanareas,andposeavarietyofhumanhealth and safety risks. However, data on urban dingo ecology is scant. We GPS-collared 37 dingoes in north-easternAustraliaandcontinuouslymonitoredthemeach30minfor11–394days. [...] Read more.
Top-predators around the world are becoming increasingly intertwined with humans, sometimes causing conflict and increasing safety risks in urban areas. In Australia, dingoes and dingo×domesticdoghybridsarecommoninmanyurbanareas,andposeavarietyofhumanhealth and safety risks. However, data on urban dingo ecology is scant. We GPS-collared 37 dingoes in north-easternAustraliaandcontinuouslymonitoredthemeach30minfor11–394days. Mostdingoes were nocturnal, with an overall mean home range size of 17.47 km2. Overall mean daily distance travelled was 6.86 km/day. At all times dingoes were within 1000 m of houses and buildings. Home ranges appeared to be constrained to patches of suitable vegetation fragments within and around human habitation. These data can be used to reallocate dingo management effort towards mitigating actual conflicts between humans and dingoes in urban areas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Quantity Discrimination in Domestic Rats, Rattus norvegicus
Animals 2016, 6(8), 46; doi:10.3390/ani6080046 -
Abstract
Quantity discrimination is a basic form of numerical competence where an animal distinguishes which of two amounts is greater in size. Whilst quantity discrimination in rats has been investigated via training paradigms, rats’ natural quantity discrimination abilities without explicit training for a [...] Read more.
Quantity discrimination is a basic form of numerical competence where an animal distinguishes which of two amounts is greater in size. Whilst quantity discrimination in rats has been investigated via training paradigms, rats’ natural quantity discrimination abilities without explicit training for a desired response have not been explored. This study investigated domestic rats’ ability to perform quantity discrimination. Domestic rats ( n = 12) were examined for their ability to distinguish the larger amount under nine quantity comparisons. One-sample t -tests identified a significant preference for the larger quantity in comparisons of 1 vs. 2, 2 vs. 3, 3 vs. 5, 3 vs. 8, 4 vs. 6, and 4 vs. 8. No preference between quantities was found for comparisons of 3 vs. 4, 4 vs. 5 and 5 vs. 6. Overall, this study drew two key conclusions. Firstly, that domestic rats are capable of performing quantity discrimination without extensive training. Secondly, as subjects adhered to Weber’s law, it was concluded that the approximate number system underpins domestic rats’ ability to perform spontaneous quantity discrimination. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Using the Horse Grimace Scale (HGS) to Assess Pain Associated with Acute Laminitis in Horses (Equus caballus)
Animals 2016, 6(8), 47; doi:10.3390/ani6080047 -
Abstract
Acute laminitis is a common equine disease characterized by intense foot pain, both acutely and chronically. The Obel grading system is the most widely accepted method for describing the severity of laminitis by equine practitioners, however this method requires movement (walk and [...] Read more.
Acute laminitis is a common equine disease characterized by intense foot pain, both acutely and chronically. The Obel grading system is the most widely accepted method for describing the severity of laminitis by equine practitioners, however this method requires movement (walk and trot) of the horse, causing further intense pain. The recently developed Horse Grimace Scale (HGS), a facial-expression-based pain coding system, may offer a more effective means of assessing the pain associated with acute laminitis. The aims of this study were: to investigate whether HGS can be usefully applied to assess pain associated with acute laminitis in horses at rest, and to examine if scoring HGS using videos produced similar results as those obtained from still images. Ten horses, referred as acute laminitis cases with no prior treatment, were included in the study. Each horse was assessed using the Obel and HGS (from images and videos) scales: at the admission (before any treatment) and at seven days after the initial evaluation and treatment. The results of this study suggest that HGS is a potentially effective method to assess pain associated with acute laminitis in horses at rest, as horses showing high HGS scores also exhibited higher Obel scores and veterinarians classified them in a more severe painful state. Furthermore, the inter-observer reliability of the HGS total score was good for both still images and video evaluation. There was no significant difference in HGS total scores between the still images and videos, suggesting that there is a possibility of applying the HGS in clinical practice, by observing the horse for a short time. However, further validation studies are needed prior to applying the HGS in a clinical setting. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Low versus High Volume per Minute Displacement CO2 Methods of Euthanasia in the Induction and Duration of Panic-Associated Behavior and Physiology
Animals 2016, 6(8), 45; doi:10.3390/ani6080045 -
Abstract
Current recommendations for the use of CO 2 as a euthanasia agent for rats require the use of gradual fill protocols (such as 10% to 30% volume displacement per minute) in order to render the animal insensible prior to exposure to levels [...] Read more.
Current recommendations for the use of CO 2 as a euthanasia agent for rats require the use of gradual fill protocols (such as 10% to 30% volume displacement per minute) in order to render the animal insensible prior to exposure to levels of CO 2 that are associated with pain. However, exposing rats to CO 2 , concentrations as low as 7% CO 2 are reported to cause distress and 10%–20% CO 2 induces panic-associated behavior and physiology, but loss of consciousness does not occur until CO 2 concentrations are at least 40%. This suggests that the use of the currently recommended low flow volume per minute displacement rates create a situation where rats are exposed to concentrations of CO 2 that induce anxiety, panic, and distress for prolonged periods of time. This study first characterized the response of male rats exposed to normoxic 20% CO 2 for a prolonged period of time as compared to room air controls. It demonstrated that rats exposed to this experimental condition displayed clinical signs consistent with significantly increased panic-associated behavior and physiology during CO 2 exposure. When atmospheric air was then again delivered, there was a robust increase in respiration rate that coincided with rats moving to the air intake. The rats exposed to CO 2 also displayed behaviors consistent with increased anxiety in the behavioral testing that followed the exposure. Next, this study assessed the behavioral and physiologic responses of rats that were euthanized with 100% CO 2 infused at 10%, 30%, or 100% volume per minute displacement rates. Analysis of the concentrations of CO 2 and oxygen in the euthanasia chamber and the behavioral responses of the rats suggest that the use of the very low flow volume per minute displacement rate (10%) may prolong the duration of panicogenic ranges of ambient CO 2 , while the use of the higher flow volume per minute displacement rate (100%) increases agitation. Therefore, of the volume displacement per minute rates evaluated, this study suggests that 30% minimizes the potential pain and distress experienced by the animal. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Rendered Protein Meal Oxidation Level on Shelf-Life, Sensory Characteristics, and Acceptability in Extruded Pet Food
Animals 2016, 6(8), 44; doi:10.3390/ani6080044 -
Abstract
Pet foods are expected to have a shelf-life for 12 months or more. Sensory analysis can be used to determine changes in products and to estimate products’ shelf-life. The objectives of this study were to (1) investigate how increasing levels of oxidation [...] Read more.
Pet foods are expected to have a shelf-life for 12 months or more. Sensory analysis can be used to determine changes in products and to estimate products’ shelf-life. The objectives of this study were to (1) investigate how increasing levels of oxidation in rendered protein meals used to produce extruded pet food affected the sensory properties and (2) determine the effect of shelf-life on pet owners’ acceptability of extruded pet food diet formulated without the use of preservative. Pet food diets contained beef meat bone meal (BMBM) and chicken byproduct meal (CBPM) in which the oxidation was retarded with ethoxyquin, mixed tocopherols, or none at all, and then extruded into dry pet foods. These samples represented low, medium, and high oxidation levels, respectively. Samples were stored for 0, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months at ambient temperature. Each time point, samples were evaluated by six highly trained descriptive panelists for sensory attributes related to oxidation. Samples without preservatives were chosen for the acceptability test, since the differences in sensory characteristics over storage time were more distinguishable in those samples. Pet owners evaluated samples for aroma, appearance and overall liking. Descriptive sensory analysis detected significant changes in oxidized-related sensory characteristics over storage time. However, the differences for CBPM samples were more pronounced and directional. The consumer study showed no differences in pet owners’ acceptability for BMBM samples. However, the noticeable increase in aroma characteristics (rancid aroma 0.33–4.21) in CBPM samples over storage time did have a negative effect on consumer’s liking (overall liking 5.52–4.95). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Can Citizen Science Assist in Determining Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) Presence in a Declining Population?
Animals 2016, 6(7), 42; doi:10.3390/ani6070042 -
Abstract
The acceptance and application of citizen science has risen over the last 10 years, with this rise likely attributed to an increase in public awareness surrounding anthropogenic impacts affecting urban ecosystems. Citizen science projects have the potential to expand upon data collected [...] Read more.
The acceptance and application of citizen science has risen over the last 10 years, with this rise likely attributed to an increase in public awareness surrounding anthropogenic impacts affecting urban ecosystems. Citizen science projects have the potential to expand upon data collected by specialist researchers as they are able to gain access to previously unattainable information, consequently increasing the likelihood of an effective management program. The primary objective of this research was to develop guidelines for a successful regional-scale citizen science project following a critical analysis of 12 existing citizen science case studies. Secondly, the effectiveness of these guidelines was measured through the implementation of a citizen science project, Koala Quest, for the purpose of estimating the presence of koalas in a fragmented landscape. Consequently, this research aimed to determine whether citizen-collected data can augment traditional science research methods, by comparing and contrasting the abundance of koala sightings gathered by citizen scientists and professional researchers. Based upon the guidelines developed, Koala Quest methodologies were designed, the study conducted, and the efficacy of the project assessed. To combat the high variability of estimated koala populations due to differences in counting techniques, a national monitoring and evaluation program is required, in addition to a standardised method for conducting koala population estimates. Citizen science is a useful method for monitoring animals such as the koala, which are sparsely distributed throughout a vast geographical area, as the large numbers of volunteers recruited by a citizen science project are capable of monitoring a similarly broad spatial range. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Determination of Phytoestrogen Content in Fresh-Cut Legume Forage
Animals 2016, 6(7), 43; doi:10.3390/ani6070043 -
Abstract
The aim of the study was to determine phytoestrogen content in fresh-cut legume forage. This issue has been much discussed in recent years in connection with the health and safety of feedstuffs and thus livestock health. The experiments were carried out on [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to determine phytoestrogen content in fresh-cut legume forage. This issue has been much discussed in recent years in connection with the health and safety of feedstuffs and thus livestock health. The experiments were carried out on two experimental plots at Troubsko and Vatín, Czech Republic during June and July in 2015. Samples were collected of the four forage legume species perennial red clover (variety “Amos”), alfalfa (variety “Holyně”), and annuals Persian clover and Alexandrian clover. Forage was sampled twice at regular three to four day intervals leading up to harvest and a third time on the day of harvest. Fresh and wilted material was analyzed using liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Higher levels ( p < 0.05) of isoflavones biochanin A (3.697 mg·g −1 of dry weight) and formononetin (4.315 mg·g −1 of dry weight) were found in red clover than in other species. The highest isoflavone content was detected in red clover, reaching 1.001% of dry matter ( p < 0.05), representing a risk for occurrence of reproduction problems and inhibited secretion of animal estrogen. The phytoestrogen content was particularly increased in wilted forage. Significant isoflavone reduction was observed over three to four day intervals leading up to harvest. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Case Study of Behaviour and Performance of Confined or Pastured Cows During the Dry Period
Animals 2016, 6(7), 41; doi:10.3390/ani6070041 -
Abstract
The objectives of this study were to determine the effect of the dry cow management system (pasture or confined) on: (1) lying behaviour and activity; (2) feeding and heat stress behaviours; (3) intramammary infections, postpartum. Non-lactating Holstein cows were assigned to either [...] Read more.
The objectives of this study were to determine the effect of the dry cow management system (pasture or confined) on: (1) lying behaviour and activity; (2) feeding and heat stress behaviours; (3) intramammary infections, postpartum. Non-lactating Holstein cows were assigned to either deep-bedded, sand freestalls ( n = 14) or pasture ( n = 14) using rolling enrollment. At dry-off, cows were equipped with an accelerometer to determine daily lying time (h/d), lying bouts (bouts/d), steps (steps/d) and divided into periods: far-off (60 to 15 d prepartum), close-up (14 to 1 d prepartum), calving (calving date) and postpartum (1 to 14 d postpartum). Respiration rates were recorded once weekly from dry off to calving from 1300 to 1500 h. Feeding displacements were defined as one cow successfully displacing another from the feed bunk and were recorded once per week during the 2 h period, immediately after feeding at 800 h. Pastured cows were fed a commercial dry cow pellet during far-off and total mixed ration during close-up, with free access to hay and grazing. Freestall housed cows were fed a total mixed ration at far-off and close-up. Cows housed in freestalls were moved to a maternity pen with a mattress at commencement of labour. Pastured cows calved in pasture. After calving, all cows were commingled in a pen identical to the freestall housing treatment. Cows housed in freestalls laid down for longer during far-off and close-up periods, had fewer lying bouts during the calving period and took fewer steps throughout the study period when compared to pastured cows. Freestall housed cows experienced more displacements after feeding than did pastured cows. Respiration rates increased with an increasing temperature humidity index, more in pastured cows than in freestall housed cows. Pastured cows altered their lying behaviour and activity, suggesting a shift in time budget priorities between pastured and confined dry cows. Pastured cows also experienced less aggression around feeding but may be more susceptible to heat stress. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Contradiction and Complacency Shape Attitudes towards the Toll of Roads on Wildlife
Animals 2016, 6(6), 40; doi:10.3390/ani6060040 -
Abstract
Most people in the world now live in cities. Urbanisation simultaneously isolates people from nature and contributes to biodiversity decline. As cities expand, suburban development and the road infrastructure to support them widens their impact on wildlife. Even so, urban communities, especially [...] Read more.
Most people in the world now live in cities. Urbanisation simultaneously isolates people from nature and contributes to biodiversity decline. As cities expand, suburban development and the road infrastructure to support them widens their impact on wildlife. Even so, urban communities, especially those on the peri-urban fringe, endeavour to support biodiversity through wildlife friendly gardens, green spaces and corridors, and conservation estates. On one hand, many who live on city fringes do so because they enjoy proximity to nature, however, the ever increasing intrusion of roads leads to conflict with wildlife. Trauma (usually fatal) to wildlife and (usually emotional and financial) to people ensues. Exposure to this trauma, therefore, should inform attitudes towards wildlife vehicle collisions (WVC) and be linked to willingness to reduce risk of further WVC. While there is good anecdotal evidence for this response, competing priorities and better understanding of the likelihood of human injury or fatalities, as opposed to wildlife fatalities, may confound this trend. In this paper we sought to explore this relationship with a quantitative study of driver behaviour and attitudes to WVC from a cohort of residents and visitors who drive through a peri-urban reserve (Royal National Park) on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia. We distributed a self-reporting questionnaire and received responses from 105 local residents and 51 visitors to small townships accessed by roads through the national park. We sought the respondents’ exposure to WVC, their evasive actions in an impending WVC, their attitudes to wildlife fatalities, their strategies to reduce the risk of WVC, and their willingness to adopt new ameliorative measures. The results were partitioned by driver demographics and residency. Residents were generally well informed about mitigation strategies but exposure led to a decrease in viewing WVC as very serious. In addition, despite most respondents stating they routinely drive slower when collision risk is high (at dusk and dawn), our assessment of driving trends via traffic speeds suggested this sentiment was not generally adhered to. Thus we unveil some of the complexities in tackling driver’s willingness to act on reducing risk of WVC, particularly when risk of human trauma is low. Full article