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Animals, Volume 8, Issue 6 (June 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Reasons for widespread bans or restrictions on tail docking of canine puppies have been reassessed [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Mastitis on Rabbit Farms: Prevalence and Risk Factors
Animals 2018, 8(6), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8060098
Received: 21 April 2018 / Revised: 5 June 2018 / Accepted: 16 June 2018 / Published: 20 June 2018
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Abstract
In this cross-sectional study, prevalence of clinical mastitis (PCM) and farm-specific risk factors were determined on 531 doe rabbit farms in Spain and Portugal, from January 2001 through March 2017. The information was obtained by carrying out 2367 visits and doing physical examinations
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In this cross-sectional study, prevalence of clinical mastitis (PCM) and farm-specific risk factors were determined on 531 doe rabbit farms in Spain and Portugal, from January 2001 through March 2017. The information was obtained by carrying out 2367 visits and doing physical examinations of 144,455 lactating does, sorted in 2635 cohorts. Overall mean PCM was 4.05% (CI95% [3.87–4.22]), (minimum to maximum: 0–36.00% PCM). This study suggests that PCM was influenced by the variable number of batches (a batch was a group of does served the same day), per maternity barn (p < 0.0001). The duo system (does being moved to clean disinfected barns for parturition), was also an enabling risk factor for CM. The day of service or lactation stage also affected PCM. Lastly, there was an effect of the breeds or lines (p < 0.0001); mean PCM ranged between 1.29% and 7.09%. A subset of data obtained from 200 farms visited during January 2012–March 2017, was recorded to describe the use of antimicrobials against mastitis. Changes in host, husbandry, environment, and biosecurity practices, are highlighted to provide health and welfare benefits for breeding rabbits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Using GPS Technology to Understand Spatial and Temporal Activity of Kangaroos in a Peri-Urban Environment
Animals 2018, 8(6), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8060097
Received: 24 April 2018 / Revised: 11 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 17 June 2018
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Abstract
The increasing kangaroo occurrence in expanding peri-urban areas can be problematic when kangaroos become aggressive towards people and present a collision risk to motor vehicles. An improved understanding on kangaroo spatial and temporal activity patterns in the peri-urban environment is essential to manage
[...] Read more.
The increasing kangaroo occurrence in expanding peri-urban areas can be problematic when kangaroos become aggressive towards people and present a collision risk to motor vehicles. An improved understanding on kangaroo spatial and temporal activity patterns in the peri-urban environment is essential to manage kangaroo–human conflict. In this study, we used GPS telemetry to determine activity patterns of male Eastern Grey Kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) in a peri-urban community on the north-coast of New South Wales, Australia. Two types of GPS devices were employed; collars and cheaper alternative glue-on units. Kangaroos moved on average 2.39 km a day, with an average movement rate of 1.89 m/min, which was greatest at dawn. The GPS glue-on devices had short deployment lengths of one to 12 days. Despite limitations in attachment time, the glue-on devices were viable in obtaining daily spatial and temporal activity data. Our results aid towards alleviating conflict with kangaroos by providing new insights into kangaroo movements and activity within a peri-urban environment and introduces a potential cheap GPS alternative for obtaining this data relative to more expensive collars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Management in the 21st Century)
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Open AccessArticle Human Demonstration Does Not Facilitate the Performance of Horses (Equus caballus) in a Spatial Problem-Solving Task
Animals 2018, 8(6), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8060096
Received: 8 May 2018 / Revised: 8 June 2018 / Accepted: 12 June 2018 / Published: 13 June 2018
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Abstract
Horses’ ability to adapt to new environments and to acquire new information plays an important role in handling and training. Social learning in particular would be very adaptive for horses as it enables them to flexibly adjust to new environments. In the context
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Horses’ ability to adapt to new environments and to acquire new information plays an important role in handling and training. Social learning in particular would be very adaptive for horses as it enables them to flexibly adjust to new environments. In the context of horse handling, social learning from humans has been rarely investigated but could help to facilitate management practices. We assessed the impact of human demonstration on the spatial problem-solving abilities of horses during a detour task. In this task, a bucket with a food reward was placed behind a double-detour barrier and 16 horses were allocated to two test groups of 8 horses each. One group received a human demonstration of how to solve the spatial task while the other group received no demonstration. We found that horses did not solve the detour task more often or faster with human demonstration. However, both test groups improved rapidly over trials. Our results suggest that horses prefer to use individual rather than social information when solving a spatial problem-solving task. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
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Open AccessArticle Changes Associated with Improved Outcomes for Cats Entering RSPCA Queensland Shelters from 2011 to 2016
Animals 2018, 8(6), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8060095
Received: 29 March 2018 / Revised: 22 May 2018 / Accepted: 6 June 2018 / Published: 12 June 2018
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Abstract
This retrospective study of cat admissions to RSPCA Queensland shelters describes changes associated with improved outcomes ending in live release in 2016 compared to 2011. There were 13,911 cat admissions in 2011 and 13,220 in 2016, with approximately 50% in both years admitted
[...] Read more.
This retrospective study of cat admissions to RSPCA Queensland shelters describes changes associated with improved outcomes ending in live release in 2016 compared to 2011. There were 13,911 cat admissions in 2011 and 13,220 in 2016, with approximately 50% in both years admitted as strays from the general public or council contracts. In contrast, owner surrenders halved from 30% to 15% of admissions. Percentages of admissions ending in euthanasia decreased from 58% to 15%. Only 5% of cat admissions were reclaimed in each of these years, but the percentage rehomed increased from 34% to 74%, of which 61% of the increase was contributed by in-shelter adoptions and 39% from non-shelter sites, predominately retail partnerships. The percentage temporarily fostered until rehoming doubled. In 2011, euthanasias were most common for medical (32% of all euthanasias), behavioral (36%) and age/shelter number (30%) reasons, whereas in 2016, 69% of euthanasias were for medical reasons. The number of young kittens euthanized decreased from 1116 in 2011 to 22 in 2016. The number of cats classified as feral and euthanized decreased from 1178 to 132, in association with increased time for assessment of behavior and increased use of behavior modification programs and foster care. We attribute the improved cat outcomes to strategies that increased adoptions and reduced euthanasia of young kittens and poorly socialized cats, including foster programs. To achieve further decreases in euthanasia, strategies to decrease intake would be highly beneficial, such as those targeted to reduce stray cat admissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Sheltering)
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Open AccessErratum Erratum: Martin, J.E., et al. Welfare Risks of Repeated Application of On-Farm Killing Methods for Poultry. Animals 2018, 8, 39
Animals 2018, 8(6), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8060094
Received: 7 June 2018 / Accepted: 7 June 2018 / Published: 11 June 2018
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Abstract
The authors wish to make the following correction to their paper[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle Post-Adoption Problem Behaviours in Adolescent and Adult Dogs Rehomed through a New Zealand Animal Shelter
Animals 2018, 8(6), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8060093
Received: 21 May 2018 / Revised: 5 June 2018 / Accepted: 6 June 2018 / Published: 11 June 2018
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Abstract
Problem behaviours in dogs rehomed through animal shelters can jeopardise the long-term success of adoptions. In this study, data from 61 adolescent and adult dog adoptions that occurred through an animal shelter in Auckland, New Zealand, from 1 November 2015 to 31 July
[...] Read more.
Problem behaviours in dogs rehomed through animal shelters can jeopardise the long-term success of adoptions. In this study, data from 61 adolescent and adult dog adoptions that occurred through an animal shelter in Auckland, New Zealand, from 1 November 2015 to 31 July 2016 were analysed to describe the frequency of problem behaviours and level of adopter concern at different time points post-adoption. Amongst the 57 dogs with behavioural information available, 40 (70%) had at least one reported problem behaviour, and the most frequently reported problem behaviours were poor manners (46%), destruction of household items (30%), and excessively high energy (28%). Very few dogs showed territorial aggression when objects or food items were removed (2% and 4%, respectively). However, aggression toward people or other dogs was frequently reported (19% and 19%, respectively). Of the 54 adopters that provided a response about their level of concern over their dog’s problem behaviours, 24 (44%) were not concerned at all, 23 (43%) were a little concerned, 4 (7%) were moderately concerned, and 3 (6%) were very concerned. Based on our interpretation of these findings, post-adoption support programmes targeted toward teaching adopters how to correctly train their dogs may be beneficial to increasing adoption satisfaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Sheltering)
Open AccessArticle Key Tenets of Operational Success in International Animal Welfare Initiatives
Animals 2018, 8(6), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8060092
Received: 11 April 2018 / Revised: 1 June 2018 / Accepted: 4 June 2018 / Published: 9 June 2018
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Abstract
Animal welfare is an increasingly global initiative, which makes the intricate business of operating across borders of particular relevance to the movement. There is, however, a distinct absence of literature dedicated to investigating operational strategies that are more likely to result in the
[...] Read more.
Animal welfare is an increasingly global initiative, which makes the intricate business of operating across borders of particular relevance to the movement. There is, however, a distinct absence of literature dedicated to investigating operational strategies that are more likely to result in the success of international animal welfare initiatives. In addition to this, opportunities exist to investigate the human aspects of animal welfare, parallel to the growing field of animal-based science. This study aimed to begin addressing these gaps by conducting semi structured interviews with 15 leaders of some of the largest international animal welfare charities. Leaders were asked to describe their experiences of successful and unsuccessful initiatives within the animal welfare movement. Thematic analysis was then conducted to identify recurring concepts and extrapolate potentially applicable information. Engaging stakeholders and communities in locally-led and culturally respectful ways were discussed, as was the importance of knowledge, moderation, flexibility, and mutual benefits. The dangers of attacking personal and cultural identity are also highlighted and discussed. Key quotes and examples are presented, supplemented with mind maps as a tool to more readily apply the findings of the study in strategy development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Infectious Disease Prevalence and Factors Associated with Upper Respiratory Infection in Cats Following Relocation
Animals 2018, 8(6), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8060091
Received: 25 April 2018 / Revised: 7 June 2018 / Accepted: 7 June 2018 / Published: 9 June 2018
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Abstract
Feline relocation is used increasingly in animal welfare to decrease shelter euthanasia rates and increase positive outcomes. Concerns about infectious disease introduction and transmission are often expressed; however, little research has been conducted on even the baseline prevalence of infectious disease following relocation.
[...] Read more.
Feline relocation is used increasingly in animal welfare to decrease shelter euthanasia rates and increase positive outcomes. Concerns about infectious disease introduction and transmission are often expressed; however, little research has been conducted on even the baseline prevalence of infectious disease following relocation. This study, which collected data on 430 cats relocated through an established program over 7 months, evaluated the prevalence of upper respiratory infection (URI), feline panleukopenia virus (FPV) and dermatophytosis at one destination agency. The period prevalence was 25.8% for URI, 1.6% for FPV and 0.9% for dermatophytosis. Mixed-effects logistic regression was performed to investigate factors associated with URI. Younger age, increased time in transport, and increased length of stay at the destination agency were associated with increased URI prevalence following relocation. The findings of this study reveal that certain highly contagious and environmentally persistent infectious diseases, such as FPV and dermatophytosis, are uncommon following relocation in an established program; however, URI in relocated cats should be proactively managed. Animal welfare agencies can use this information to guide shelter and relocation operations and mitigate the impact of URI in relocated cats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
Open AccessArticle Urban Sloths: Public Knowledge, Opinions, and Interactions
Animals 2018, 8(6), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8060090
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 28 May 2018 / Accepted: 7 June 2018 / Published: 8 June 2018
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Abstract
Free-range sloths living in an urban environment are rare. In this study, the opinions, attitudes, and interactions with a population of Bradypus variegatus were investigated through short, structured interviews of people in the pubic square where the sloths live, in addition to informal,
[...] Read more.
Free-range sloths living in an urban environment are rare. In this study, the opinions, attitudes, and interactions with a population of Bradypus variegatus were investigated through short, structured interviews of people in the pubic square where the sloths live, in addition to informal, opportunistic observations of human-sloth interactions. A questionnaire was applied to people in the square where the sloths reside, and informal, opportunistic observations of human-sloth interactions were made. 95% of respondents knew of the sloths’ existence in the square and 87.8% liked their presence. Opinions about population size differed greatly and younger people were concerned as to whether the square was an appropriate place for them. Some human-sloth interactions showed the consequences of a lack of biological knowledge. People initiated all sloth-human interactions. The fact that sloths are strictly folivorous has avoided interactions with humans and, consequently, mitigated any negative impacts of the human-animal interaction on their wellbeing. These results demonstrate that, while there is a harmonious relationship between people and sloths, actions in environmental education of the square’s public could be beneficial for the sloths. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle International Animal Protection Society Leadership: The Right People for the Right Issues
Animals 2018, 8(6), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8060089
Received: 4 May 2018 / Revised: 1 June 2018 / Accepted: 4 June 2018 / Published: 7 June 2018
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Abstract
As the increasing body of scientific information about the experiences of other species and their ability to suffer becomes available to those working within the field of animal welfare, the amount of potential issues to address also increases. Carefully choosing issues to address,
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As the increasing body of scientific information about the experiences of other species and their ability to suffer becomes available to those working within the field of animal welfare, the amount of potential issues to address also increases. Carefully choosing issues to address, and indeed leaders to drive the cause forward, has the potential to significantly increase the efficacy of the international animal welfare movement. Within this study 15 leaders of major international animal welfare organizations were interviewed about their experiences, thoughts and strategies, which have been primarily acquired through long-term exposure to the movement, and endeavors of trial and error. After thematic analysis, key themes are presented, along with strategies and cautions that may be beneficial to the animal welfare movement. Animal welfare leaders suggested a focus on issues that fitted well with their organizations’ remit and were not too broad, to avoid spreading resources and expertise too thin. A utilitarian framework was also considered important, aiming to improve the lives of as many animals as possible for the resources deployed. Good leaders were believed to have passion for their cause, not just for animals, and an ability to build and lead good teams, hence good interpersonal human skills were also perceived as essential. It is concluded that establishing what makes a good animal welfare leader could offer useful direction for future engagement of successful leaders in this field. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Proposal for a UK Ethics Council for Animal Policy: The Case for Putting Ethics Back into Policy Making
Animals 2018, 8(6), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8060088
Received: 16 April 2018 / Revised: 24 May 2018 / Accepted: 31 May 2018 / Published: 7 June 2018
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Abstract
Substantial controversy is a consistent feature of UK animal health and welfare policy. BSE,~foot and mouth disease, bovine TB and badger culling, large indoor dairies, and wild animals in circuses are examples. Such policy issues are inherently normative; they include a substantial moral
[...] Read more.
Substantial controversy is a consistent feature of UK animal health and welfare policy. BSE,~foot and mouth disease, bovine TB and badger culling, large indoor dairies, and wild animals in circuses are examples. Such policy issues are inherently normative; they include a substantial moral dimension. This paper reviews UK animal welfare advisory bodies such as the Animal Health and Welfare Board of England, the Farm Animal Welfare Committee and the Animals in Science Committee. These bodies play a key advisory role, but do not have adequate expertise in ethics to inform the moral dimension of policy. We propose an “Ethics Council for Animal Policy” to inform the UK government on policy that significantly impacts sentient species. We review existing Councils (e.g., the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and The Netherlands Council on Animal Affairs) and examine some widely used ethical frameworks (e.g., Banner’s principles and the ethical matrix). The Ethics Council for Animal Policy should be independent from government and members should have substantial expertise in ethics and related disciplines. A pluralistic six-stage ethical framework is proposed: (i) Problematisation of the policy issue, (ii) utilitarian analysis, (iii) animal rights analysis, (iv) virtue-based analysis, (v) animal welfare ethic analysis, and (vi) integrated ethical analysis. The~paper concludes that an Ethics Council for Animal Policy is necessary for just and democratic policy making in all societies that use sentient nonhuman species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Ethics)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of the Use of Phosphatidic Acid in the Diet on Growth Performance and Breast Meat Yield in Broilers
Animals 2018, 8(6), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8060087
Received: 16 April 2018 / Revised: 23 May 2018 / Accepted: 29 May 2018 / Published: 5 June 2018
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Abstract
The use of feed additives to improve feed conversion while increasing growth is the goal of any broiler nutrition program. Therefore, it is important to evaluate potential feed additives not only for increased performance, but also for any negative attributes. A study was
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The use of feed additives to improve feed conversion while increasing growth is the goal of any broiler nutrition program. Therefore, it is important to evaluate potential feed additives not only for increased performance, but also for any negative attributes. A study was conducted to evaluate the effects of feeding phosphatidic acid (PA) to broiler chickens. Two experiments were conducted using exercise in conjunction with PA (Experiment 1(E1)) and administering PA at different inclusion rates in the diet (Experiment 2 (E2)); LowPA (5 mg/bird/day), MidPA (10 mg/bird/day), HighPA (15 mg/bird/day), and control (CON). All birds were weighed bi-weekly during the experiments to obtain average pen weights and feed conversion ratios (FCRs). At the end of the experiments, eight birds per pen were processed to evaluate carcass traits and breast yield. In E1, exercise did not affect growth, feed conversion or processing traits (p > 0.05). However, PA supplementation did increase growth, carcass and breast weight, and carcass and breast yields (p < 0.05). In E2, differences (p < 0.05) in live bird weights between the control birds (1.65 kg) and all PA treatments (pooled mean: 1.73 kg) began at 28 days; however, only the LowPA carried that effect (p = 0.05) through to the conclusion of the trial (3.55 vs. 3.81 kg). Overall, LowPA (1.64) and MidPA (1.69) had lower (p < 0.05) FCRs than the CON treatment (1.74). Increased growth observed in live bird weights in the LowPA translated to increased (p < 0.05) overall carcass weights (2.78 vs. 2.99 kg) and specifically breast filet weights (0.69 vs. 0.76 kg). Yields did not differ (p > 0.05), but with the increased weight feeding LowPA resulted in more total breast meat. Phosphatidic acid did not affect (p > 0.05) woody breast or white striping. In conclusion, dietary PA improved FCR, increased live bird weights, and increased breast fillet weight without increased incidence of white striping. These results indicate that feeding PA may increase production efficiency in broilers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
Open AccessArticle Floor Feeding Sows Their Daily Allocation over Multiple Drops per Day Does Not Result in More Equitable Feeding Opportunities in Later Drops
Animals 2018, 8(6), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8060086
Received: 9 May 2018 / Revised: 1 June 2018 / Accepted: 4 June 2018 / Published: 5 June 2018
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Abstract
This research studied whether floor feeding group-housed sows their daily allocation over multiple feed drops per day provides more equitable feeding opportunities in later drops. Over four time replicates, 275 sows were mixed into groups of 10 for both their first and second
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This research studied whether floor feeding group-housed sows their daily allocation over multiple feed drops per day provides more equitable feeding opportunities in later drops. Over four time replicates, 275 sows were mixed into groups of 10 for both their first and second gestations (200 sows/gestation, 126 sows observed in both gestations). The feeding behavior of individual sows was recorded for 10 min following each of four feed drops per day (0730, 0900, 1100, 1500 h) on days 2, 9 and 51 post-mixing. The location of feeding sows (i.e., feeding in areas associated with high, reduced or little/no food availability) was also recorded. Sow aggressive behavior on day 2 was used to classify sows as dominant (D), subdominant (SD), or submissive (SM). Dominant sows spent the most time feeding in areas of high-food availability (gestation 1, p < 0.001; gestation 2, p = 0.023); SD sows fed more frequently than D sows from areas of reduced food availability (gestation 1, p = 0.001; gestation 2, p = 0.025); and SM sows performed more feeding behavior in areas of little/no food availability (gestation 1, p < 0.001; gestation 2, p < 0.001). These relationships did not change over feed drops or days in either gestation (p > 0.05). Further research on the management and design of floor feeding systems is required, with a particular emphasis on increasing accessibility to sows that avoid the feeding area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Encoding of Emotional Valence in Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) Calls
Animals 2018, 8(6), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8060085
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 30 May 2018 / Accepted: 1 June 2018 / Published: 5 June 2018
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Abstract
Measuring emotions in nonhuman mammals is challenging. As animals are not able to verbally report how they feel, we need to find reliable indicators to assess their emotional state. Emotions can be described using two key dimensions: valence (negative or positive) and arousal
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Measuring emotions in nonhuman mammals is challenging. As animals are not able to verbally report how they feel, we need to find reliable indicators to assess their emotional state. Emotions can be described using two key dimensions: valence (negative or positive) and arousal (bodily activation or excitation). In this study, we investigated vocal expression of emotional valence in wild boars (Sus scrofa). The animals were observed in three naturally occurring situations: anticipation of a food reward (positive), affiliative interactions (positive), and agonistic interactions (negative). Body movement was used as an indicator of emotional arousal to control for the effect of this dimension. We found that screams and squeals were mostly produced during negative situations, and grunts during positive situations. Additionally, the energy quartiles, duration, formants, and harmonicity indicated valence across call types and situations. The mean of the first and second formants also indicated valence, but varied according to the call type. Our results suggest that wild boars can vocally express their emotional states. Some of these indicators could allow us to identify the emotional valence that wild boars are experiencing during vocal production and thus inform us about their welfare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Emotion)
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Open AccessArticle Free Dietary Choice and Free-Range Rearing Improve the Product Quality, Gait Score, and Microbial Richness of Chickens
Animals 2018, 8(6), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8060084
Received: 8 May 2018 / Revised: 30 May 2018 / Accepted: 30 May 2018 / Published: 1 June 2018
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Abstract
Poultry welfare has been extensively studied; however, there is a lack of rigorous scientific knowledge relating to the different aspects of welfare factors and how this may contribute to the production quantity and product quality as well as the welfare of chickens. Therefore,
[...] Read more.
Poultry welfare has been extensively studied; however, there is a lack of rigorous scientific knowledge relating to the different aspects of welfare factors and how this may contribute to the production quantity and product quality as well as the welfare of chickens. Therefore, we conducted an integrated study to compare welfare factors in chickens by providing free dietary choice under cage rearing, and further comparing cage rearing with free-range rearing. One hundred chickens each were allocated to a cage rearing group with conventional feeding (CC), a cage rearing group with free dietary choice of mealworms (FDM), a cage rearing group with free dietary choice of mealworms and fresh grass (FDMG), and a free-range rearing system group with free dietary choice of mealworms and fresh grass (FRMG). Results showed that under cage rearing, free dietary choice contributed to better meat quality and gait score, higher values of blood platelets, and a richer gut microbial composition, but poorer egg production than CC chickens. As compared to FDMG, FRMG chickens showed better meat quality, gait score, and feather conditions, as well as a richer gut microbial composition; however, they had poorer egg production and a poorer foot pad and foot feather condition. We conclude that free dietary choice and free-range rearing systems improve the product quality, gait score, and microbial richness of chickens. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Early Feed Restriction Programs Metabolic Disorders in Fattening Merino Lambs
Animals 2018, 8(6), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8060083
Received: 9 May 2018 / Revised: 26 May 2018 / Accepted: 26 May 2018 / Published: 31 May 2018
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Abstract
Early postnatal nutrition may have a significant subsequent impact on metabolic disorders during the entire lifespan of lambs. The aim of the present study was to describe the changes in biochemical, immunological, hepatic, and ruminal parameters of fattening lambs derived from early feed
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Early postnatal nutrition may have a significant subsequent impact on metabolic disorders during the entire lifespan of lambs. The aim of the present study was to describe the changes in biochemical, immunological, hepatic, and ruminal parameters of fattening lambs derived from early feed restriction during the suckling phase. Twenty-four merino lambs (average body weight, BW, 4.81 ± 0.256 kg) were used, 12 of them were milk-fed ad libitum (ADL) remaining permanently with their dams, whereas the other 12 lambs (restricted, RES) were subjected to milk restriction. After weaning, all the lambs were fed 35 g/kg BW per day of the same complete pelleted diet to ensure no differences between groups in dry matter intake (603 vs. 607 g/day for ADL and RES lambs, respectively, p = 0.703), and were slaughtered at a BW of 27 kg. Biochemical profiles revealed higher concentrations of ceruloplasmin and low-density lipoproteins, whereas insulin concentration was lower in the RES lambs compared to the ADL group. Liver thiobarbituric acid reactive substances were lower in the RES lambs. No significant differences in ruminal or blood immunological parameters were found. In conclusion, early feed restriction promoted metabolic disorders not related to ruminal acidosis occurrence, which can compromise the health status during the fattening period of merino lambs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
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Open AccessFeature PaperOpinion Tail Docking of Canine Puppies: Reassessment of the Tail’s Role in Communication, the Acute Pain Caused by Docking and Interpretation of Behavioural Responses
Animals 2018, 8(6), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8060082
Received: 2 May 2018 / Revised: 30 May 2018 / Accepted: 30 May 2018 / Published: 31 May 2018
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Abstract
Laws, regulations and professional standards increasingly aim to ban or restrict non-therapeutic tail docking in canine puppies. These constraints have usually been justified by reference to loss of tail participation in communication between dogs, the acute pain presumed to be caused during docking
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Laws, regulations and professional standards increasingly aim to ban or restrict non-therapeutic tail docking in canine puppies. These constraints have usually been justified by reference to loss of tail participation in communication between dogs, the acute pain presumed to be caused during docking itself, subsequent experiences of chronic pain and heightened pain sensitivity, and the occurrence of other complications. These areas are reconsidered here. First, a scientifically robust examination of the dynamic functional foundations, sensory components and key features of body language that are integral to canine communication shows that the role of the tail has been greatly underestimated. More specifically, it shows that tail behaviour is so embedded in canine communication that docking can markedly impede unambiguous interactions between different dogs and between dogs and people. These interactions include the expression of wide ranges of both negative and positive emotions, moods and intentions that are of daily significance for dog welfare. Moreover, all docked dogs may experience these impediments throughout their lives, which challenges assertions by opponents to such bans or restrictions that the tail is a dispensable appendage. Second, and in contrast, a re-examination of the sensory capacities of canine puppies reveals that they cannot consciously experience acute or chronic pain during at least the first week after birth, which is when they are usually docked. The contrary view is based on questionable between-species extrapolation of information about pain from neurologically mature newborns such as calves, lambs, piglets and human infants, which certainly can consciously experience pain in response to injury, to neurologically immature puppies which remain unconscious and therefore unable to experience pain until about two weeks after birth. Third, underpinned by the incorrect conclusion that puppies are conscious at the usual docking age, it is argued here that the well-validated human emotional drive or desire to care for and protect vulnerable young, leads observers to misread striking docking-induced behaviour as indicating that the puppies consciously experience significant acute pain and distress. Fourth, updated information reaffirms the conclusion that a significant proportion of dogs docked as puppies will subsequently experience persistent and significant chronic pain and heightened pain sensitivity. And fifth, other reported negative consequences of docking should also be considered because, although their prevalence is unclear, when they do occur they would have significant negative welfare impacts. It is argued that the present analysis strengthens the rationale for such bans or restrictions on docking of puppies by clarifying which of several justifications previously used are and are not scientifically supportable. In particular, it highlights the major roles the tail plays in canine communication, as well as the lifetime handicaps to communication caused by docking. Thus, it is concluded that non-therapeutic tail docking of puppies represents an unnecessary removal of a necessary appendage and should therefore be banned or restricted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
Open AccessReview Towards Farm Animal Welfare and Sustainability
Animals 2018, 8(6), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8060081
Received: 2 May 2018 / Revised: 22 May 2018 / Accepted: 23 May 2018 / Published: 25 May 2018
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Abstract
As farm animal welfare becomes an increasingly important component of contemporary global livestock production, animal welfare science and animal welfare policy-making need to find new ways of entering global debates over food security and sustainability. In this paper, we explore the means by
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As farm animal welfare becomes an increasingly important component of contemporary global livestock production, animal welfare science and animal welfare policy-making need to find new ways of entering global debates over food security and sustainability. In this paper, we explore the means by which both animal welfare science and policy should articulate with these emerging global debates. Having first established the important gains in animal welfare policy and the maturity of animal welfare science, we identify and explore the potential impact of these current debates and argue that they have the potential for profound change in our understanding of, and our response to, the welfare of animals. We conclude the paper with a number of possible recommendations for how a scientifically informed, sustainable animal welfare policy might flourish. Full article
Open AccessArticle My Dog Is Not My Cat: Owner Perception of the Personalities of Dogs and Cats Living in the Same Household
Animals 2018, 8(6), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8060080
Received: 5 April 2018 / Revised: 21 May 2018 / Accepted: 22 May 2018 / Published: 24 May 2018
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Abstract
This study aims to define the personality traits perceived by the owners of multiple pets and to evaluate how they are modulated by experiential-environmental factors. A questionnaire was administered to 1270 owners of multiple pets (dogs and cats) to collect data on the
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This study aims to define the personality traits perceived by the owners of multiple pets and to evaluate how they are modulated by experiential-environmental factors. A questionnaire was administered to 1270 owners of multiple pets (dogs and cats) to collect data on the demographics, management, and personality of their pets. Data were analysed by principal component analysis, bivariate, and multivariable models. Five personality traits emerged in dogs and cats: sociability, reactivity, protectiveness, neuroticism, and fearfulness. The owners perceived differences in the personality of their pet: dogs scored higher in sociability, protectiveness, and reactivity, while lower in the neuroticism dimension compared with cats (p < 0.001). Age similarly affected sociability (p < 0.01), and reactivity (p < 0.001) in both dogs and cats, while species-specific gender differences were found as to fearfulness (p < 0.05) and neuroticism (p < 0.001). The age of acquisition modulated several traits in dog personality, while living with conspecifics especially influenced cats. Physiological, behavioural, and evolutionary characteristics could explain species differences. Moreover, intrinsic and extrinsic factors modulated the five dimensions of dogs and cats in a diversified fashion, suggesting complex interactions between species and the environment. However, owners could have had different attitudes with their animals which could have influenced personality perception. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
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Open AccessArticle Acceptability of Dry Dog Food Visual Characteristics by Consumer Segments Based on Overall Liking: a Case Study in Poland
Animals 2018, 8(6), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8060079
Received: 27 April 2018 / Revised: 16 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 May 2018 / Published: 23 May 2018
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Abstract
Sensory analysis of pet foods has been emerging as an important field of study for the pet food industry over the last few decades. Few studies have been conducted on understanding the pet owners’ perception of pet foods. The objective of this study
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Sensory analysis of pet foods has been emerging as an important field of study for the pet food industry over the last few decades. Few studies have been conducted on understanding the pet owners’ perception of pet foods. The objective of this study is to gain a deeper understanding on the perception of the visual characteristics of dry dog foods by dog owners in different consumer segments. A total of 120 consumers evaluated the appearance of 30 dry dog food samples with varying visual characteristics. The consumers rated the acceptance of the samples and associated each one with a list of positive and negative beliefs. Cluster Analysis, ANOVA and Correspondence Analysis were used to analyze the consumer responses. The acceptability of the appearance of dry dog foods was affected by the number of different kibbles present, color(s), shape(s), and size(s) of the kibbles in the product. Three consumer clusters were identified. Consumers rated highest single-kibble samples of medium sizes, traditional shapes, and brown colors. Participants disliked extra-small or extra-large kibble sizes, shapes with high-dimensional contrast, and kibbles of light brown color. These findings can help dry dog food manufacturers to meet consumers’ needs with increasing benefits to the pet food and commodity industries. Full article
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