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Animals, Volume 12, Issue 3 (February-1 2022) – 189 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Effective conservation strategies rely on knowledge of social drivers of animal behaviour. Koalas are generally solitary, and yet their social arrangement is clear. Previous research suggests that koalas can perceive the body size attributes of the males via their vocalisations (i.e., bellows). We tested the behavioural responses of 20 free-ranging koalas to bellow recordings collected from small (< 6 kg) and large (> 8.5 kg) adult male koalas. We report evidence of intra-male competition, with adult males approaching bellow playbacks, particularly those from small-sized males. In contrast, juvenile males were averse to the playbacks. No patterns in the response of females were detected. Our results provide the strongest evidence to date that bellows are primarily a means by which males occupy and control space during breeding season. View this paper
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Article
Carcass Yields and Meat Composition of Male and Female Italian Slow-Growing Chicken Breeds: Bianca di Saluzzo and Bionda Piemontese
Animals 2022, 12(3), 406; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030406 - 08 Feb 2022
Viewed by 617
Abstract
The slaughter performance and meat quality of two native Italian chicken breeds, Bionda Piemontese (BP, n = 64) and Bianca di Saluzzo (BS, n = 64), were investigated. Two-way ANOVA, considering breed, sex, and their interaction, was used to compare the properties of [...] Read more.
The slaughter performance and meat quality of two native Italian chicken breeds, Bionda Piemontese (BP, n = 64) and Bianca di Saluzzo (BS, n = 64), were investigated. Two-way ANOVA, considering breed, sex, and their interaction, was used to compare the properties of birds slaughtered at 5, 6, 7, and 8 months of age. Subsequently, data were analyzed using one-way ANOVA and the Duncan test to evaluate the differences between slaughter ages. The BP breed produced a better carcass yield than BS at 5, 7, and 8 months of age (p < 0.05). Breast moisture and crude protein contents were influenced by gender, and were higher in males than in females (p < 0.05). By contrast, the crude fat content was higher in females than in males (p < 0.05). The saturated fatty acid content of breast meat increased as the birds aged in both breeds (p < 0.05). The polyunsaturated fatty acid content of both breast and thigh meat was higher in males than in females (p < 0.001 and p < 0.05, respectively). In general, slaughtering at 7 months was associated with the best slaughter and meat quality characteristics in both breeds. Moreover, from a nutritional point of view, the characteristics of the meat from male birds were preferable to those of meat from females. Full article
Review
How to Predict Parturition in Cattle? A Literature Review of Automatic Devices and Technologies for Remote Monitoring and Calving Prediction
Animals 2022, 12(3), 405; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030405 - 08 Feb 2022
Viewed by 742
Abstract
Cattle farming is facing an increase in number of animals that farmers must care for, together with decreasing time for observation of the single animal. Remote monitoring systems are needed in order to optimize workload and animal welfare. Where the presence of personnel [...] Read more.
Cattle farming is facing an increase in number of animals that farmers must care for, together with decreasing time for observation of the single animal. Remote monitoring systems are needed in order to optimize workload and animal welfare. Where the presence of personnel is constant, for example in dairy farms with great number of lactating cows or with three milking/day, calving monitoring systems which send alerts during the prodromal stage of labor (stage I) could be beneficial. On the contrary, where the presence of farm personnel is not guaranteed, for example in smaller farms, systems which alert at the beginning of labor (stage II) could be preferred. In this case, time spent observing periparturient animals is reduced. The reliability of each calving alarm should also be considered: automatic sensors for body temperature and activity are characterized by a time interval of 6–12 h between the alarm and calving. Promising results have been shown by devices which could be placed within the vaginal canal, thus identifying the beginning of fetal expulsion and optimizing the timing of calving assistance. However, some cases of non-optimal local tolerability and cow welfare issues are reported. Future research should be aimed to improve Sensitivity (Se), Specificity (Sp) and Positive Predictive Value (PPV) of calving alert devices in order to decrease the number of false positive alarms and focusing on easy-to-apply, re-usable and well tolerated products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dairy Cattle Herds Management: Methods and Perspectives)
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Article
Reaching the Monophyly: Re-Evaluation of the Enigmatic Species Tenuibiotus hyperonyx (Maucci, 1983) and the Genus Tenuibiotus (Eutardigrada)
Animals 2022, 12(3), 404; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030404 - 08 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 527
Abstract
Revisions and redescriptions of taxa described in the past and that are now categorized as insufficiently diagnosed often play a crucial role in making further progress in modern taxonomy in many groups of organisms. Here we revised an enigmatic tardigrade species Tenuibiotus hyperonyx [...] Read more.
Revisions and redescriptions of taxa described in the past and that are now categorized as insufficiently diagnosed often play a crucial role in making further progress in modern taxonomy in many groups of organisms. Here we revised an enigmatic tardigrade species Tenuibiotus hyperonyx (Maucci, 1983) based on the newly discovered topotypic population from the Italian Alps. We performed an integrative analysis of morphological and genetic data in order to present an upgraded species description and elucidate its phylogenetic position. Our results enabled us to confidently place T.hyperonyx within the family Richtersiusidae, as a member of the genus Diaforobiotus. This change, together with a re-assessment of microphotographs of the Tenuibiotus willardi (Pilato, 1977) and Tenuibiotus bozhkae Pilato, Kiosya, Lisi, Inshina & Biserov, 2011 types, led to the discussion on species composition with narrative taxa amendments for the taxonomic parties involved in the proposed alteration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ecology and Conservation)
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Article
Effects of Leptin, Growth Hormone and Photoperiod on Pituitary SOCS-3 Expression in Sheep
Animals 2022, 12(3), 403; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030403 - 08 Feb 2022
Viewed by 376
Abstract
This study examined how leptin affects growth hormone (GH) release and investigated the effects of leptin, GH, and day length on the suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 (SOCS-3) mRNA levels in the adenohypophyses of sheep. The study consisted of two experiments. The first experiment [...] Read more.
This study examined how leptin affects growth hormone (GH) release and investigated the effects of leptin, GH, and day length on the suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 (SOCS-3) mRNA levels in the adenohypophyses of sheep. The study consisted of two experiments. The first experiment was conducted during long (LD) and short (SD) days. Within-season and replicate sheep were centrally infused with Ringer-Locke buffer or leptin three times at 60-min intervals at the beginning of experiments. The second experiment involved adenohypophyses collected from sheep that were euthanized in May or November. Pituitary explants were treated with medium alone (Control) or medium with leptin or GH at different concentrations and incubated for various times. The results of the first experiment indicated GH concentrations were seasonally dependent and that leptin had no effect on GH secretion. The results of the second experiment indicated a stronger influence of leptin on the expression of SOCS-3 during the SD season than the LD season. During SDs, significant effects of both GH doses on SOCS-3 expression were observed. These results indicate a strong association between leptin, GH, and SOCS-3, which may explain the disruption of SOCS-3 leptin and GH signaling and the dominant effect of photoperiod on the above relationships. Full article
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Review
Scientific Assessment of the Welfare of Trapped Mammals—Key Considerations for the Use of the Sharp and Saunders Humaneness Assessment Model
Animals 2022, 12(3), 402; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030402 - 08 Feb 2022
Viewed by 483
Abstract
Scientific assessment of the impacts of trapping on mammal welfare is necessary to inform cost-benefit analyses of using traps in wildlife management, improve trap performance and trapping processes and develop international trap standards. The Sharp and Saunders humaneness assessment model was developed specifically [...] Read more.
Scientific assessment of the impacts of trapping on mammal welfare is necessary to inform cost-benefit analyses of using traps in wildlife management, improve trap performance and trapping processes and develop international trap standards. The Sharp and Saunders humaneness assessment model was developed specifically for assessing welfare impacts in vertebrate wildlife management and has been used to assess the impacts of trapping various mammals. It is a specific version of the more general Five Domains model for welfare assessment which is based on the understanding that welfare state reflects the sum of the animal’s mental experiences. Our experience of applying the Sharp and Saunders model allows us to make key recommendations for those wishing to use it. First, the exact parameters of the trapping scenario to be assessed must be decided. Second, assessments should be based on published data, as well as integrating both scientific and practitioner expertise to provide rigorous and relevant outcomes. Third, conclusions about welfare impacts should be based on the appropriate indicators. As far as is possible, mental experiences should be inferred using animal-based indicators, and some representation should be provided of the scorers’ confidence in the data on which assessment is based. Careful consideration of these points will help optimize the value of information produced using the model for wildlife management decision-making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Welfare)
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Article
Spineless Cactus plus Urea and Tifton-85 Hay: Maximizing the Digestible Organic Matter Intake, Ruminal Fermentation and Nitrogen Utilization of Wethers in Semi-Arid Regions
Animals 2022, 12(3), 401; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030401 - 08 Feb 2022
Viewed by 473
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of replacing Tifton-85 hay (Cynodon spp. cv. Tifton 85) with 0, 150, 300, 450 and 600 g/kg dry matter (DM) of spineless cactus (SC, Nopalea cochenilifera Salm-Dyck) plus urea and ammonium sulfate [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of replacing Tifton-85 hay (Cynodon spp. cv. Tifton 85) with 0, 150, 300, 450 and 600 g/kg dry matter (DM) of spineless cactus (SC, Nopalea cochenilifera Salm-Dyck) plus urea and ammonium sulfate (UAS; 9:1) on DM, digestible organic matter (DOM) and indigestible neutral detergent fiber (iNDF) intakes, as well as ruminal fermentation, N-balance, and microbial protein supply (MPS). Five rumen-fistulated and cannulated crossbred wethers, weighing 43.8 ± 5.80 kg, were randomized in a 5 × 5 Latin square design. Isonitrogenous diets (14% crude protein) were supplied with a roughage/concentrate ratio of 70:30. The DOM intake, N-retained, and MPS showed quadratic responses (p < 0.05), with maximum values estimated at the levels of SC+UAS of 414, 438 and 418 g/kg DM, respectively. Rumen pH and ammonia nitrogen, iNDF intake, N-urinary excretion, and serum urea and plasma ammonia reduced linearly (p < 0.05) with increasing SC+UAS inclusion. Ruminal acetate and propionate concentrations increased linearly with increasing SC+UAS inclusion. In wethers fed diets with a roughage/concentrate ratio of 70:30, roughage constituted of a SC+UAS/hay (Tifton-85) ratio of 41:29 is recommended in order to maximize the DOM intake, N-retention, and MPS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Animal Novel Alternative Feed)
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Systematic Review
Quality of Life Measurement in Dogs and Cats: A Scoping Review of Generic Tools
Animals 2022, 12(3), 400; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030400 - 08 Feb 2022
Viewed by 721
Abstract
Quality of life (QoL) assessment in companion animals is an essential aspect of veterinary medicine that helps guide treatment decisions and ensures optimal animal welfare. Veterinarians and pet owners can use disease-specific or generic QoL assessment tools to evaluate an individual animal’s QoL. [...] Read more.
Quality of life (QoL) assessment in companion animals is an essential aspect of veterinary medicine that helps guide treatment decisions and ensures optimal animal welfare. Veterinarians and pet owners can use disease-specific or generic QoL assessment tools to evaluate an individual animal’s QoL. The aim of this scoping review was to identify and assess published generic QoL assessment tools suitable for use in either dogs or cats. A literature search identified 82 relevant publications, nine of which contained appropriate generic QoL assessment tools in accordance with inclusion and exclusion criteria. Each tool was assessed for evidence of psychometric evaluation including statistical analysis, reliability and validity. Commonly included items were determined to highlight potential important aspects of dog or cat QoL. Five of the nine publications used a statistical method such as factor analysis to determine tool design and structure. Although at least one aspect of reliability and validity was assessed for seven of the tools, none were validated across all measures. Two of the publications contained minimal to no statistical analysis. Common items for both dogs and cats included those regarding activity level, the desire for interaction and appetite. In addition, common items for cats included those regarding mood and grooming. This scoping review identified and evaluated currently available generic QoL assessment tools, providing a reference point for future tool development and validation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
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Article
Comparison of lncRNA Expression in the Uterus between Periods of Embryo Implantation and Labor in Mice
Animals 2022, 12(3), 399; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030399 - 08 Feb 2022
Viewed by 430
Abstract
Uterine function during pregnancy is regulated mainly by progesterone (P4) and estrogen (E2). Serum P4 levels are known to fluctuate significantly over the course of pregnancy, especially during embryo implantation and labor. In this study, pregnant mice at E0.5, E4.5, E15.5, and E18.5 [...] Read more.
Uterine function during pregnancy is regulated mainly by progesterone (P4) and estrogen (E2). Serum P4 levels are known to fluctuate significantly over the course of pregnancy, especially during embryo implantation and labor. In this study, pregnant mice at E0.5, E4.5, E15.5, and E18.5 (n = 3/E) were used for an RNA-Seq-based analysis of mRNA and lncRNA expression. In this analysis, 1971 differentially expressed (DE) mRNAs, 493 known DE lncRNAs, and 1041 novel DE lncRNAs were found between E0.5 and E4.5 at the embryo implantation stage, while 1149 DE mRNAs, 192 known DE lncRNAs, and 218 novel DE lncRNAs were found between E15.5 and E18.5 at the labor stage. The expression level of lncRNA-MMP11 was significantly downregulated by P4 treatment on MSM cells, while lncRNA-ANKRD37 was significantly upregulated. Notably, 117 DE mRNAs, 19 known DE lncRNAs, and 31 novel DE lncRNAs were commonly expressed between the two stages, indicating that these mRNAs and lncRNAs may be directly or indirectly regulated by P4. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA-Sequencing Technique in Animals Research)
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Article
Individuals Matter: Dilemmas and Solutions in Conservation and Animal Welfare Practices in Zoos
Animals 2022, 12(3), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030398 - 08 Feb 2022
Viewed by 1250
Abstract
Compassionate conservation advocates for minimizing individual suffering in conservation practice and adheres to the principle “individuals matter”—intrinsically, in and of themselves. Our objective is to determine the extent to which, and how, zoos recognize the intrinsic value of wild individuals beyond their status [...] Read more.
Compassionate conservation advocates for minimizing individual suffering in conservation practice and adheres to the principle “individuals matter”—intrinsically, in and of themselves. Our objective is to determine the extent to which, and how, zoos recognize the intrinsic value of wild individuals beyond their status as members of species or ecosystems. We analyzed discourses surrounding the Smithsonian National Zoo in the U.S.A., the zoos of the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in France, and the Seoul Grand Park Zoo in South Korea. Using existing literature on zoos, conservation, animal welfare, and rights, we distilled two discourses (justificatory and abolitionist). Through interviews with professionals in the zoo, conservation, welfare, and animal rights communities, we demonstrate how actors frame individual zoo animals as (1) sentient persons, (2) reproductive components, and (3) species ambassadors. Our analysis shows how actors’ views shape three zoo practices related to ex situ conservation: (1) captivity, (2) captive breeding, and (3) culling. This analysis revealed two significant findings. First, actors representing the justificatory discourse fail to frame animals as intrinsically valuable individuals. Second, within the constraints of the zoo, the intrinsic value of individual animals is recognized through welfare practices and education focused on fulfilling animal interests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Zoo Animals)
Article
Use of Blood Lactate in Assessment of Manual Capture Techniques of Zoo-Housed Crocodilians
Animals 2022, 12(3), 397; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030397 - 08 Feb 2022
Viewed by 1008
Abstract
Species-specific welfare indicators are important in promoting positive welfare for zoo animals. Reptiles are a notoriously understudied group in regards to behavior, welfare needs, and husbandry requirements. Using opportunistically obtained samples, we evaluated how blood lactate is affected by variation in manual capture [...] Read more.
Species-specific welfare indicators are important in promoting positive welfare for zoo animals. Reptiles are a notoriously understudied group in regards to behavior, welfare needs, and husbandry requirements. Using opportunistically obtained samples, we evaluated how blood lactate is affected by variation in manual capture and restraint in crocodilians. Lactate is an indicator of anerobic metabolism in reptiles. It offers a relatively simple and indirect way to assess physiological stress. Determining the best way to reduce struggling during capture and associated stress is of great importance to these species’ overall welfare. Blood samples (N = 53) were collected from 10 different species of crocodilians. It was found that age class was a significant predictor variable of lactate levels after capture, and longer handling time seemed to cause an increase in lactate. Finally, draining enclosure pools for a small number of the captures was associated with higher lactate levels compared to other capture factors that were recorded. This study showed that welfare of captive crocodilians could be improved by shortening the duration of physical restraint events when possible. Developing objective measures of welfare and establishing baseline recommendations for care and handling of crocodilians will ultimately promote and improve their wellbeing, along with that of other understudied reptiles in zoos. Full article
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Article
Associations of Transcription Factor 21 Gene Polymorphisms with the Growth and Body Composition Traits in Broilers
Animals 2022, 12(3), 393; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030393 - 08 Feb 2022
Viewed by 428
Abstract
This study aims to identify molecular marker loci that could be applied in broiler breeding programs. In this study, we used public databases to locate the Transcription factor 21 (TCF21) gene that affected the economically important traits in broilers. Ten single [...] Read more.
This study aims to identify molecular marker loci that could be applied in broiler breeding programs. In this study, we used public databases to locate the Transcription factor 21 (TCF21) gene that affected the economically important traits in broilers. Ten single nucleotide polymorphisms were detected in the TCF21 gene by monoclonal sequencing. The polymorphisms of these 10 SNPs in the TCF21 gene were significantly associated (p < 0.05) with multiple growth and body composition traits. Furthermore, the TT genotype of g.-911T>G was identified to significantly increase the heart weight trait without affecting the negative traits, such as abdominal fat and reproduction by multiple methods. Thus, it was speculated that the g.-911T>G identified in the TCF21 gene might be used in marker-assisted selection in the broiler breeding program. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Selection and Associated Defects in Poultry Production)
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Communication
Absence of 2899C<T Mutation in the WNK4 Gene in a Free-Ranging Lion (Panthera leo) with Polymyopathy
Animals 2022, 12(3), 389; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030389 - 08 Feb 2022
Viewed by 473
Abstract
Polyphasic skeletal muscle degeneration, necrosis and mineralization of skeletal muscle was diagnosed in eight juvenile free-ranging lions (Panthera leo), from five different litters in the Greater Kruger National Park area that were unable to walk properly. A detailed investigation was not [...] Read more.
Polyphasic skeletal muscle degeneration, necrosis and mineralization of skeletal muscle was diagnosed in eight juvenile free-ranging lions (Panthera leo), from five different litters in the Greater Kruger National Park area that were unable to walk properly. A detailed investigation was not possible in free-ranging lions, so the cause could not be determined. The cases resembled hypokalemic polymyopathy in domestic cats with muscle weakness. A candidate-gene approach previously identified a nonsense mutation in the gene coding for the enzyme lysine-deficient 4 protein kinase (WNK4) associated with the disease in Burmese and Tonkinese cats. In this study, we sequenced all 19 exons of the gene in one case, and two control samples, to identify possible mutations that may be associated with polymyopathy in free-ranging lions. Here, no mutations were detected in any of the exons sequenced. Our findings indicate that the WNK4 gene is not a major contributor to the condition in these lions. Further studies into the pathogenesis of this condition are needed to inform conservation policies for this vulnerable, iconic African species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathology in Zoo Animals and Conservation)
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Article
Animal Health in Compost-Bedded Pack and Cubicle Dairy Barns in Six European Countries
Animals 2022, 12(3), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030396 - 07 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 626
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to compare animal health in compost-bedded pack (CBP) and cubicle housing (CH) systems using data from dairy herd improvement associations. Thirty-two commercial dairy farms located in Austria, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Slovenia, and Sweden were included in [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to compare animal health in compost-bedded pack (CBP) and cubicle housing (CH) systems using data from dairy herd improvement associations. Thirty-two commercial dairy farms located in Austria, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Slovenia, and Sweden were included in the study. A matching design (pairing CBP and CH within country) according to herd selection criteria was used. We explored the following health indicators: somatic cell counts (SCC), high SCC, new high SCC, ketosis risk, prolonged calving intervals, dystocia, and stillbirth. Traits for culling and culling-related issues, such as length of life and length of productive life, were also included. We used multivariable (mixed) linear and logistic regression models to evaluate differences between the systems. Udder health, as measured by SCC, was inferior in CBP, although the geometric means were low in both systems. The incidence of stillbirths was higher in CBP, while prolonged calving intervals were fewer, indicating that there were fewer reproductive disorders. There were no differences in longevity between the systems, although CBP had lower proportions of first calvers. Overall, we conclude that there were few and minor differences in health and longevity between the CBP and CH systems in the European context. Full article
Article
Effect of a Probiotic Mixture in Captive Cheetahs (Acinonyx Jubatus) with Gastrointestinal Symptoms—A Pilot Study
Animals 2022, 12(3), 395; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030395 - 07 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 746
Abstract
Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) are classified as “vulnerable” species due to the low numbers persisting in the wild. Gastrointestinal diseases are very common in this species when they are kept in captivity, in particular gastritis. Clinical signs are predominantly characterized by vomiting, [...] Read more.
Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) are classified as “vulnerable” species due to the low numbers persisting in the wild. Gastrointestinal diseases are very common in this species when they are kept in captivity, in particular gastritis. Clinical signs are predominantly characterized by vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss and anorexia. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of a multi-strain probiotic in two groups of cheetahs: Group A (n = 4)—rescued cheetahs housed at the Cheetah Conservation Fund (Otjiwarongo, Namibia); Group B (n = 9)—captive cheetahs housed in Italian zoos. Animals showed gastrointestinal signs of different severity, and were positive for Helicobacter spp., detected by PCR in stool samples. Two sachets of probiotic formulation were administered to all cheetahs once a day for 21 consecutive days. Clinical conditions (appetite loss, vomiting, stool consistency and Body Condition Score) before (T0) and after 21 days of probiotic administration (T1) were then compared using a simplified Feline Chronic Enteropathy Activity Index (FCEAI) score. A slight but not significant improvement in the scores was observed in Group A, which had mild intestinal symptoms, while a significant decrease in vomiting and stool consistency (**p < 0.01) scores was observed in Group B, which had more pronounced symptoms. Results suggest that high concentrations of live probiotics can be of help in managing gastrointestinal signs in cheetahs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathology in Zoo Animals and Conservation)
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Article
Body Odours as Lures for Stoats Mustela erminea: Captive and Field Trials
Animals 2022, 12(3), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030394 - 07 Feb 2022
Viewed by 462
Abstract
Eradication and control methods to limit damage caused to native biota in New Zealand by the stoat (Mustela erminea) rely on effective lures for trapping and detection devices, such as cameras. Long-life semiochemical lures have the potential for targeting stoats in [...] Read more.
Eradication and control methods to limit damage caused to native biota in New Zealand by the stoat (Mustela erminea) rely on effective lures for trapping and detection devices, such as cameras. Long-life semiochemical lures have the potential for targeting stoats in situations where food-based lures are of limited success. The attractiveness of body odours of captive stoats was tested in a series of captive animal and extensive field trials to investigate their potential as trapping and monitoring lures. Stoats approached and spent significantly more time sniffing stoat urine and scats and bedding from oestrous female stoats than a non-treatment control. The bedding odours were attractive in both the breeding and the non-breeding season. Stoats also spent significantly more time sniffing oestrous stoat bedding than female ferret bedding, but the ferret odour also produced a significant response by stoats. In the field trials, there were no significant differences between the number of stoats caught with food lures (long-life rabbit or hen eggs) compared with oestrous female or male stoat bedding lures. These results indicate the potential of both stoat bedding odour and the scent of another mustelid species as stoat trapping lures that likely act as a general odour attractant rather than a specific chemical signal of oestrus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management of Wildlife with the Goal of Localised Eradication)
Article
Influences of L-Arginine In Ovo Feeding on the Hatchability, Growth Performance, Antioxidant Capacity, and Meat Quality of Slow-Growing Chickens
Animals 2022, 12(3), 392; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030392 - 07 Feb 2022
Viewed by 532
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of in ovo feeding (IOF) of L-arginine (Arg) on the hatchability, growth performance, antioxidant capacity, and meat quality of slow-growing chickens. A total of 480 eggs were randomly divided into a non-injected control [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of in ovo feeding (IOF) of L-arginine (Arg) on the hatchability, growth performance, antioxidant capacity, and meat quality of slow-growing chickens. A total of 480 eggs were randomly divided into a non-injected control group (NC group) and a 1% Arg-injected group (Arg group). On day 18 of incubation, 0.5 mL of Arg solution was injected into the embryonic amnion in the Arg group. Upon hatching, 160 mixed-sex chickens were randomly assigned to two groups, with four replicates per group. This experiment lasted for 63 days. The results showed that the hatchability, growth performance, carcass traits, and meat quality were not significantly different (p > 0.05) between the two groups. However, the malondialdehyde (MDA) content was lower (p < 0.05), and the glutathione (GSH) level was higher (p < 0.05) on day of hatching in the Arg group. The total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) activity was increased (p < 0.05) on day 21 post-hatch in the Arg group compared to that in the NC group. In conclusion, IOF of Arg increased the antioxidant capacity of the breast muscle in the starter period, which may have a positive effect on health status of slow-growing chickens post-hatch. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Poultry Nutrition and Production)
Article
Comparative Proteomics Study of Yak Milk from Standard and Naturally Extended Lactation Using iTRAQ Technique
Animals 2022, 12(3), 391; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030391 - 07 Feb 2022
Viewed by 448
Abstract
Extended lactation is a common phenomenon in lactating yaks under grazing and natural reproduction conditions. To elucidate differences in milk protein compositions and mammary gland functions between yaks of standard lactation (TL yaks) and prolonged lactation (HL yaks), whole milk samples of TL [...] Read more.
Extended lactation is a common phenomenon in lactating yaks under grazing and natural reproduction conditions. To elucidate differences in milk protein compositions and mammary gland functions between yaks of standard lactation (TL yaks) and prolonged lactation (HL yaks), whole milk samples of TL yaks and HL yaks (n = 15 each) were collected from a yak pasture at the northwest highland of China. The iTRAQ technique was used to compare the skim milk proteins in the two yak groups. A total of 202 differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) were revealed, among which 109 proteins were up-regulated and 93 were down-regulated in the milk of HL yaks compared to TL yaks. Caseins including κ-casein, αs1-casein, αs2-casein, and β-casein were up-regulated in HL yak milk over 1.43-fold. The GO function annotation analysis showed that HL yaks produced milk with characteristics of milk at the degeneration stage, similar to that of dairy cows. KEGG enrichment showed that the metabolic pathways with the most differences are those that involve carbohydrate metabolism and the biosynthesis of amino acids. The present results highlight detailed differences in skim milk proteins produced by HL yaks and TL yaks and suggest that the mammary gland of HL yak is at the degeneration stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
Effect of Phase Feeding, Space Allowance and Mixing on Productive Performance of Grower-Finisher Pigs
Animals 2022, 12(3), 390; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030390 - 07 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 797
Abstract
This study investigates the effects of space allowance (SA), mixing and phase feeding (PF) on performance of grower-finisher pigs. Three trials (T) were conducted. In T1 and T2, 345 pigs/trial were moved to finisher stage at 11 weeks of age and assigned to [...] Read more.
This study investigates the effects of space allowance (SA), mixing and phase feeding (PF) on performance of grower-finisher pigs. Three trials (T) were conducted. In T1 and T2, 345 pigs/trial were moved to finisher stage at 11 weeks of age and assigned to two SAs: 0.96 (n = 15 pens; 10 pigs/pen) and 0.78 (n = 15; 13 pigs/pen) m2/pig. Mixing was applied to 5 pens of each SA leading to a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement (SA × Mixing). For PF, 2 diets with 0.95 and 0.82 g SID Lys/MJ NE were applied to 5 pens of each SA (not mixed) leading to another 2 × 2 factorial arrangement (SA × PF). In T3, 230 pigs were moved to the grower-finisher stage at 11 weeks of age, mixed, and assigned to 4 treatments (SA × PF; n = 5 pens). Data were analyzed using general linear mixed models. SA did not affect performance (p > 0.05). Non-mixed pigs were 5.40 (T1) and 5.25 (T2) kg heavier than mixed pigs at 21 weeks of age (p < 0.001). PF reduced performance of pigs by 3.45 (T1) and 4.05 (T2) kg at 21 weeks of age (p < 0.001). In conclusion, mixing and reducing SID Lys:NE ratio from 0.95 to 0.82 g/MJ at 15–16 weeks of age, have a more marked impact on performance than reducing SA from 0.96 to 0.78 m2/pig. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pigs)
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Article
Single-Step GBLUP and GWAS Analyses Suggests Implementation of Unweighted Two Trait Approach for Heat Stress in Swine
Animals 2022, 12(3), 388; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030388 - 05 Feb 2022
Viewed by 609
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to perform a genome-wide association study to determine the genomic regions associated with heat stress tolerance in swine. Phenotypic information on carcass weight was available for 227,043 individuals from commercial farms in North Carolina and Missouri, U.S. [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to perform a genome-wide association study to determine the genomic regions associated with heat stress tolerance in swine. Phenotypic information on carcass weight was available for 227,043 individuals from commercial farms in North Carolina and Missouri, U.S. Individuals were from a commercial cross of a Duroc sire and a dam resulting from a Landrace and Large White cross. Genotypic information was available for 8232 animals with 33,581 SNPs. The pedigree file contained a total of 553,448 animals. A threshold of 78 on the Temperature Humidity Index (THI) was used to signify heat stress. A two-trait analysis was used with the phenotypes heat stress (Trait One) and non-heat stress (Trait Two). Variance components were calculated via AIREML and breeding values were calculated using single step GBLUP (ssGBLUP). The heritability for Traits One and Two were calculated at 0.25 and 0.20, respectively, and the genetic correlation was calculated as 0.63. Validation was calculated for 163 genotyped sires with progeny in the last generation. The benchmark was the GEBV with complete data, and the accuracy was determined as the correlation between the GEBV of the reduced and complete data for the validation sires. Weighted ssGBLUP did not increase the accuracies. Both methods showed a maximum accuracy of 0.32 for Trait One and 0.54 for Trait Two. Manhattan Plots for Trait One, Trait Two, and the difference between the two were created from the results of the two-trait analysis. Windows explaining more than 0.8% of the genetic variance were isolated. Chromosomes 1 and 14 showed peaks in the difference between the two traits. The genetic correlation suggests a different mechanism for Hot Carcass Weight under heat stress. The GWAS results show that both traits are highly polygenic, with only a few genomic regions explaining more than 1% of variance. Full article
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Article
Using Osmotic Pumps to Induce the Production of Gametes in Male and Female European Eels
Animals 2022, 12(3), 387; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030387 - 05 Feb 2022
Viewed by 587
Abstract
The European eel (Anguilla anguilla) is a commercially valued species for aquaculture. Over the past decades, it has experienced a drastic reduction in its natural stocks. Thus, breeding in captivity is considered essential, nowadays, to guarantee the eel aquaculture and to [...] Read more.
The European eel (Anguilla anguilla) is a commercially valued species for aquaculture. Over the past decades, it has experienced a drastic reduction in its natural stocks. Thus, breeding in captivity is considered essential, nowadays, to guarantee the eel aquaculture and to reduce pressure on natural populations. Traditionally, the European eel has been sexually matured by means of weekly hormonal injections, which cause stress to the fish. The purpose of this research study was to assess the use of osmotic pumps as a new method to induce sexual maturation in male and female European eels, without the weekly injection. The control groups were treated with weekly hormone injections (recombinant human chorionic gonadotropin for males and carp pituitary extract for females), and the implanted groups were treated with osmotic pumps (ALZET® osmotic pumps) loaded with the respective hormones. Regarding male European eels, this study shows that the use of controlled release systems was able to induce the maturation and spermiation, but without the necessary capacity to produce enough gametes with acceptable quality parameters that could meet the needs of a commercial eel hatchery. Concerning female European eels, the study demonstrates that the use of osmotic pumps loaded with CPE became an effective method, generating early maturations (4 to 10 weeks) in 50% of the females, so this method could become a viable alternative for eel hatchery procedures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gamete, Embryo and Larvae Handling in Aquatic Animals)
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Communication
The Effect of Heat Stress and Vitamin and Micro-Mineral Supplementation on Some Mineral Digestibility and Electrolyte Balance of Pigs
Animals 2022, 12(3), 386; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030386 - 05 Feb 2022
Viewed by 525
Abstract
Heat stress (HS) can have detrimental effects on intestinal integrity and can jeopardize the digestibility performance in pigs. With prolonged exposure to heat, some thermoregulatory processes in pigs are potential causes for electrolyte imbalance. The adverse effects of HS on mineral digestibility and [...] Read more.
Heat stress (HS) can have detrimental effects on intestinal integrity and can jeopardize the digestibility performance in pigs. With prolonged exposure to heat, some thermoregulatory processes in pigs are potential causes for electrolyte imbalance. The adverse effects of HS on mineral digestibility and electrolyte balance are not widely studied and information on its abatement through vitamin and micro-mineral supplementation in combinations above the recommended level in pigs is limited. The aim of this study is to research this area. Thirty-six Danbred hybrid barrows (65.1 ± 2.81kg) were distributed among the four treatments (n = 9 per treatment): (1) thermo-neutral (19.5 ± 0.9 °C, RH- 85.9 ± 7.3%)+ control diet (TC) (NRC, 2012), (2) HS (28.9 ± 0.9 °C, RH- 60.4 ± 4.3%) + control diet (HC), (3) HS +diet with elevated levels of vitamins (vitamin E and C) and micro-minerals (Zn and Se) (HT1), and (4) HS + diet with further elevation of vitamins and micro-minerals (HT2). Plasma samples were collected on days 7 and 21 of the experiment to investigate electrolyte concentration. During the experimental period, feces samples were collected from pigs placed in digestibility cages (six pigs from each treatment) to investigate the digestibility of Ca, P, Na, Se, and Zn. HS did not decrease the digestibility of minerals, but elevated supplementation of the selected vitamins and trace minerals improved it significantly. HS caused a significant decrease of Cl (p < 0.01) in plasma, indicating an imbalance. In conclusion, pigs can have some resilience against heat stress in terms of mineral digestibility. Proper vitamin and trace mineral supplementation are key factors in the ability of pigs to overcome the negative effects of HS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Minerals in Animal Production)
Article
Evaluation of Strategies to Improve the Environmental and Economic Sustainability of Cow–Calf Production Systems
Animals 2022, 12(3), 385; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030385 - 05 Feb 2022
Viewed by 516
Abstract
Grazing cow–calf production systems account for 60 to 70% of the greenhouse gas emissions of U.S. beef production. The objective of this analysis was to evaluate the importance of management strategies (cow maintenance energy requirements, reproductive efficiency, forage nutritive value, and forage yield) [...] Read more.
Grazing cow–calf production systems account for 60 to 70% of the greenhouse gas emissions of U.S. beef production. The objective of this analysis was to evaluate the importance of management strategies (cow maintenance energy requirements, reproductive efficiency, forage nutritive value, and forage yield) on the sustainability of cow–calf production systems using a sensitivity analysis in a production systems model. The Beef Cattle Systems Model was used to simulate a cow–calf production system in the Kansas Flint Hills using Angus genetics over a 24 year time period. The model was modified to create variation among cow herds in the base net energy for the maintenance requirement (NEm_Req), postpartum interval (PPI), grazed forage digestibility (Forage_TDN), and forage yield per hectare (Forage_Yield). The model was run for 1000 iterations/herds of a 100-cow herd. A stepwise regression analysis in conjunction with standardized regression analysis was used to identify important predictors of an indicator of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensity, dry matter intake per kilogram weaned, and two indicators of economic sustainability, winter feed use and returns over variable costs, using R statistical software. The most important predictor of DMI per kilogram weaned was calf weaning weight followed by NEm_Req, whereas returns over variable costs were primarily influenced by kilograms weaned per cow exposed and total purchased feed (supplement + winter feed), which were strongly influenced by NEm_Req and Forage_Yield, respectively. In conclusion, decreasing the net energy required for maintenance improved both economic and environmental sustainability, and increasing forage yield and length of the grazing season improved economic sustainability, implying that these strategies should be primary targets to enhance the sustainability of cow–calf production systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Beef Cattle: Advances for Sustainable Intensification)
Article
Predicting Positive ELISA Results in Dairy Herds with a Preferred Status in a Paratuberculosis Control Program
Animals 2022, 12(3), 384; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030384 - 04 Feb 2022
Viewed by 456
Abstract
Dairy herds participating in the Dutch milk quality assurance program for paratuberculosis are assigned a herd status on the basis of herd examinations by ELISA of individual serum or milk samples, followed by an optional confirmatory fecal PCR. Test-negative herds are assigned Status [...] Read more.
Dairy herds participating in the Dutch milk quality assurance program for paratuberculosis are assigned a herd status on the basis of herd examinations by ELISA of individual serum or milk samples, followed by an optional confirmatory fecal PCR. Test-negative herds are assigned Status A; the surveillance of these herds consists of biennial herd examinations. Farmers falsely believing that their Status A herds are Map-free may inadvertently refrain from preventive measures. Therefore, we aimed to develop a predictive model to alert Status A farmers at increased risk of future positive ELISA results. Using data of 8566 dairy herds with Status A in January 2016, two logistic regression models were built, with the probabilities of ≥1 or ≥2 positive samples from January 2017–June 2019 as dependent variables, and province, soil type, herd size, proportion of cattle born elsewhere, time since previous positive ELISA results, and the 95th percentile of the S/P ratios in 2015–2016, as explanatory variables. As internal validation, both models were applied to predict positive ELISA results from January 2019–June 2021, in 8026 herds with Status A in January 2019. The model predicting ≥1 positive sample had an area under the receiver operating characteristics curve of 0.76 (95% CI: 0.75, 0.77). At a cut-off predicted probability πc = 0.40, 25% of Status A herds would be alerted with positive and negative predictive values of 0.52 and 0.83, respectively. The model predicting ≥2 positive samples had lower positive, but higher negative, predictive values. This study indicates that discrimination of Status A herds with high and low risks of future positive ELISA results is feasible. This might stimulate farmers with the highest risks to take additional measures to control any undetected Map infections. Full article
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Systematic Review
Animal-Assisted Intervention and Health Care Workers’ Psychological Health: A Systematic Review of the Literature
Animals 2022, 12(3), 383; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030383 - 04 Feb 2022
Viewed by 748
Abstract
Healthcare settings have recently increased the use of companion animals in the workplace to provide emotional support to people with disabilities, but there is limited empirical research on the effects of these programs on healthcare workers. However, it is reasonable to speculate that [...] Read more.
Healthcare settings have recently increased the use of companion animals in the workplace to provide emotional support to people with disabilities, but there is limited empirical research on the effects of these programs on healthcare workers. However, it is reasonable to speculate that Animal-Assisted Interventions (AAIs) may have positive effects on health care workers (HCWs) by buffering the negative effects of work-related stress and other occupational psychosocial risk factors. The aim of this review was to examine the beneficial effects of AAIs on the psychological well-being of HCWs. A systematic review was conducted in December 2021 to gain insight into the positive effects of pets on HCWs in the workplace. Searches were conducted in the following databases: Scopus, PubMed/Medline, Web of Science, and Google Scholar, including studies between 2001 and December 2021, and 12 articles were included in the review. The results indicate that implementing the AAI program in a busy clinic is feasible and that the program is accepted by medical professionals because of the immense psychological benefits it provides. However, the healthcare professionals disliked the experimental design that forced them to leave their workplaces at a certain time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
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Article
Differences in Meat Quality of Six Muscles Obtained from Southern African Large-Frame Indigenous Veld Goat and Boer Goat Wethers and Bucks
Animals 2022, 12(3), 382; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030382 - 04 Feb 2022
Viewed by 426
Abstract
Various meat quality characteristics of six muscles (Longissimus thoracis et lumborum (LTL), Semimembranosus (SM), Biceps femoris (BF), Supraspinatus (SS), Infraspinatus (IS), Semitendinosus (ST)) from large-frame Boer Goats (BG) and Indigenous Veld Goats (IVG: Cape Speckled and the Cape Lob Ear) were studied. [...] Read more.
Various meat quality characteristics of six muscles (Longissimus thoracis et lumborum (LTL), Semimembranosus (SM), Biceps femoris (BF), Supraspinatus (SS), Infraspinatus (IS), Semitendinosus (ST)) from large-frame Boer Goats (BG) and Indigenous Veld Goats (IVG: Cape Speckled and the Cape Lob Ear) were studied. Weaner male BG (n = 18; 10 bucks and 8 wethers) and IVG (n = 19; 9 bucks and 10 wethers) were raised on hay and natural grass, and on a commercial pelleted diet to a live weight of 30–35 kg. All goats were slaughtered at a commercial abattoir and the dressed carcasses were chilled at 4 °C within 1 h post mortem. The muscles were dissected from both sides 24 h post mortem and aged for 1 d and 4 d. Variations in meat characteristics such as ultimate pH, water holding capacity (WHC), % purge, myofibril fragment length (MFL), intramuscular fat (IMF), connective tissue characteristics, and Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) were recorded across muscles. Bucks had higher lightness (L*) and hue-angle values, whereas wethers had increased redness (a*) and chroma values. The muscle baseline data will allow informed decisions to support muscle-specific marketing strategies, which may be used to improve consumer acceptability of chevon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carcass and Meat Quality in Ruminants)
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Review
Advances in the Diagnosis of Equine Respiratory Diseases: A Review of Novel Imaging and Functional Techniques
Animals 2022, 12(3), 381; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030381 - 04 Feb 2022
Viewed by 631
Abstract
The horse, as a flight animal with a survival strategy involving rapid escape from predators, is a natural-born athlete with enormous functional plasticity of the respiratory system. Any respiratory dysfunction can cause a decline in ventilation and gas exchange. Therefore, respiratory diseases often [...] Read more.
The horse, as a flight animal with a survival strategy involving rapid escape from predators, is a natural-born athlete with enormous functional plasticity of the respiratory system. Any respiratory dysfunction can cause a decline in ventilation and gas exchange. Therefore, respiratory diseases often lead to exercise intolerance and poor performance. This is one of the most frequent problems encountered by equine internists. Routine techniques used to evaluate respiratory tract diseases include clinical examination, endoscopic examination, radiographic and ultrasonographic imaging, cytological evaluation, and bacterial culture of respiratory secretions. New diagnostic challenges and the growing development of equine medicine has led to the implementation of advanced diagnostic techniques successfully used in human medicine. Among them, the use of computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging significantly broadened the possibilities of anatomical imaging, especially in the diagnosis of upper respiratory tract diseases. Moreover, the implementation of spirometry, electrical impedance tomography (EIT), and impulse oscillation system (IOS) sheds new light on functional diagnostics of respiratory tract diseases, especially those affecting the lower part. Therefore, this review aimed to familiarize the clinicians with the advantages and disadvantages of the advanced diagnostic techniques of the equine respiratory tract and introduce their recent clinical applications in equine medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Equine Respiratory Medicine and Cardiology)
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Article
Effects of Dietary Multienzyme Complex Supplementation on Growth Performance, Digestive Capacity, Histomorphology, Blood Metabolites and Hepatic Glycometabolism in Snakehead (Channa argus)
Animals 2022, 12(3), 380; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030380 - 04 Feb 2022
Viewed by 461
Abstract
The present study evaluated the impact of dietary multienzyme complex (MEC) supplementation on growth performance, digestive enzyme activity, histomorphology, serum metabolism and hepatopancreas glycometabolism in snakeheads (Channa argus). A total of 600 fish (initial weight, 69.70 ± 0.30 g) were randomly [...] Read more.
The present study evaluated the impact of dietary multienzyme complex (MEC) supplementation on growth performance, digestive enzyme activity, histomorphology, serum metabolism and hepatopancreas glycometabolism in snakeheads (Channa argus). A total of 600 fish (initial weight, 69.70 ± 0.30 g) were randomly divided into four groups. Four diets were formulated: (1) control (basic diet); (2) E1 (400 U kg−1 amylase, 150 U kg−1 acid protease, 1900 U kg−1 neutral protease and basic diet); (3) E2 (800 U kg−1 amylase, 300 U kg−1 acid protease, 3800 U kg−1 neutral protease and basic diet); and (4) E3 (1200 U kg−1 amylase, 450 U kg−1 acid protease, 5700 U kg−1 neutral protease and basic diet). The results show that the E2 group increased the specific growth rate, weight gain rate and the final body weight, as well as decreasing the blood urea nitrogen, alanine aminotransferase and triglyceride. The mRNA levels and activities of digestive enzymes and key glucose metabolism enzymes in the hepatopancreas were enhanced in snakeheads fed the MEC. Meanwhile, moderate MEC diet (E2 groups) supplementation improved digestive tract morphology, increased the glycogen in the hepatopancreas and the lipids in the dorsal muscle. Moreover, plasma metabolomics revealed differential metabolites mainly involved in amino acid metabolism. These findings suggest that dietary supplementation with the MEC improved growth performance, digestive tract morphology, gene expression and the activity of digestive enzymes, enhanced the glycolysis-gluconeogenesis and amino acid metabolism of snakeheads, and the optimal composition of the MEC was group E2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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Communication
Thyroid Hormones in Hemolymph of Red King Crabs from the Barents Sea
Animals 2022, 12(3), 379; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030379 - 04 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 515
Abstract
Only a few studies have reported the presence and levels of thyroid hormones in invertebrates. At the same time, the administration of these hormones has been shown to be a profitable method for inducing growth in crustaceans. Knowledge of thyroid hormone concentrations is [...] Read more.
Only a few studies have reported the presence and levels of thyroid hormones in invertebrates. At the same time, the administration of these hormones has been shown to be a profitable method for inducing growth in crustaceans. Knowledge of thyroid hormone concentrations is required to involve this approach in crustacean aquaculture. For this reason, we examined hemolymph samples of the invasive red king crab Paralithodes camtschaticus from the Barents Sea population for the levels of triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). Radioimmunoassays indicated that T3 ranged from 0.26 to 1.55 μg dL–1, whereas T4 varied from 52 to 203 μg dL–1. Adult crabs demonstrated higher levels of T3 than juveniles, while juvenile crabs had higher levels of T4 in comparison to larger conspecifics. The thyroxine levels were consistent throughout the study period. In contrast, significant seasonal variations were found for T3. In immature crabs, the maximum concentration was found in October, whereas in adult crabs, the highest level of T3 was registered in August. Most likely, these results are explained by changes in physiological conditions of the crabs associated with their molting calendar and migration activity. Our data may have important implications for aquaculture of Paralithodes camtschaticus in the Barents Sea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Animals: New Horizons for Blue Growth)
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Review
Diversity of Coronaviruses with Particular Attention to the Interspecies Transmission of SARS-CoV-2
Animals 2022, 12(3), 378; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030378 - 04 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 981
Abstract
In December 2019, the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was reported in China with serious impacts on global health and economy that is still ongoing. Although interspecies transmission of coronaviruses is common and well documented, each coronavirus has a [...] Read more.
In December 2019, the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was reported in China with serious impacts on global health and economy that is still ongoing. Although interspecies transmission of coronaviruses is common and well documented, each coronavirus has a narrowly restricted host range. Coronaviruses utilize different receptors to mediate membrane fusion and replication in the cell cytoplasm. The interplay between the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of coronaviruses and their coevolution are determinants for host susceptibility. The recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 caused the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and has also been reported in domestic and wild animals, raising the question about the responsibility of animals in virus evolution. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic might also substantially have an impact on animal production for a long time. In the present review, we discussed the diversity of coronaviruses in animals and thus the diversity of their receptors. Moreover, the determinants of the susceptibility of SARS-CoV-2 in several animals, with special reference to the current evidence of SARS-CoV-2 in animals, were highlighted. Finally, we shed light on the urgent demand for the implementation of the One Health concept as a collaborative global approach to mitigate the threat for both humans and animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Susceptibility of Animals to SARS-CoV-2)
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Article
Why and How European Farmers Are Dedicated to Breeding the Dwarf Dahomey Cattle
Animals 2022, 12(3), 377; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030377 - 04 Feb 2022
Viewed by 489
Abstract
This study investigates the motivations and breeding practices of farmers keeping Dahomey cattle in European countries. Data were collected using a web-based open-closed questionnaire survey targeting 55 farmers from Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Descriptive analyses revealed that the earliest European Dahomey herds were [...] Read more.
This study investigates the motivations and breeding practices of farmers keeping Dahomey cattle in European countries. Data were collected using a web-based open-closed questionnaire survey targeting 55 farmers from Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Descriptive analyses revealed that the earliest European Dahomey herds were established in 2005. Moreover, interest in the breed recently increased as 63.7% of the investigated farmers established their herds between 2016 and 2020. The average herd size comprises seven Dahomey cattle, kept for managing grassland (59.3%), for production of meat or as breeding stock (32.1%) and for a hobby (8.6%). The animals are mostly kept in grazing systems throughout the year, partly fattened with supplement feeds. The low disease incidence and no need for extra health care in the herds indicate the robustness of the breed. Furthermore, meat quality, calving ease, small size, calm character and low feed requirements of Dahomey cattle were valued by the farmers. For the preservation of these features, farmers confirmed their enthusiasm to support any breeding and conservation program of this smallholder breed in Europe and Benin. This study highlights the importance of small-sized cattle for sustainable breeding systems and with regard to ecosystem management practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Grazing Animals: Lowering Environmental Impact)
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