Animals2015, 5(2), 361-394; doi:10.3390/ani5020361 - published 21 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The objective of this review is to point out that the global dialog on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in animal agriculture has, thus far, not adequately considered animal welfare in proposed climate change mitigation strategies. Many suggested approaches for reducing emissions, most of which could generally be described as calls for the intensification of production, can have substantial effects on the animals. Given the growing world-wide awareness and concern for animal welfare, many of these approaches are not socially sustainable. This review identifies the main emission abatement strategies in the climate change literature that would negatively affect animal welfare and details the associated problems. Alternative strategies are also identified as possible solutions for animal welfare and climate change, and it is suggested that more attention be focused on these types of options when allocating resources, researching mitigation strategies, and making policy decisions on reducing emissions from animal agriculture.
Animals2015, 5(2), 349-360; doi:10.3390/ani5020349 - published 13 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the viability and growth rate of piglets after weaning, the content of lipids in the blood and liver, antioxidant activity (AOA) and lipid peroxidation (LPO) when various additives are used in feed. The experiments were performed on two crosses of piglets obtained from Large White breed sows and Landrace breed boars. Twenty to 28 animals were randomly assigned per group. The following additives were tested: the benzodiazepine phenazepam, the neuroleptic aminazine, vitamins E and C, and the extract Eleutherococcus senticosus (Araliaceae). Different doses and combinations of the additives against ultraviolet irradiation were used. The addition of these substances improved the growth rate and viability of piglets. AOA increased under the influence of all factors studied, especially with the addition of extract of Eleutherococcus in feed in combination with aminazine and UV-irradiation (p < 0.01). However, the addition of Eleutherococcus extract and aminazine intensified LPO (p < 0.01), but use of UV irradiation helped to decrease LPO values (p < 0.01). Feeding a mixture of additives per pig per day of 3 mL of Eleutherococcus extract, 80 mg of 25% tocopherol, and 500 mg of ascorbic acid increased survival rate, average daily gain, and live weight at the end of the experiment. Thus, the use of prophylactic antistress and sedative drugs during weaning helps AOA normalize LPO of red blood cells; enhance post weaning growth of the pigs by 4.8% to 24.6% and increases piglet survival rate by 5% to 5.1%.
Animals2015, 5(2), 332-348; doi:10.3390/ani5020332 - published 13 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A lack of published information documenting problems with the microchip data for the reclaiming of stray animals entering Australian shelters limits improvement of the current microchipping system. A retrospective study analysing admission data for stray, adult dogs (n = 7258) and cats (n = 6950) entering the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Queensland between January 2012 and December 2013 was undertaken to determine the character and frequency of microchip data problems and their impact on outcome for the animal. Only 28% of dogs and 9% of cats were microchipped, and a substantial proportion (37%) had problems with their data, including being registered to a previous owner or organisation (47%), all phone numbers incorrect/disconnected (29%), and the microchip not registered (14%). A higher proportion of owners could be contacted when the microchip had no problems, compared to those with problems (dogs, 93% vs. 70%; cats, 75% vs. 41%). The proportion of animals reclaimed declined significantly between microchipped animals with no data problems, microchipped animals with data problems and non-microchipped animals—87%, 69%, and 37%, respectively, for dogs and 61%, 33%, and 5%, respectively, for cats. Strategies are needed to increase the accuracy of microchip data to facilitate the reclaiming of stray dogs and cats.
Animals2015, 5(2), 315-331; doi:10.3390/ani5020315 - published 30 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Animal research is not only regulated by legislation but also by self-regulatory mechanisms within the scientific community, which include biomedical journals’ policies on animal use. For editorial policies to meaningfully impact attitudes and practice, they must not only be put into effect by editors and reviewers, but also be set to high standards. We present a novel tool to classify journals’ policies on animal use—the EXEMPLAR scale—as well as an analysis by this scale of 170 journals publishing studies on animal models of three human diseases: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Type-1 Diabetes and Tuberculosis. Results show a much greater focus of editorial policies on regulatory compliance than on other domains, suggesting a transfer of journals’ responsibilities to scientists, institutions and regulators. Scores were not found to vary with journals’ impact factor, country of origin or antiquity, but were, however, significantly higher for open access journals, which may be a result of their greater exposure and consequent higher public scrutiny.
Animals2015, 5(2), 276-314; doi:10.3390/ani5020276 - published 29 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The percentage of adult cats euthanized in animal shelters is greater than that of kittens because adult cats are less likely to be adopted. This study aimed to provide evidence to inform the design of strategies to encourage adult cat adoptions. One such strategy is to discount adoption prices, but there are concerns that this may result in poor adoption outcomes. We surveyed 382 cat adopters at the time of adoption, to assess potential determinants of adopters’ cat age group choice (adult or kitten) and, for adult cat adopters, the price they are willing to pay. The same respondents were surveyed again 6–12 months after the adoption to compare outcomes between cat age groups and between adult cats in two price categories. Most adopters had benevolent motivations for adopting from the shelter and had put considerable thought into the adoption and requirements for responsible ownership. However, adult cat adopters were more likely to have been influenced by price than kitten adopters. Adoption outcomes were generally positive for both adult cats and kittens and for adult cats adopted at low prices. The latter finding alleviates concerns about the outcomes of “low-cost” adoptions in populations, such as the study population, and lends support for the use of “low-cost” adoptions as an option for attempting to increase adoption rates. In addition, the results provide information that can be used to inform future campaigns aimed at increasing the number of adult cat adoptions, particularly in devising marketing strategies for adult cats.
Animals2015, 5(2), 270-275; doi:10.3390/ani5020270 - published 24 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The Fawn hooded (FH) rat is commonly used in biomedical research. It is widely acknowledged that the FH rat has a bleeding disorder; leading to abundant bleedings. Although this bleeding disorder is investigated to model the storage pool defect; its impact on commonly performed invasive laboratory procedures has not yet been described. Our research group experienced clinically significant consequences of this bleeding disorder following invasive procedures (including intraperitoneal injections and neurocranial surgery) in the Rjlbm: FH stock. The clinical consequences of the surgical and anesthetic protocols applied; are described including the subsequent procedural refinements applied to minimize the impact of this disorder. It is strongly recommended to take the bleeding diathesis into account when performing invasive procedures in FH rats and to apply the suggested refinement of procedures.