Animals’ Tenth Anniversary

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2022) | Viewed by 204565

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
1. Institute of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Kreutzwaldi 1, 51014 Tartu, Estonia
2. Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute, Kent St., Bentley 6102, Australia
Interests: animal welfare; animal ethics; captive animal management; heavy metals in animals
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

To commemorate ten years of publishing Animals, papers are sought that describe the progress of scientific disciplines within animal science over the last ten years. It is expected that this will include, but not be restricted to, advances published in Animals. All the major sectors covered by Animals are suitable for this Special Issue, but to avoid duplication, it is recommended that you contact me ([email protected]) before drafting the paper to check that no one else is covering the topic. Particular emphasis should be placed on what has been achieved through these publications, changes in legislation, attitudes, development of standards, etc.

Prof. Dr. Clive J. C. Phillips
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • cattle
  • small ruminants
  • pigs
  • poultry
  • equids
  • companion animals
  • zoo animals
  • wildlife
  • aquatic animals
  • animal welfare
  • animal ethics
  • animal nutrition
  • animal physiology
  • animal genetics and genomics
  • animal system and management
  • animal reproduction
  • ecology and conservation
  • public policy, politics and law
  • birds
  • human–animal interactions, animal behaviour and emotion
  • veterinary clinical studies

Published Papers (46 papers)

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19 pages, 318 KiB  
Article
Reference Intervals and Percentiles for Hematologic and Serum Biochemical Values in Captive Bred Rhesus (Macaca mulatta) and Cynomolgus Macaques (Macaca fascicularis)
by Jaco Bakker, Annemiek Maaskant, Merel Wegman, Dian G. M. Zijlmans, Patrice Hage, Jan A. M. Langermans and Edmond J. Remarque
Animals 2023, 13(3), 445; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13030445 - 28 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2228
Abstract
Several physiological characteristics and housing conditions are known to affect hematologic and serum biochemical values in macaques. However, the studies that have been conducted either report values calculated based on a small number of animals, were designed specifically to document the effect of [...] Read more.
Several physiological characteristics and housing conditions are known to affect hematologic and serum biochemical values in macaques. However, the studies that have been conducted either report values calculated based on a small number of animals, were designed specifically to document the effect of a particular condition on the normal range of hematologic and serum biochemical values, or used parametric assumptions to calculate hematologic and serum biochemical reference intervals. We conducted a retrospective longitudinal cohort study to estimate reference intervals for hematologic and serum biochemical values in clinically healthy macaques based on observed percentiles without parametric assumptions. Data were obtained as part of the Biomedical Primate Research Centre (Rijswijk, The Netherlands) health monitoring program between 2018 and 2021. In total, 4009 blood samples from 1475 macaques were analyzed with a maximum of one repeat per year per animal. Data were established by species, gender, age, weight-for-height indices, pregnancy, sedation protocol, and housing conditions. Most of the parameters profoundly affected just some hematologic and serum biochemical values. A significant glucose difference was observed between the ketamine and ketamine-medetomidine sedation protocols. The results emphasize the importance of establishing uniform experimental groups with validated animal husbandry and housing conditions to improve the reproducibility of the experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
17 pages, 2724 KiB  
Article
In Vitro Replication of Swine Hepatitis E Virus (HEV): Production of Cell-Adapted Strains
by Giovanni Ianiro, Marina Monini, Maria Grazia Ammendolia, Luca De Sabato, Fabio Ostanello, Gabriele Vaccari and Ilaria Di Bartolo
Animals 2023, 13(2), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13020276 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1871
Abstract
The hepatitis E caused by the virus HEV of genotypes HEV-3 and HEV-4 is a zoonotic foodborne disease spread worldwide. HEV is currently classified into eight different genotypes (HEV-1–8). Genotypes HEV-3 and HEV-4 are zoonotic and are further divided into subtypes. Most of [...] Read more.
The hepatitis E caused by the virus HEV of genotypes HEV-3 and HEV-4 is a zoonotic foodborne disease spread worldwide. HEV is currently classified into eight different genotypes (HEV-1–8). Genotypes HEV-3 and HEV-4 are zoonotic and are further divided into subtypes. Most of the information on HEV replication remains unknown due to the lack of an efficient cell cultivation system. Over the last couple of years, several protocols for HEV cultivation have been developed on different cell lines; even if they were troublesome, long, and scarcely reproducible, they offered the opportunity to study the replicative cycle of the virus. In the present study, we aimed to obtain a protocol ready to use viral stock in serum free medium that can be used with reduced time of growth and without any purification steps. The employed method allowed isolation and cell adaptation of four swine HEV-3 strains, belonging to three different subtypes. Phylogenetic analyses conducted on partial genome sequences of in vitro isolated strains did not reveal any insertion in the hypervariable region (HVR) of the genomes. A limited number of mutations was acquired in the genome during the virus growth in the partial sequences of Methyltransferase (Met) and ORF2 coding genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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35 pages, 432 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Equations to Predict Body Weight and Chemical Composition in Growing/Finishing Cattle and Effects of Publication Year, Sex, and Breed Type on the Deviation from Observed Values
by P. A. Lancaster
Animals 2022, 12(24), 3554; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12243554 - 15 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1860
Abstract
Body weight and chemical composition are important aspects of beef cattle nutrition and management; however, existing equations estimating relationships among empty body and carcass chemical components were developed over 40 years ago using different cattle genetics and production systems. The objective of this [...] Read more.
Body weight and chemical composition are important aspects of beef cattle nutrition and management; however, existing equations estimating relationships among empty body and carcass chemical components were developed over 40 years ago using different cattle genetics and production systems. The objective of this analysis was to evaluate existing equations in predicting empty body and carcass chemical composition and determine the effect of sex, breed type, and publication year. A dataset was developed from published literature that contained 388 treatment means from 46 studies published between 1970 and 2020. Two equations relating shrunk body weight (SBW) to empty body weight (EBW), and 8 equations relating EBW and hot carcass weight (HCW) were found in the literature and evaluated using the developed dataset. Three sets of equations relating empty body chemical components, 4 sets of equations relating carcass chemical components, and 2 sets of equations relating carcass with empty body chemical components were found in the literature and evaluated using the dataset. Precision and accuracy of the equations were evaluated by simple linear regression of observed on predicted values, mean bias (MB), and concordance correlation coefficient (CCC). Additionally, the fixed effects of publication year, sex, and breed type on the deviation from observed values were evaluated using a general linear model. Both equations relating SBW to EBW and all equations relating EBW to HCW had high precision, but accuracy varied from −3.22 to −0.11% and −9.35 to −3.73% MB, respectively, and all the equations were affected by sex and breed type with 8 out of the 10 equations affected by publication year. For prediction of empty body chemical composition assuming empty body water is known, the 3 sets of equations varied in precision for protein (0.18 to 0.46), but not for fat (0.88 to 0.96) or ash (0.06 to 0.13) based on CCC, although the precision of prediction of protein and ash were poor. Accuracy of the 3 sets of equations varied for predicting empty body fat, protein, and ash with MB of −19.73 to −3.81, 1.67 to 15.91, and −0.16 to 15.75%, respectively. All 3 sets of equations were affected by publication year and breed type for predicting empty body fat, protein, and ash, and by sex for ash. For prediction of carcass chemical components assuming carcass water is known, the precision was similar among the 4 sets of equations for predicting fat (0.92 to 0.95), protein (0.34 to 0.40), and ash (−0.02 to −0.01) based on CCC, although precision was poor for protein and ash, but accuracy varied for prediction of carcass fat, protein and ash with MB of −11.20 to −2.52, 2.72 to 8.92, and −4.66 to 20.12%, respectively. Publication year and breed type affected the prediction of carcass fat and protein, and publication year, sex, and breed type affected the prediction of carcass ash for all 4 sets of equations. The precision of predicting empty body chemical components assuming carcass chemical components are known was high for water (0.96 and 0.98), fat (0.97 and 0.98), protein (0.97 and 0.97), and ash (0.98 and 0.96) and similar between the 2 sets of equations based on CCC. The accuracy of predicting empty body water (−1.68 and −0.33%), fat (6.38 and 2.70%), protein (0.85 and −0.54%), and ash (−0.65 and −4.54%) was moderate to high, but differed between sets of equations for fat and ash. Publication year influenced the prediction of empty body water for both sets of equations and ash for one of the equations, whereas, breed type influenced the prediction of water, protein, and ash, but not fat for both equations. Overall, existing equations may have major limitations to predicting empty body protein and ash unless carcass protein and ash are known. Additionally, all the equations were affected by some combination of publication year, sex, and breed type for one or more chemical components. Thus, a more robust set of equations should be developed to account for sex, breed type, and more recent cattle genetics and management systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
9 pages, 852 KiB  
Article
Flunixin Meglumine Is Superior to Meloxicam for Providing Analgesia after Surgical Castration in 2-Month-Old Goats
by Victor Brusin, Maria Camila Ceballos, Pedro Henrique Esteves Trindade, Karen Camille Rocha Góis, Gabriel Conde, Virginia Tessarine Barbosa, Gustavo dos Santos Rosa and Mateus Jose Rodrigues Paranhos da Costa
Animals 2022, 12(23), 3437; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12233437 - 6 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4882
Abstract
Farm animals are exposed to various painful procedures during their productive lives, making it necessary to implement anesthetic and analgesic protocols. However, there are few studies evaluating the effectiveness of these drugs. Our objective was to compare the analgesic effects of two nonsteroidal [...] Read more.
Farm animals are exposed to various painful procedures during their productive lives, making it necessary to implement anesthetic and analgesic protocols. However, there are few studies evaluating the effectiveness of these drugs. Our objective was to compare the analgesic effects of two nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): meloxicam (MEL) and flunixin meglumine (FLU), in goat kids subjected to surgical castration under local anesthesia. Anglo-Nubian goat kids (60 days old) were allocated into two groups: MEL (n = 9), and FLU (n = 8), each administered 5 min before starting castration. All had been previously subjected to local anesthesia with lidocaine, injected bilaterally into the testes, plus subcutaneous in the scrotal raphe. Pain sensitivity was evaluated using the von Frey monofilaments test. Reactions were recorded before castration (M0), immediately after castration (M1), and once-daily for three consecutive days post-castration (M2, M3, and M4, respectively). Pain assessments were conducted in three body regions: at four points of the scrotum (dorsal and ventral; left and right lateral; R1); medial region of the pelvic limb, gracilis muscle (R2); and hypogastric region of the abdomen (R3). MEL goats had considerably greater pain reaction in R1 and R2 over time, mainly in M2; therefore, FLU was a more effective analgesic than MEL, resulting in less pain reaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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19 pages, 3970 KiB  
Article
Controlled Intestinal Microbiota Colonisation in Broilers under the Industrial Production System
by Advait Kayal, Dragana Stanley, Anita Radovanovic, Darwin Horyanto, Thi Thu Hao Van and Yadav S. Bajagai
Animals 2022, 12(23), 3296; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12233296 - 25 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1849
Abstract
The concept of designer microbiota in chicken is focused on early exposure of the hatchlings to pathogen-free microbiota inoculum, limiting the early access to harmful and pathogenic microorganisms, thus promoting colonisation of the gut with beneficial and natural poultry microbiota. In this study, [...] Read more.
The concept of designer microbiota in chicken is focused on early exposure of the hatchlings to pathogen-free microbiota inoculum, limiting the early access to harmful and pathogenic microorganisms, thus promoting colonisation of the gut with beneficial and natural poultry microbiota. In this study, we controlled colonisation of the intestine in broiler chickens in a large-scale industrial setting via at-hatch administration of a commercial product containing a highly diverse microbiota originating from the chicken caecum. The treatment significantly transformed the microbiota membership in the crop, proventriculus, jejunum and caecum and significantly altered the taxa abundance in the jejunum, jejunum mucosa, and caecum estimated using PERMANOVA and unweighted and weighted UniFrac distances, respectively. The treatment also improved the growth rate in chickens with no significant alteration in feed conversion ratio. A comparison of inoculum product microbiota structure revealed that the inoculum had the highest Shannon diversity index compared to all investigated gut sections, and the number of Observed Species second only to the caecal community. PCoA plots using weighted or unweighted UniFrac placed the inoculum samples together with the samples from the caecal origin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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20 pages, 1055 KiB  
Article
Associations between Pet Care Responsibility, Companion Animal Interactions, and Family Relationships during COVID-19
by Linda Charmaraman, Elizabeth Kiel, Amanda M. Richer, Alyssa Gramajo and Megan K. Mueller
Animals 2022, 12(23), 3274; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12233274 - 24 Nov 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3993
Abstract
For families with children during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial to explore how both youth and parents view their roles with regard to the shared caretaking of pets. While most human–animal interaction studies examine adult or early childhood samples, our focus was [...] Read more.
For families with children during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial to explore how both youth and parents view their roles with regard to the shared caretaking of pets. While most human–animal interaction studies examine adult or early childhood samples, our focus was on adolescent development. We present findings from a U.S. based mixed-method study of adolescent surveys and parent interviews regarding pet care responsibility. As part of an ongoing longitudinal study, we analyzed survey data from 567 pet-owning adolescents and a subset of 356 dog owning adolescents aged 10–17 as well as 31 in-depth interviews with parents of adolescents from the same study. Higher reported pet caretaking responsibilities was significantly associated with a preference for spending time with pets when stressed and improved family relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic for both pet owners and dog owners. For dog owners only, increased levels of responsibility for the pet was significantly associated with a higher likelihood of identifying as a pet owner. Qualitative findings showcase the range of parental expectations and adolescent initiative around pet caretaking. Our study highlights the continued importance of pet companionship during the adolescent years as they develop their identities as responsible pet owners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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17 pages, 3905 KiB  
Article
Hoof Matters: Developing an Athletic Thoroughbred Hoof
by Sarah Jane Hobbs, Simon Curtis, Jaime Martin, Jonathan Sinclair and Hilary M. Clayton
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3119; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223119 - 11 Nov 2022
Viewed by 4801
Abstract
Conformation of the hooves and distal limbs of foals and factors influencing their morphological development have not been reported in detail for the Thoroughbred breed. In this paper we explore morphogenesis of the equine distal limb in Thoroughbred foals with emphasis on adaptations [...] Read more.
Conformation of the hooves and distal limbs of foals and factors influencing their morphological development have not been reported in detail for the Thoroughbred breed. In this paper we explore morphogenesis of the equine distal limb in Thoroughbred foals with emphasis on adaptations in response to weight bearing early in life that prepare the foal for an athletic career. Novel data from four studies are presented chronologically during key time periods to illustrate specific aspects of distal limb growth and adaptation. Dorsal epidermal thickness increased from 2.84 ± 0.41 mm in utero to 4.04 ± 1.10 mm by 4 months of age. The increase in thickness was accompanied by decreased tubular density, increased inter-tubular material, and an increase in number and size of tubules at the quarters, which provided a malleable hoof capsule to allow for skeletal growth. Between 4–6 months of age, the hoof widens, and higher loading on the medial side (>60%) vs. the lateral side (<40%) may be factors that influence mature asymmetric hoof shape. Shortly after 12 months-of-age, the dorsal hoof wall angle and dorsal parietal angle of the distal phalanx become parallel, thus optimizing the functional capacity of the hoof capsule in the weanling Thoroughbred. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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29 pages, 1329 KiB  
Article
Optimising Puppy Socialisation–Short- and Long-Term Effects of a Training Programme during the Early Socialisation Period
by Lisa Stolzlechner, Alina Bonorand and Stefanie Riemer
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3067; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223067 - 8 Nov 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 5793
Abstract
The socialisation period in dog puppies is one of the most important periods determining behavioural development in dogs. Here, we aimed to test the effect of providing stimulation (beyond mere exposure) early during the socialisation period (approx. 3–6 weeks) on puppies’ behaviour. Each [...] Read more.
The socialisation period in dog puppies is one of the most important periods determining behavioural development in dogs. Here, we aimed to test the effect of providing stimulation (beyond mere exposure) early during the socialisation period (approx. 3–6 weeks) on puppies’ behaviour. Each of 12 litters (83 puppies) of various breeds was divided into a treatment and a control group. Between 3–6 weeks, the treatment group received age-appropriate “challenge” exercises (carefully graded noise exposure, novel objects, and problem-solving tasks) four times per week (total 12 times). The control group spent the same time with the trainer, who cuddled or played with the puppies. In a behaviour test at 6–7 weeks, two of four principal components, “social-startle” and “response to novelty”, differed significantly between the groups. Treatment puppies were bolder towards the novel object, showed a reduced startle reaction, and recovered more quickly after a loud noise. Furthermore, they accomplished the problem-solving task faster and were more persistent during problem-solving than the control group. The control group showed a higher interest in a friendly stranger. It is a possibility that increased handling experienced by the control group had beneficial effects on their sociability. No long-term effects of the treatment were found, as determined by a validated dog personality questionnaire, available for 67 dogs at the age of six months. Likely, a continuation of the treatment over a longer time period would be necessary to obtain lasting effects, since the training took place only during the first third of the socialisation period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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14 pages, 8286 KiB  
Article
Comparing Data Collection Tools for Zoo Management Decision-Making: A Case Study Examining Behavioral Measures of Humboldt Penguin Bond Strength
by Julia Galante and Susan W. Margulis
Animals 2022, 12(21), 3031; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12213031 - 3 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2643
Abstract
Systematic data collection has become increasingly important in zoos as it facilitates evidence-based decision-making. Here, we describe the results of a two-year study on exhibit use and pair-bonding in a colony of Humboldt penguins. We used two different data collection apps to evaluate [...] Read more.
Systematic data collection has become increasingly important in zoos as it facilitates evidence-based decision-making. Here, we describe the results of a two-year study on exhibit use and pair-bonding in a colony of Humboldt penguins. We used two different data collection apps to evaluate their effectiveness and suitability for evaluating pair-bond strength. Data were collected using instantaneous scan sampling and all-occurrence sampling 2–3 times per week for 2 years for a total of nearly 240 h of observation (19 h with one system and 219 h with the other system). The activity patterns (in particular, time spent in the water) differed amongst penguins and between the two data collection tools. Patterns of courtship-related behaviors varied tremendously across individuals. The longer pairs had been bonded, the more time they spent in close proximity. We highlight two important considerations for institutions aiming to collect such systematic data. First, it is critical to interpret all findings in context by incorporating husbandry details and keeper insights to highlight explanations that may not be readily apparent from the data. Second, one must explore all aspects of any data collection system before committing to its use—system setup, ease of data collection, format and accessibility of exported data. Not doing so may negate the value of systematic data collection by limiting the use and interpretability of the data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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20 pages, 4165 KiB  
Article
Effects of New Seal Introductions on Conspecific and Visitor Activity
by Emily J. Northey, Baine B. Craft and Eduardo J. Fernandez
Animals 2022, 12(21), 2962; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12212962 - 28 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1813
Abstract
Modern zoos and aquariums are defined by several primary goals, which include improving the welfare of their animals, public education, and inspiring visitors to develop an interest in conservation. Animal-Visitor Interactions (AVIs) (i.e., the impact of captive animals and visitors on each other) [...] Read more.
Modern zoos and aquariums are defined by several primary goals, which include improving the welfare of their animals, public education, and inspiring visitors to develop an interest in conservation. Animal-Visitor Interactions (AVIs) (i.e., the impact of captive animals and visitors on each other) are a primary means to study these goals. The introduction of new animals into two seal exhibits—the harbor and northern fur seals—at the Seattle Aquarium presented a valuable opportunity to assess the impacts of introductions on the currently exhibited animals and aquarium visitors. The impacts of animal introductions were measured through direct observations of seal activity (i.e., ethogram behavioral observations) and visitor activity (i.e., crowd size and visitor length of stay) before and after new seal introductions. This study consisted of two experiments: Experiment 1 (Harbor seal exhibit) and Experiment 2 (Northern fur seal exhibit). In Experiment 1, we found that the introduction had few impacts on the existing harbor seals or on visitor activity. In Experiment 2, the introduction of a new fur seal had significant positive impacts on the existing fur seal, as was seen through increased social behaviors and decreased stereotypic behaviors, as well as a significant increase in crowd size post-introduction. Based on these findings, new animal introductions were associated with neutral to positive changes in both seal and visitor activity. Findings from this study suggest that studying new animal introductions can result in better understanding and promoting positive interactions with existing animals (introduction effects) and likewise positive experiences for zoo and aquarium visitors (introduction experiences). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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20 pages, 487 KiB  
Article
A Qualitative Exploration of UK Leisure Horse Owners’ Perceptions of Equine Wellbeing
by Rebecca Smith, Tamzin Furtado, Charlotte Brigden, Gina Pinchbeck and Elizabeth Perkins
Animals 2022, 12(21), 2937; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12212937 - 26 Oct 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 5435
Abstract
Human assessment of equine wellbeing is fundamental to ensuring the optimal care of domestic horses. However, terminology associated with wellbeing is still not fully defined and there are currently no validated quality of life (QoL) assessment tools. Furthermore, little is known about what [...] Read more.
Human assessment of equine wellbeing is fundamental to ensuring the optimal care of domestic horses. However, terminology associated with wellbeing is still not fully defined and there are currently no validated quality of life (QoL) assessment tools. Furthermore, little is known about what equine wellbeing or QoL means to horse owners, or how their beliefs impact on the management decisions they make for their horse. This study sought to establish how UK leisure horse owners use wellbeing-related terminology by exploring their accounts within a focus group setting. Four online focus group discussions (FGD) were held and qualitative data were collected. FGDs involved a semi-structured discussion, followed by a group activity to compare seven equine wellbeing-related terms of interest introduced by the facilitator. The collected data were analysed using a constructivist grounded theory approach, and also by content analysis, to examine the frequency and subjective meaning of the terms of interest. The results showed that horse owners did not clearly delineate between different terms, rather, they used the terms in the context of their own assessments of their horse. The meanings assigned to what owners experienced with their horse were individual and subjective, shaped by past experiences, relationships with their animal, and peers or social groups. This individualised construction of equine wellbeing impacted on the meaning conveyed when using wellbeing-related terminology. In this study, we extend the literature on equine wellbeing terminology usage, and highlight differences between the academic literature and the real-world experiences of horse owners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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15 pages, 642 KiB  
Article
Portraying Animal Cruelty: A Thematic Analysis of Australian News Media Reports on Penalties for Animal Cruelty
by Rochelle Morton, Michelle L. Hebart, Rachel A. Ankeny and Alexandra L. Whittaker
Animals 2022, 12(21), 2918; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12212918 - 25 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3269
Abstract
Media portrayals of animal cruelty can shape public understanding and perception of animal welfare law. Given that animal welfare law in Australia is guided partially by ‘community expectations’, the media might indirectly be influencing recent reform efforts to amend maximum penalties in Australia, [...] Read more.
Media portrayals of animal cruelty can shape public understanding and perception of animal welfare law. Given that animal welfare law in Australia is guided partially by ‘community expectations’, the media might indirectly be influencing recent reform efforts to amend maximum penalties in Australia, through guiding and shaping public opinion. This paper reports on Australian news articles which refer to penalties for animal cruelty published between 1 June 2019 and 1 December 2019. Using the electronic database Newsbank, a total of 71 news articles were included for thematic analysis. Three contrasting themes were identified: (1) laws are not good enough; (2) laws are improving; and (3) reforms are unnecessary. We propose a penalty reform cycle to represent the relationship between themes one and two, and ‘community expectations’. The cycle is as follows: media reports on recent amendments imply that ‘laws are improving’ (theme two). Due to a range of inherent factors in the criminal justice system, harsher sentences are not handed down by the courts, resulting in media report of ‘lenient sentencing’ (theme one). Hence, the public become displeased with the penal system, forming the ‘community expectations’, which then fuel future reform efforts. Thus, the cycle continues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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11 pages, 1425 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Sedation with Dexmedetomidine–Butorphanol and Anesthesia with Propofol–Isoflurane on Feline Grimace Scale© Scores
by Ryota Watanabe, Beatriz P. Monteiro, Hélène L. M. Ruel, Alice Cheng, Sabrine Marangoni and Paulo V. Steagall
Animals 2022, 12(21), 2914; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12212914 - 24 Oct 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4527
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate the effects of sedation and anesthesia on Feline Grimace Scale© (FGS) scores. Twelve healthy cats were included in a prospective, blinded and randomized, cross-over study with a 14 day wash-out. Saline or dexmedetomidine-butorphanol (Dex-But) was administered intramuscularly [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate the effects of sedation and anesthesia on Feline Grimace Scale© (FGS) scores. Twelve healthy cats were included in a prospective, blinded and randomized, cross-over study with a 14 day wash-out. Saline or dexmedetomidine-butorphanol (Dex-But) was administered intramuscularly before an anesthetic induction with propofol and maintenance with isoflurane. Saline or atipamezole (Dex-But) was administered at the end of the general anesthesia. Video-filming/image capturing was performed before and up to 24 h post-anesthesia. A total of 125 images were evaluated by four raters blinded to the treatment groups using the FGS (ear position/orbital tightening/muzzle tension/whiskers change/head position; action units (AU); scores 0–2 for each AU). The effects of the sedation/anesthesia were analyzed (p < 0.05). The total FGS and each AU scores were significantly higher with Dex-But than with saline 20 min post-sedation. In the saline group, the total FGS, orbital tightening, and whiskers and head position scores were significantly higher than baseline at 0.5 h post-anesthesia. In the Dex-But group, the total FGS and each AU scores were significantly higher after sedation, whereas the orbital tightening scores were significantly higher at 0.5 h post-anesthesia when compared with the baseline. None of the other comparisons between or within the groups was significantly different. The sedation with dexmedetomidine-butorphanol and anesthesia with propofol-isoflurane changed the FGS scores on a short-term basis; consequently, they may bias acute pain assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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10 pages, 242 KiB  
Article
Incidence of Inadequate Transfer of Passive Immunity in Dairy Heifer Calves in South Australia
by Rebel Skirving, Cynthia D. K. Bottema, Richard Laven, Do T. Hue and Kiro R. Petrovski
Animals 2022, 12(21), 2912; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12212912 - 24 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1477
Abstract
The objective of this observational study was to estimate the incidence of inadequate transfer of passive immunity (ITPI) on five pasture-based dairy farms in South Australia. Heifer calf uptake of colostrum was evaluated within the first 1–7 days of age (n = [...] Read more.
The objective of this observational study was to estimate the incidence of inadequate transfer of passive immunity (ITPI) on five pasture-based dairy farms in South Australia. Heifer calf uptake of colostrum was evaluated within the first 1–7 days of age (n = 2638) using a digital refractometer to estimate each calf’s serum total protein concentration, as an indicator of colostrum uptake. Results of <51 g/L indicated inadequate transfer of passive immunity (ITPI). The data showed that the incidence of ITPI on the farms was 6.5%, 31.3%, 48.8%, 49.7% and 52.4%. The incidence of ITPI was calculated in relation to the age of the calf at testing and the breed of calf, and no significant differences were found. A significant difference was found in the incidence of ITPI when comparing the calf’s first feed after separation from the dam (colostrum versus a colostrum-transition milk mixture). The farm with the lowest incidence of ITPI collected calves twice a day, measured colostrum quality on farm with a Brix refractometer and ensured that each calf received an appropriate amount of high-quality colostrum soon after collection. Further studies are required to establish the risk factors of ITPI in South Australian dairy heifers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
16 pages, 280 KiB  
Article
Perceptions of Fear and Anxiety in Horses as Reported in Interviews with Equine Behaviourists
by Suzanne Rogers and Catherine Bell
Animals 2022, 12(21), 2904; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12212904 - 23 Oct 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 6809
Abstract
One of the key welfare concerns for horses in the United Kingdom is lack of recognition of fear in horses. This study aimed to gain an understanding of how well horse care givers recognise fear and/or anxiety in horses by interviewing equine behaviourists [...] Read more.
One of the key welfare concerns for horses in the United Kingdom is lack of recognition of fear in horses. This study aimed to gain an understanding of how well horse care givers recognise fear and/or anxiety in horses by interviewing equine behaviourists (who interact with large numbers of horse care givers and talk to them about this topic routinely). The experiences of Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC)-registered equine behaviourists working with horse caregivers were examined, including the ability of clients to recognise fear and/or anxiety in horses, how clients respond when discussing fear as the reason for their horse’s behaviour, and what explanations the participants use to explain fear and anxiety. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine participants and analysed using thematic analysis before being written up to reflect the discussion points. When asked how well horse caregivers recognise fear and/or anxiety in horses, three key response themes emerged: caregivers are extremely poor at recognizing fear and anxiety in horses; some clients do recognise behavioural signs indicating fear and/or anxiety but only the overt signs (e.g., rearing, running away) rather than the more subtle signs (e.g., tension in face, subtle avoidance behaviours such as a hesitant gait); and fear and/or anxiety behaviour is often misinterpreted or mislabelled. These key themes recurred throughout several other interview questions. This study has provided initial insights into the lack of recognition of fear and anxiety of horses by their caregivers in the United Kingdom as well as tried and tested approaches to conversations to change this. Such synthesis of experience and techniques across the equine behaviour sector, together with the information gained regarding perception of equine caregivers, could be a valuable approach to improve the effectiveness of behaviour consultations and welfare initiatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
14 pages, 5458 KiB  
Article
Cladomorphus petropolisensis, a New Species of Stick Insect from the Atlantic Forest, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
by Jane Costa, Jacenir R. S. Mallet and Daniela Maeda Takiya
Animals 2022, 12(20), 2871; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12202871 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2206
Abstract
Cladomorphus petropolisensis sp. nov., a new species of stick insect from Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is herein described and compared to the other sympatric species, C. phyllinus Gray, 1835 (Phasmatidae, Cladomorphinae). The description of the new species is supported by morphological and [...] Read more.
Cladomorphus petropolisensis sp. nov., a new species of stick insect from Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is herein described and compared to the other sympatric species, C. phyllinus Gray, 1835 (Phasmatidae, Cladomorphinae). The description of the new species is supported by morphological and molecular evidence. Kimura-2-parameter (K2P) intraspecific COI divergences among the holotype of C. petropolisensis sp. nov. and C. phyllinus individuals ranged from 2.9% to 4.4%, which are suggestive of distinct species, especially when considering that all Cladomorphus individuals studied were collected in the Petrópolis municipality. The new species can be distinguished from C. phyllinus Gray, 1835 by several characteristics: smaller size, the presence of two spines on the hind femora, the relative longer length of the ovipositor, and spiny tegument, especially in the mesonotum, sculpturing of the operculum of the egg. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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10 pages, 1239 KiB  
Article
Determination of the Heavy Metal Bioaccumulation Patterns in Muscles of Two Species of Mullets from the Southern Caspian Sea
by Shima Bakhshalizadeh, Rafael Mora-Medina, Francesco Fazio, Vincenzo Parrino and Nahúm Ayala-Soldado
Animals 2022, 12(20), 2819; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12202819 - 18 Oct 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1839
Abstract
Although fish is a food that supplies nutrients of a high biological value, they can also be a source of some harmful substances, such as heavy metals. In the same context, some human activities in the Caspian Sea have contaminated this ecosystem during [...] Read more.
Although fish is a food that supplies nutrients of a high biological value, they can also be a source of some harmful substances, such as heavy metals. In the same context, some human activities in the Caspian Sea have contaminated this ecosystem during the past few years. For those reasons, our objective consisted of determining the concentrations of heavy metals and evaluating their bioaccumulation patterns in the different types of musculature in two species of mullets of commercial interest, Chelon auratus and Chelon saliens, from the southern coast of this sea. For this purpose, 20 C. auratus and 29 C. saliens were caught off this coastline and the metal concentrations in 3 different muscle locations were analyzed: the ventral, dorsal and caudal muscles of each fish. The caudal muscle had higher concentrations of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn, whereas As, Hg and Ni accumulation seemed to be independent of the musculature type. Overall, the Cd, Hg, and Pb concentrations exceeded the maximum levels permitted in fish by the European Union. In addition, the relationships between pairs of metals were positive and elevated in all the cases, which could be a sign of heavy metal pollution in the region sampled. Therefore, it will be necessary to continue monitoring and evaluating the degree of pollution in the Caspian Sea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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15 pages, 1102 KiB  
Article
Poor Welfare Indicators and Husbandry Practices at Lion (Panthera Leo) “Cub-Petting” Facilities: Evidence from Public YouTube Videos
by Saryn Chorney, Alyssa DeFalco, Jennifer Jacquet, Claire LaFrance, Melanie Lary, Hildegard Pirker and Becca Franks
Animals 2022, 12(20), 2767; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12202767 - 14 Oct 2022
Viewed by 5169
Abstract
There is growing concern about captive lion hunting and breeding operations in South Africa, including cub-petting tourism. For the first time, we assess the quality of cub-petting facilities and code the stress behaviors of lion cubs when handled by tourists by analyzing four [...] Read more.
There is growing concern about captive lion hunting and breeding operations in South Africa, including cub-petting tourism. For the first time, we assess the quality of cub-petting facilities and code the stress behaviors of lion cubs when handled by tourists by analyzing four stress-related behaviors and six indicators of poor husbandry in 49 YouTube videos of tourist–lion cub interactions (from at least 11 South African safari parks, 2008-2019). We also categorized videos as regular tourism vs. voluntourism (tourism under the guise of helping those in need). We found a median of four poor husbandry practices per video, with all but two videos involving very young cubs (under 7 months) and the majority (61%) involving cubs estimated under 3 months old. Two videos claimed to show cubs as young as 9 days old and 1 day old, with their eyes still closed. The lion mother was apparent in only 1 of 49 videos. All but one of the interactions took place during the day, although young cubs are primarily active at night. The majority of videos (77%) showed cubs engaging in at least one stress behavior, and the most common stress behaviors were avoidance and aggression. Comparing voluntourism to regular tourism, we found no difference in instances of poor husbandry or observable stress behaviors (p’s > 0.6). These results show that cub-petting operations are characterized by poor cub welfare, including features that are inherently harmful to cub development (e.g., separation from the mother at an early age and forced activity outside normal waking hours). Existing research suggests that many tourists are likely unaware of these negative impacts and may even believe that they are helping the cubs. This analysis provides evidence to the contrary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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14 pages, 2474 KiB  
Article
An Anatomical, Sonographic, and Computed Tomography Study of the Transversus Abdominis Plane Block in Cat Cadavers
by Marta Garbin, Sabrine Marangoni, Cyrielle Finck and Paulo V. Steagall
Animals 2022, 12(19), 2674; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12192674 - 5 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3649
Abstract
This study compared the distribution of a bupivacaine–iopamidol–dye solution following ultrasound-guided in-plane TAP injection using a 1-point (TAP-L) or 2-point (TAP-SL) approach in cat cadavers. Two cadavers were used to study the TAP sonoanatomy while eight cadavers were enrolled in a randomized, prospective, [...] Read more.
This study compared the distribution of a bupivacaine–iopamidol–dye solution following ultrasound-guided in-plane TAP injection using a 1-point (TAP-L) or 2-point (TAP-SL) approach in cat cadavers. Two cadavers were used to study the TAP sonoanatomy while eight cadavers were enrolled in a randomized, prospective, blinded investigation. Each cat randomly received a TAP-L with 0.5 mL/kg in one hemiabdomen and a TAP-SL with 0.25 mL/kg/point in the contralateral hemiabdomen. After injection, computed tomography and dissection were performed to assess contrast distribution and number of stained target nerves. TAP-SL resulted in a wider contrast spread (mm) compared with TAP-L (87 ± 7 versus 71 ± 9; p = 0.002). The prevalence of nerve staining was higher using TAP-SL than TAP-L (p = 0.001). The ventral branches of T10, T11, T12, T13, L1 and L2 were stained in 2/8, 2/8, 5/8, 7/8, 4/8 and 1/8, and in 7/8, 7/8, 8/8, 8/8, 8/8 and 1/8 using TAP-L and TAP-SL approaches, respectively. Computed tomography and dissection identified minimal injectate intraperitoneally or within the falciform ligament fat following 1 TAP-L and 2 TAP-SL. Ultrasound-guided TAP-SL provided better injectate distribution around the thoracolumbar spinal nerve branches than TAP-L. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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16 pages, 691 KiB  
Article
Carcass and Meat Quality Traits of Males and Females of the “Branca” Portuguese Autochthonous Chicken Breed
by Márcio Meira, Isabel M. Afonso, Susana Casal, Júlio Cesar Lopes, Jéssica Domingues, Virgínia Ribeiro, Rui Dantas, José V. Leite and Nuno V. Brito
Animals 2022, 12(19), 2640; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12192640 - 30 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2439
Abstract
The “Branca” breed is a dual-purpose Portuguese autochthonous chicken breed, produced in extensive systems and in small flocks, especially in the Entre Douro and Minho regions. A total of 40 birds (n = 20/sex) were slaughtered between 38 and 42 weeks (males) and [...] Read more.
The “Branca” breed is a dual-purpose Portuguese autochthonous chicken breed, produced in extensive systems and in small flocks, especially in the Entre Douro and Minho regions. A total of 40 birds (n = 20/sex) were slaughtered between 38 and 42 weeks (males) and 110 and 120 weeks (females), and carcass and meat quality parameters were evaluated. The results showed significantly higher weights and differences for males between sexes and pieces (p ≤ 0.05) in the meat physicochemical composition. Water holding capacity (WRC), moisture and ash contents were influenced by sex. They were higher in males in the breast and drumstick and lightness (L*) and lipid content were higher in females (p ≤ 0.05). The breast meat presented greater lightness, moisture, ash and protein contents, while the drumstick showed a higher pH value, redness (a*) and lipid content, in both sexes (p ≤ 0.05). Regarding the nutritional properties, “Branca” meat revealed a good proportion of minerals and the female meat showed, in both pieces (p ≤ 0.05), significantly lower values for total saturated fatty acids (SFAs) and higher values for monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). Breast meat was richer in n-3-PUFAs (C22:5n-3 and C22:6n-3) in both sexes (p ≤ 0.05). Considering the results obtained, it can be concluded that “Branca” breed meat is a healthy food characterized by a good general nutritional profile. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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18 pages, 2814 KiB  
Article
Marine-Sulfated Polysaccharides Extracts Exhibit Contrasted Time-Dependent Immunomodulatory and Antiviral Properties on Porcine Monocytes and Alveolar Macrophages
by Caroline Hervet, Frédérick Bussy, Claude Le Goff, Déborah Ménard, Pi Nyvall Collén, Matthieu Le Goff, François Meurens and Nicolas Bertho
Animals 2022, 12(19), 2576; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12192576 - 27 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1645
Abstract
Porcine respiratory complex syndrome has a strong economic impact on the swine breeding sector, as well as a clear repercussion on the wellbeing of the animals, leading to overuse of antimicrobial molecules. Algal extracts used in short-term treatments are empirically recognized by farmers [...] Read more.
Porcine respiratory complex syndrome has a strong economic impact on the swine breeding sector, as well as a clear repercussion on the wellbeing of the animals, leading to overuse of antimicrobial molecules. Algal extracts used in short-term treatments are empirically recognized by farmers as having a positive effect on pigs’ health, however, their mechanisms of action are not well known and more research is needed. Herein we studied the short and median term impact of three algal extracts, in vitro, on the pro-inflammatory and antiviral responses of porcine primary blood monocytes and alveolar macrophages, as well as the susceptibility of the treated cells to infection by Porcine Respiratory and Reproductive Syndrome Virus (PRRSV) and the Aujeszky’s Disease Virus (ADV). All extracts presented a pro-inflammatory short-term effect, associated for two of them, with an inhibition of the PRRSV replication. Conversely, the three extracts presented an anti-inflammatory median term effect, with no impact on PRRSV replication. The observed immune modulation prompts us to test, in vivo, the anti-PRRSV action of algal extracts and strengthen the interest for this natural resource. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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12 pages, 264 KiB  
Article
Unwanted Scratching Behavior in Cats: Influence of Management Strategies and Cat and Owner Characteristics
by Alissa Cisneros, Dorothy Litwin, Lee Niel and Anastasia C. Stellato
Animals 2022, 12(19), 2551; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12192551 - 24 Sep 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4356
Abstract
Despite scratching behavior in owned domestic cats being a self-motivated and natural behavior, it is commonly reported as a behavior problem by owners when it results in damage to household items. The objectives of this study were to use a cross-sectional survey targeting [...] Read more.
Despite scratching behavior in owned domestic cats being a self-motivated and natural behavior, it is commonly reported as a behavior problem by owners when it results in damage to household items. The objectives of this study were to use a cross-sectional survey targeting cat owners within the United States and Canada, to explore perspectives on cat scratching behavior and management strategies, as well as identify factors that influence the performance of inappropriate scratching behavior in the household. A total of 2465 cat owners participated in the survey and three mixed logistic regression models were generated to explore associations between (1) cat demographic factors, (2) provisions of enrichment, and (3) owner demographic and management factors with owner reports of problematic scratching. In this convenience sample, inappropriate scratching was reported by 58% of cat owners. Owner perspectives and management strategies aligned with current recommendations as they preferred to use appropriate surfaces (e.g., cat trees) and training to manage scratching as opposed to surrendering, euthanizing, or declawing. Logistic regression results found fewer reports of unwanted scratching behavior if owners provide enrichment (flat scratching surfaces (p = 0.037), sisal rope (p < 0.0001), and outdoor access (p = 0.01)), reward the use of appropriate scratching objects (p = 0.007), apply attractant to preferred items (p < 0.0001), restrict access to unwanted items (p < 0.0001), provide additional scratching posts (p < 0.0001), and if their cat is 7 years of age or older (p < 0.00001). Whereas if owners use verbal (p < 0.0001) or physical correction (p = 0.007) there were higher reports of unwanted scratching. Results suggest that damage to household items from scratching behavior is related to management strategies owners employ, and these findings can be used to support owner education in mitigation and prevention of inappropriate scratching. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
20 pages, 6413 KiB  
Article
Basal Blood Morphology, Serum Biochemistry, and the Liver and Muscle Structure of Weaned Wistar Rats Prenatally Exposed to Fumonisins
by Ewa Tomaszewska, Halyna Rudyk, Dorota Wojtysiak, Janine Donaldson, Siemowit Muszyński, Marcin B. Arciszewski, Nataliia Lisova, Oksana Brezvyn, Iwona Puzio, Beata Abramowicz, Marta Pawłowska-Olszewska, Ihor Kotsyumbas and Piotr Dobrowolski
Animals 2022, 12(18), 2353; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12182353 - 8 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1746
Abstract
Cereals are often contaminated with fumonisins, which are the toxic byproducts of mold. The aim of the study was to determine the effect of maternal exposure to fumonisins on the development and the liver function of the offspring at weaning. Two doses of [...] Read more.
Cereals are often contaminated with fumonisins, which are the toxic byproducts of mold. The aim of the study was to determine the effect of maternal exposure to fumonisins on the development and the liver function of the offspring at weaning. Two doses of fumonisins (60 and 90 mg/kg b.w.) were tested. The changes in the basal blood morphology, the biochemical parameters, the absolute and relative weights of the vital organs, and the changes in the cardiac and biceps brachii muscle histology were studied. The liver damage was assessed by evaluating the liver morphology and the common clinical liver panel. Maternal fumonisin intoxication caused a decrease in the body weight at birth and an increase in the heart, liver, kidney, lungs, ovaries, and testes weights. The cytokines and hormones, as well as the red blood cell counts and hemoglobin levels, were elevated in a dose-dependent manner following the exposure to fumonisins. Maternal exposure caused degenerative morphological and structural changes in the liver, as well as inflammation in the striated muscles, such as the heart and biceps brachii, and disproportionate development of the rat offspring in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, FB exposure resulted in the disproportional development of the rat offspring in a dose-dependent manner, which was probably caused by the bodily hormonal dysregulation. Prenatal fumonisin exposure can be a pathological precursor for serious diseases, such as obesity and diabetes, later in life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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14 pages, 3815 KiB  
Article
Can Ponies (Equus Caballus) Distinguish Human Facial Expressions?
by Katrina Merkies, Yuliia Sudarenko and Abigail J. Hodder
Animals 2022, 12(18), 2331; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12182331 - 7 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3053
Abstract
Communication within a species is essential for access to resources, alerting to dangers, group facilitation and social bonding; human facial expressions are considered to be an important factor in one’s ability to communicate with others. Evidence has shown that dogs and horses are [...] Read more.
Communication within a species is essential for access to resources, alerting to dangers, group facilitation and social bonding; human facial expressions are considered to be an important factor in one’s ability to communicate with others. Evidence has shown that dogs and horses are able to distinguish positive and negative facial expressions by observing photographs of humans, however there is currently no research on how facial expressions from a live human are perceived by horses. This study investigated how ponies distinguish facial expressions presented by live actors. Trained actors (n = 2), using the human Facial Action Coding System, displayed four facial expressions (anger, sadness, joy and neutral) individually to twenty ponies. Heart rate and behaviors of the ponies including first monocular eye look, eye look duration (right and left side bias) and latency to approach were observed. A generalized linear mixed model (GLIMMIX) using Sidak’s multiple comparisons of least squared means determined that when exposed to anger expressions ponies looked more often with their left eye first and when exposed to joy, looked more often with their right eye first (p = 0.011). The ponies spent more time looking at angry expressions (p = 0.0003) in comparison to other expressions. There was no variation in heart rate across expressions (p > 0.89). Regardless of human facial expression, ponies looked longer (p = 0.0035), took longer to approach (p = 0.0297) and displayed more oral behaviours (p < 0.0001) with one actor than the other indicating increased arousal or negative valence. Ponies with more experience as a lesson mount had lower heart rates (p < 0.0001) carried their head lower (p < 0.0001), kept their left ear on the actor (p < 0.03) and exhibited more oral behaviours (p < 0.0001) than ponies with less experience. This study demonstrates that ponies are able to distinguish facial expressions presented by a live human, but other factors also contribute to their responses to humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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21 pages, 4779 KiB  
Article
Intensive Adoption as a Management Strategy for Unowned, Urban Cats: A Case Study of 25 Years of Trap–Assess–Resolve (TAR) in Auckland, New Zealand
by Michael C. Calver, Heather M. Crawford, Fiona R. Scarff, J. Stuart Bradley, Peter Dormon, Samantha Boston and Patricia A. Fleming
Animals 2022, 12(17), 2301; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12172301 - 5 Sep 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3325
Abstract
Globally, unowned urban cats are a major concern because they may suffer from poor welfare and cause problems, including public health risks, nuisances, and urban wildlife predation. While management options are often presented as a choice between culling or trap–neuter–return (TNR), for 25 [...] Read more.
Globally, unowned urban cats are a major concern because they may suffer from poor welfare and cause problems, including public health risks, nuisances, and urban wildlife predation. While management options are often presented as a choice between culling or trap–neuter–return (TNR), for 25 years, the Lonely Miaow (Inc.) charity in Auckland, New Zealand (hereafter LM), has used a third strategy—intensive adoption or trap–assess–resolve (TAR). As of 2019, of 14,611 unowned cats trapped, 64.2% were adopted, 22.2% were euthanized if unsocialised or in grave ill-health, 5.7% were neutered and returned to the site, and 7.9% had other outcomes, such as being transferred to other shelters. Adoption rates increased over this time, exceeding 80.0% in 2018 and 2019. The cost of processing each cat from capture to adoption rose from NZD 58 in 1999 to NZD 234 by 2017. Approximately 80% of colonies (sites where cats were trapped) were around residential areas. Approximately 22% of cats required veterinary treatment after capture; common ailments included respiratory infections, ringworm, dental problems, and trauma. Consistently, 52% of cats were young kittens (<10 weeks old), c. 80% of cats were <1 year old, and only c. 2% were estimated to be >5 years old. TAR avoids euthanasia where possible. Its effectiveness would be enhanced by fewer abandonments of owned cats and kittens, fitting within integrated strategies for the control of unowned cats involving community education. Cat adoptions improve the welfare of cats and, with appropriate husbandry, should alleviate concerns about nuisances, public health, and attacks on wildlife or the cats themselves, essentially benefitting the community and the cats. This case study is relevant to other cities around the world that are seeking to manage unowned cats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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22 pages, 366 KiB  
Article
A Nationwide Survey of Animal Science Students’ Perceptions of Animal Welfare across Different Animal Categories at Institutions in the United States
by Paxton Sullivan, Sage Mijares, Melissa Davis, Katrina Oselinsky, Catie Cramer, Noa Román-Muñiz, Lorann Stallones and Lily Edwards-Callaway
Animals 2022, 12(17), 2294; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12172294 - 5 Sep 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4981
Abstract
Animal welfare is an increasingly important topic across multiple academic disciplines; however, few studies have investigated student perceptions of animal welfare outside of veterinary medicine. The objective of the study was to evaluate animal science students’ perceptions of animal welfare to determine if [...] Read more.
Animal welfare is an increasingly important topic across multiple academic disciplines; however, few studies have investigated student perceptions of animal welfare outside of veterinary medicine. The objective of the study was to evaluate animal science students’ perceptions of animal welfare to determine if perceptions differ across animal categories. An online survey was distributed to animal science programs at institutions across the United States. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were performed on 624 responses. Almost all respondents agreed welfare was important for all animal categories (≥97%). The survey asked respondents to rate the level of importance of 12 welfare parameters and there was evidence that the level of importance differed by animal category (p < 0.0001), e.g., fewer respondents indicated having positive interactions with humans was important for agricultural animals. In a subset of questions about agricultural animals, fewer respondents agreed that swine (325, 52.1%) and poultry (268, 43.0%) are raised with an appropriate level of welfare compared to dairy (425, 68.1%) and beef cattle (421, 67.5%). Four free-response questions asked respondents to report their general perceptions of welfare. Thematic analysis identified multiple themes, such as basic needs and human interaction, with most responses (75%) including two or more themes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
8 pages, 2523 KiB  
Article
Immunohistochemical Distribution of Serotonin Transporter (SERT) in the Optic Lobe of the Honeybee, Apis mellifera
by Cristiano Bombardi, Giulia Salamanca, Claudio Tagliavia, Annamaria Grandis, Fanny Mille, Maria Grazia De Iorio and Giulietta Minozzi
Animals 2022, 12(16), 2032; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12162032 - 10 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1741
Abstract
Visual information is processed in the optic lobes, which consist of three retinotopic neuropils. These are the lamina, the medulla and the lobula. Biogenic amines play a crucial role in the control of insect responsiveness, and serotonin is clearly related to aggressiveness in [...] Read more.
Visual information is processed in the optic lobes, which consist of three retinotopic neuropils. These are the lamina, the medulla and the lobula. Biogenic amines play a crucial role in the control of insect responsiveness, and serotonin is clearly related to aggressiveness in invertebrates. Previous studies suggest that serotonin modulates aggression-related behaviours, possibly via alterations in optic lobe activity. The aim of this investigation was to immunohistochemically localize the distribution of serotonin transporter (SERT) in the optic lobe of moderate, docile and aggressive worker honeybees. SERT-immunoreactive fibres showed a wide distribution in the lamina, medulla and lobula; interestingly, the highest percentage of SERT immunoreactivity was observed across all the visual neuropils of the docile group. Although future research is needed to determine the relationship between the distribution of serotonin fibres in the honeybee brain and aggressive behaviours, our immunohistochemical study provides an anatomical basis supporting the role of serotonin in aggressive behaviour in the honeybee. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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16 pages, 1100 KiB  
Article
Effect of Duration of High-Grain Feeding on Chewing, Feeding Behavior, and Salivary Composition in Cows with or without a Phytogenic Feed Supplement
by Raul Rivera-Chacon, Sara Ricci, Renée M. Petri, Andreas Haselmann, Nicole Reisinger, Qendrim Zebeli and Ezequias Castillo-Lopez
Animals 2022, 12(15), 2001; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12152001 - 8 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1742
Abstract
Switching diets from forage to a high-grain (HG) diet increases the risk of rumen fermentation disorders in cattle. However, the effects of the duration of the HG feeding, after the diet switch, on animal behavior and health have received considerably less attention. This [...] Read more.
Switching diets from forage to a high-grain (HG) diet increases the risk of rumen fermentation disorders in cattle. However, the effects of the duration of the HG feeding, after the diet switch, on animal behavior and health have received considerably less attention. This experiment primarily aimed to assess the effects of the duration of an HG diet on the chewing, eating, and lying behavior and salivation dynamics in a control group (CON) and a group of cows receiving a phytogenic feed supplement (TRT) at 0.04% (DM basis), which included L-menthol, thymol, eugenol, mint oil, and cloves powder. The experiment was a crossover design with nine non-lactating cows, and two experimental periods with an intermediate washout of four weeks. In each period, the cows were first fed a forage diet for a week to collect baseline measurements representing week 0; then, the diet was switched over a week to HG (65% concentrate), which was fed for four continuous weeks (week 1, week 2, week 3, and week 4 on an HG diet, respectively). The cows were divided in two groups of four and five animals and were randomly allocated to CON or TRT. The data analysis revealed that at the start of the HG feeding, the dry matter intake and the cows’ number of lying bouts increased, but the eating time, rumination time, and meal frequency decreased, resulting in a greater eating rate. We also found that an advanced duration on an HG diet further decreased the rumination time, total chewing time, chewing index, and sorting in favor of short feed particles, with the lowest values in week 4. The feed bolus size increased but feed the ensalivation decreased in week 4 compared to week 0. The dietary switch increased salivary lysozyme activity, and the advanced duration on the HG diet increased salivary pH, but salivary phosphate decreased in weeks 1 and 2 on the HG diet. Supplementation with TRT increased sorting in favor of physically effective NDF (peNDF) in week 2 and increased salivary pH in week 4 on an HG diet. Overall, the negative effects of the HG diet in cattle are more pronounced during the initial stage of the HG feeding. However, several detrimental effects were exacerbated with the cows’ advanced duration on feed, with host adaptive changes still observed after 3 and 4 weeks following the diet switch. The TRT mitigated some of the negative effects through the temporal improvement of the salivary properties and the intake of peNDF, which are known to modulate rumen fermentation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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Review

Jump to: Research, Other

20 pages, 716 KiB  
Review
Gut Microbiota and Behavioural Issues in Production, Performance, and Companion Animals: A Systematic Review
by Bonnie Homer, Jackson Judd, Manijeh Mohammadi Dehcheshmeh, Esmaeil Ebrahimie and Darren J. Trott
Animals 2023, 13(9), 1458; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13091458 - 25 Apr 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3396
Abstract
The literature has identified poor nutrition as the leading factor in the manifestation of many behavioural issues in animals, including aggression, hyperalertness, and stereotypies. Literature focused on all species of interest consistently reported that although there were no significant differences in the richness [...] Read more.
The literature has identified poor nutrition as the leading factor in the manifestation of many behavioural issues in animals, including aggression, hyperalertness, and stereotypies. Literature focused on all species of interest consistently reported that although there were no significant differences in the richness of specific bacterial taxa in the microbiota of individual subjects with abnormal behaviour (termed alpha diversity), there was variability in species diversity between these subjects compared to controls (termed beta diversity). As seen in humans with mental disorders, animals exhibiting abnormal behaviour often have an enrichment of pro-inflammatory and lactic acid-producing bacteria and a reduction in butyrate-producing bacteria. It is evident from the literature that an association exists between gut microbiota diversity (and by extension, the concurrent production of microbial metabolites) and abnormal behavioural phenotypes across various species, including pigs, dogs, and horses. Similar microbiota population changes are also evident in human mental health patients. However, there are insufficient data to identify this association as a cause or effect. This review provides testable hypotheses for future research to establish causal relationships between gut microbiota and behavioural issues in animals, offering promising potential for the development of novel therapeutic and/or preventative interventions aimed at restoring a healthy gut-brain-immune axis to mitigate behavioural issues and, in turn, improve health, performance, and production in animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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15 pages, 341 KiB  
Review
The Impact of Heat Stress on Immune Status of Dairy Cattle and Strategies to Ameliorate the Negative Effects
by Shruti Gupta, Arvind Sharma, Aleena Joy, Frank Rowland Dunshea and Surinder Singh Chauhan
Animals 2023, 13(1), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010107 - 27 Dec 2022
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 5008
Abstract
Heat stress (HS) is well known to influence animal health and livestock productivity negatively. Heat stress is a multi-billion-dollar global problem. It impairs animal performance during summer when animals are exposed to high ambient temperatures, direct and indirect solar radiations, and humidity. While [...] Read more.
Heat stress (HS) is well known to influence animal health and livestock productivity negatively. Heat stress is a multi-billion-dollar global problem. It impairs animal performance during summer when animals are exposed to high ambient temperatures, direct and indirect solar radiations, and humidity. While significant developments have been achieved over the last few decades to mitigate the negative impact of HS, such as physical modification of the environment to protect the animals from direct heat, HS remains a significant challenge for the dairy industry compromising dairy cattle health and welfare. In such a scenario, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of how the immune system of dairy cattle responds to HS and identify the variable responses among the animals. This understanding could help to identify heat-resilient dairy animals for breeding and may lead to the development of climate resilient breeds in the future to support sustainable dairy cattle production. There are sufficient data demonstrating the impact of increased temperature and humidity on endocrine responses to HS in dairy cattle, especially changes in concentration of hormones like prolactin and cortisol, which also provide an indication of the likely im-pact on the immune system. In this paper, we review the recent research on the impact of HS on immunity of calves during early life to adult lactating and dry cows. Additionally, different strategies for amelioration of negative effects of HS have been presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
36 pages, 7102 KiB  
Review
Review of the Foundational Knowledge Required for Assessing Horse Welfare
by Andrea M. Harvey, Daniel Ramp and David J. Mellor
Animals 2022, 12(23), 3385; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12233385 - 1 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4658
Abstract
A detailed understanding of what is usual for a species under optimal conditions is critical for identifying and interpreting different features of body function that have known impacts on animal welfare and its assessment. When applying the Five Domains Model to assess animal [...] Read more.
A detailed understanding of what is usual for a species under optimal conditions is critical for identifying and interpreting different features of body function that have known impacts on animal welfare and its assessment. When applying the Five Domains Model to assess animal welfare, the key starting point is therefore to acquire extensive species-specific knowledge relevant to each of the four physical/functional Domains of the Model. These Domains, 1 to 4, address areas where objective information is evaluated and collated. They are: (1) Nutrition; (2) Physical environment; (3) Health; and (4) Behavioural interactions. It is on the basis of this detailed knowledge that cautious inferences can then be made about welfare-relevant mental experiences animals may have, aligned with Domain 5, Mental State. However, this review is focused entirely on the first four Domains in order to provide a novel holistic framework to collate the multidisciplinary knowledge of horses required for undertaking comprehensive welfare assessments. Thus, inferring the potential mental experiences aligned with Domain 5, the final step in model-based welfare assessments, is not considered here. Finally, providing extensive information on free-roaming horses enables a better understanding of the impacts of human interventions on the welfare of horses in both free-roaming and domestic situations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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45 pages, 6749 KiB  
Review
The Importance of Dietary Antioxidants on Oxidative Stress, Meat and Milk Production, and Their Preservative Aspects in Farm Animals: Antioxidant Action, Animal Health, and Product Quality—Invited Review
by Eric N. Ponnampalam, Ali Kiani, Sarusha Santhiravel, Benjamin W. B. Holman, Charlotte Lauridsen and Frank R. Dunshea
Animals 2022, 12(23), 3279; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12233279 - 24 Nov 2022
Cited by 63 | Viewed by 9178
Abstract
The biological effects of oxidative stress and associated free radicals on farm animal performance, productivity, and product quality may be managed via dietary interventions—specifically, the provision of feeds, supplements, and forages rich in antioxidants. To optimize this approach, it is important first to [...] Read more.
The biological effects of oxidative stress and associated free radicals on farm animal performance, productivity, and product quality may be managed via dietary interventions—specifically, the provision of feeds, supplements, and forages rich in antioxidants. To optimize this approach, it is important first to understand the development of free radicals and their contributions to oxidative stress in tissue systems of farm animals or the human body. The interactions between prooxidants and antioxidants will impact redox homeostasis and, therefore, the well-being of farm animals. The impact of free radical formation on the oxidation of lipids, proteins, DNA, and biologically important macromolecules will likewise impact animal performance, meat and milk quality, nutritional value, and longevity. Dietary antioxidants, endogenous antioxidants, and metal-binding proteins contribute to the ‘antioxidant defenses’ that control free radical formation within the biological systems. Different bioactive compounds of varying antioxidant potential and bio-accessibility may be sourced from tailored feeding systems. Informed and successful provision of dietary antioxidants can help alleviate oxidative stress. However, knowledge pertaining to farm animals, their unique biological systems, and the applications of novel feeds, specialized forages, bioactive compounds, etc., must be established. This review summarized current research to direct future studies towards more effective controls for free radical formation/oxidative stress in farm animals so that productivity and quality of meat and milk can be optimized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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28 pages, 610 KiB  
Review
Reviewing a Decade of Change for Veterinarians: Past, Present and Gaps in Researching Stress, Coping and Mental Health Risks
by Birgit Ursula Stetina and Christine Krouzecky
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3199; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223199 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3498
Abstract
Veterinary medicine is a highly complex profession that includes a very specific set of stressors that range from individual to social aspects, with several of them being relevant risk factors for a variety of conditions. The aim of this systematic review was to [...] Read more.
Veterinary medicine is a highly complex profession that includes a very specific set of stressors that range from individual to social aspects, with several of them being relevant risk factors for a variety of conditions. The aim of this systematic review was to identify and cluster the material on stressors and suicidality in the veterinarian practice published during the last 10 years. The systematic review was conducted employing the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines using PubMed, PsycNet, Google Scholar, Medline, PsycINFO, PSYNDEX and Web of Science (2012–present) by two independent researchers resulting in the inclusion of 30 quantitative and mixed methods studies. Results of these studies on stressors were categorized using the bio-psycho-social model showing that social stressors play a prominent role. This category includes the largest number of stressors indicating that the human–human interactions in the veterinarian practice are the main stressor, underlining that training in communication techniques is a potential starting point for interventions. In addition to stressors, the results showed an additional category “psychological consequences” describing mental health disorders and suicide. Although there are still gaps in research there is enough evidence to establish more tailored health promotion measures for veterinarians. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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24 pages, 371 KiB  
Review
Clinical Animal Behaviour: Paradigms, Problems and Practice
by Daniel S. Mills
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3103; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223103 - 10 Nov 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 6052
Abstract
Both the public and clinicians are interested in the application of scientific knowledge concerning problem animal behaviour and its treatment. However, in order to do this effectively it is essential that individuals have not only scientific literacy but also an appreciation of philosophical [...] Read more.
Both the public and clinicians are interested in the application of scientific knowledge concerning problem animal behaviour and its treatment. However, in order to do this effectively it is essential that individuals have not only scientific literacy but also an appreciation of philosophical concepts underpinning a particular approach and their practical implications on the knowledge generated as a result. This paper highlights several common misunderstandings and biases associated with different scientific perspectives relevant to clinical animal behaviour and their consequences for how we determine what may be a useful treatment for a given patient. In addition to more reflective evaluation of results, there is a need for researchers to report more information of value to clinicians; such as relevant treatment outcomes, effect sizes, population characteristics. Clinicians must also appreciate the limitations of population level study results to a given case. These challenges can however be overcome with the careful critical reflection using the scientific principles and caveats described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
34 pages, 812 KiB  
Review
Canine Socialisation: A Narrative Systematic Review
by Victoria McEvoy, Uri Baqueiro Espinosa, Andrew Crump and Gareth Arnott
Animals 2022, 12(21), 2895; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12212895 - 22 Oct 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 6086 | Correction
Abstract
There are over 10 million pet dogs in the UK alone, and they have become a member of modern human families. If not properly socialised as puppies, dogs have a higher risk of problematic behaviours during adulthood, yet socialisation studies are lacking. Much [...] Read more.
There are over 10 million pet dogs in the UK alone, and they have become a member of modern human families. If not properly socialised as puppies, dogs have a higher risk of problematic behaviours during adulthood, yet socialisation studies are lacking. Much of the experimental research was carried out at least 50 years ago, and the importance of socialisation was demonstrated so clearly that further studies with unsocialised controls would be deemed unethical. In this review, the aim was to evaluate all literature relevant to canine socialisation. This review used PRISMA-P guidelines to identify 29 studies: 14 were questionnaire-based studies (two of which also had a testing element), 15 included some form of experimental manipulation relating to socialisation, and one was a purely observational study. Based on this literature review, we recommend future research into minimum necessary socialisation levels, as well as breed differences in the timing of effective socialisation. Such studies will help owners and breeders produce well-adjusted adult dogs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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14 pages, 1115 KiB  
Review
Feed Safety and the Development of Poultry Intestinal Microbiota
by Dragana Stanley and Yadav Sharma Bajagai
Animals 2022, 12(20), 2890; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12202890 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 6008
Abstract
The first feed offered to young chicks is likely the most important meal in their life. The complex gut colonisation process is determined with early exposure and during the first days of life before the microbial community is formed. Therefore, providing access to [...] Read more.
The first feed offered to young chicks is likely the most important meal in their life. The complex gut colonisation process is determined with early exposure and during the first days of life before the microbial community is formed. Therefore, providing access to high-quality feed and an environment enriched in the beneficial and deprived of pathogenic microorganisms during this period is critical. Feed often carries a complex microbial community that can contain major poultry pathogens and a range of chemical contaminants such as heavy metals, mycotoxins, pesticides and herbicides, which, although present in minute amounts, can have a profound effect on the development of the microbial community and have a permanent effect on bird’s overall health and performance. The magnitude of their interference with gut colonisation in livestock is yet to be determined. Here, we present the animal feed quality issues that can significantly influence the microbial community development, thus severely affecting the bird’s health and performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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26 pages, 709 KiB  
Review
Formulating Diets for Improved Health Status of Pigs: Current Knowledge and Perspectives
by Lucas A. Rodrigues, Bonjin Koo, Martin Nyachoti and Daniel A. Columbus
Animals 2022, 12(20), 2877; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12202877 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 5004
Abstract
Our understanding of nutrition has been evolving to support both performance and immune status of pigs, particularly in disease-challenged animals which experience repartitioning of nutrients from growth towards the immune response. In this sense, it is critical to understand how stress may impact [...] Read more.
Our understanding of nutrition has been evolving to support both performance and immune status of pigs, particularly in disease-challenged animals which experience repartitioning of nutrients from growth towards the immune response. In this sense, it is critical to understand how stress may impact nutrient metabolism and the effects of nutritional interventions able to modulate organ (e.g., gastrointestinal tract) functionality and health. This will be pivotal in the development of effective diet formulation strategies in the context of improved animal performance and health. Therefore, this review will address qualitative and quantitative effects of immune system stimulation on voluntary feed intake and growth performance measurements in pigs. Due to the known repartitioning of nutrients, the effects of stimulating the immune system on nutrient requirements, stratified according to different challenge models, will be explored. Finally, different nutritional strategies (i.e., low protein, amino acid-supplemented diets; functional amino acid supplementation; dietary fiber level and source; diet complexity; organic acids; plant secondary metabolites) will be presented and discussed in the context of their possible role in enhancing the immune response and animal performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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34 pages, 7072 KiB  
Review
Developmental Programming of Fertility in Cattle—Is It a Cause for Concern?
by D. Claire Wathes
Animals 2022, 12(19), 2654; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12192654 - 3 Oct 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3681
Abstract
Cattle fertility remains sub-optimal despite recent improvements in genetic selection. The extent to which an individual heifer fulfils her genetic potential can be influenced by fetal programming during pregnancy. This paper reviews the evidence that a dam’s age, milk yield, health, nutrition and [...] Read more.
Cattle fertility remains sub-optimal despite recent improvements in genetic selection. The extent to which an individual heifer fulfils her genetic potential can be influenced by fetal programming during pregnancy. This paper reviews the evidence that a dam’s age, milk yield, health, nutrition and environment during pregnancy may programme permanent structural and physiological modifications in the fetus. These can alter the morphology and body composition of the calf, postnatal growth rates, organ structure, metabolic function, endocrine function and immunity. Potentially important organs which can be affected include the ovaries, liver, pancreas, lungs, spleen and thymus. Insulin/glucose homeostasis, the somatotropic axis and the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis can all be permanently reprogrammed by the pre-natal environment. These changes may act directly at the level of the ovary to influence fertility, but most actions are indirect. For example, calf health, the timing of puberty, the age and body structure at first calving, and the ability to balance milk production with metabolic health and fertility after calving can all have an impact on reproductive potential. Definitive experiments to quantify the extent to which any of these effects do alter fertility are particularly challenging in cattle, as individual animals and their management are both very variable and lifetime fertility takes many years to assess. Nevertheless, the evidence is compelling that the fertility of some animals is compromised by events happening before they are born. Calf phenotype at birth and their conception data as a nulliparous heifer should therefore both be assessed to avoid such animals being used as herd replacements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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35 pages, 570 KiB  
Review
Barley, an Undervalued Cereal for Poultry Diets: Limitations and Opportunities
by W. Nipuna U. Perera, M. Reza Abdollahi, Faegheh Zaefarian, Timothy J. Wester and Velmurugu Ravindran
Animals 2022, 12(19), 2525; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12192525 - 21 Sep 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3218
Abstract
The supply of conventional cereal grains, especially of maize, will be a significant constraint to the future growth of the poultry industry. Various alternative feed ingredients are being tested to replace maize in poultry diets. Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is one such [...] Read more.
The supply of conventional cereal grains, especially of maize, will be a significant constraint to the future growth of the poultry industry. Various alternative feed ingredients are being tested to replace maize in poultry diets. Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is one such feed ingredient, the use of which remains limited in poultry diets due to its low metabolisable energy, presence of anti-nutritive, soluble non-starch polysaccharides and consequent inter-cultivar variability. Differences in research methodologies used in published studies have also contributed to the inconsistent findings, preventing a good understanding of the nutritional value of barley for poultry. The importance of using accurate nutrient profiles, specifically metabolisable energy and digestible amino acids, for specific barley cultivars to formulate barley-based diets is emphasised. Nutritionists should also pay close attention to feed processing conditions tailored to the specific barley cultivars to increase the barley inclusion in poultry diets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
17 pages, 1103 KiB  
Review
Role of Topical Anaesthesia in Pain Management of Farm Animals, a Changing Paradigm
by Peter Andrew Windsor
Animals 2022, 12(18), 2459; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12182459 - 17 Sep 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2743
Abstract
Field evidence indicates that livestock producers are motivated by access to products that readily deliver pain management during husbandry interventions and, more recently, viral epidermal infectious diseases, including FMD. There has been impressive adoption in Australia of a farmer-applied spray-on topical anaesthetic wound [...] Read more.
Field evidence indicates that livestock producers are motivated by access to products that readily deliver pain management during husbandry interventions and, more recently, viral epidermal infectious diseases, including FMD. There has been impressive adoption in Australia of a farmer-applied spray-on topical anaesthetic wound formulation (TAF; Tri-Solfen®, Medical Ethics, Australia), initially for managing pain of the breech modification ‘mulesing’ procedure that reduces susceptibility of sheep to flystrike. Over 120 million lambs have now received pain relief and cattle producers have commenced using the TAF for a range of husbandry procedures. This product has demonstrated efficacy for surgical castration and tail docking of lambs, surgical castration and dehorning of calves, surgical castration of piglets, debridement of lesions of the hoof for lame cattle and, importantly, treatment of clinical FMD lesions, including decubitus ulcerations occurring from prolonged recumbency. Multimodal use of an NSAID for improved pain management is advocated, particularly meloxicam, available by prescription from veterinarians for injection and as an oral formulation (Ilium Buccalgesic®, Troy Laboratories, Australia), with current work assessing the potential for prolonged delivery in molasses blocks. Increased use of TAF with NSAIDs significantly reduces pain and suffering in livestock, with enhanced healing of FMD lesions, reduced viral loads from Orf infections in lambs and diminished necessity of ‘antibiotic cover’, assisting antimicrobial-resistance (AMR) stewardship. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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19 pages, 708 KiB  
Review
Relationship between Oxidative Stress and Endometritis: Exploiting Knowledge Gained in Mares and Cows
by Raffaele Boni and Stefano Cecchini Gualandi
Animals 2022, 12(18), 2403; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12182403 - 13 Sep 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3221
Abstract
The etiopathogenesis of endometritis in mares and cows differs significantly; this could depend on a different sensitivity and reactivity of the uterus but also on endocrine and rearing factors and different stress sources. In both species, microorganisms and the immune system play a [...] Read more.
The etiopathogenesis of endometritis in mares and cows differs significantly; this could depend on a different sensitivity and reactivity of the uterus but also on endocrine and rearing factors and different stress sources. In both species, microorganisms and the immune system play a primary role in the generation of this pathology. Microbiological and cytological tests support clinical examination and significantly improve diagnostic accuracy. For both species, during the inflammation, immune cells invade the endometrium and release bioactive substances to contrast primary or secondary pathogen contamination. These molecules are traceable to cytokines, chemokines, and prostaglandins as well as reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS and RNS), collectively known as RONS. The RONS-mediated oxidation causes morphological and functional alterations of macromolecules, such as proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids, with the consequent production of derivative compounds capable of playing harmful effects. These bioactive molecules and by-products, which have recently become increasingly popular as diagnostic biomarkers, enter the bloodstream, influencing the functionality of organs and tissues. This review has collected and compared information obtained in cows and mares related to the diagnostic potential of these biomarkers that are assessed by using different methods in samples from either blood plasma or uterine fluid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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21 pages, 650 KiB  
Review
Survey on the Past Decade of Technology in Animal Enrichment: A Scoping Review
by K. Cassie Kresnye, Chia-Fang Chung, Christopher Flynn Martin and Patrick C. Shih
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1792; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141792 - 13 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3476
Abstract
Environmental enrichment is adding complexity to an environment that has a positive impact on a captive animal as a necessity of care. Computing technology is being rapidly weaved throughout the space in both enrichment devices as well as evaluating enrichment outcomes. In this [...] Read more.
Environmental enrichment is adding complexity to an environment that has a positive impact on a captive animal as a necessity of care. Computing technology is being rapidly weaved throughout the space in both enrichment devices as well as evaluating enrichment outcomes. In this article, we present a scoping review of 102 captive animal enrichment studies and propose a contextual lens for exploring current practices. We discuss the importance of directed growth in species inclusion, transitioning beyond anthro-centric designs, and utilizing shared methodologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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28 pages, 1009 KiB  
Commentary
The Rise of Heatstroke as a Method of Depopulating Pigs and Poultry: Implications for the US Veterinary Profession
by Gwendolen Reyes-Illg, Jessica E. Martin, Indu Mani, James Reynolds and Barry Kipperman
Animals 2023, 13(1), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010140 - 29 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 23063
Abstract
Depopulation of food-producing animals is becoming increasingly common in response to both disease outbreaks and supply chain disruptions. In 2019, the American Veterinary Medical Association released depopulation guidelines classifying certain heatstroke-based killing methods as “permitted in constrained circumstances”, when circumstances of the emergency [...] Read more.
Depopulation of food-producing animals is becoming increasingly common in response to both disease outbreaks and supply chain disruptions. In 2019, the American Veterinary Medical Association released depopulation guidelines classifying certain heatstroke-based killing methods as “permitted in constrained circumstances”, when circumstances of the emergency constrain reasonable implementation of “preferred” methods. Since then, tens of millions of birds and pigs have been killed by such methods, termed ventilation shutdown (VSD) Plus Heat and VSD Plus High Temperature and Humidity. While no research using validated measures of animal welfare assessment has been performed on these methods, their pathophysiology suggests that animals are likely to experience pain, anxiety, nausea, and heat distress prior to loss of consciousness. Heatstroke-based methods may result in prolonged suffering and often do not achieve 100% mortality. Potential and available alternative depopulation methods are briefly reviewed. The veterinary profession’s ethical obligation to protect animal welfare in the context of depopulations is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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17 pages, 1557 KiB  
Systematic Review
State of the Art and Future Prospects of Virtual and Augmented Reality in Veterinary Medicine: A Systematic Review
by Masoud Aghapour and Barbara Bockstahler
Animals 2022, 12(24), 3517; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12243517 - 13 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3330
Abstract
Virtual reality and augmented reality are new but rapidly expanding topics in medicine. In virtual reality, users are immersed in a three-dimensional environment, whereas in augmented reality, computer-generated images are superimposed on the real world. Despite advances in human medicine, the number of [...] Read more.
Virtual reality and augmented reality are new but rapidly expanding topics in medicine. In virtual reality, users are immersed in a three-dimensional environment, whereas in augmented reality, computer-generated images are superimposed on the real world. Despite advances in human medicine, the number of published articles in veterinary medicine is low. These cutting-edge technologies can be used in combination with existing methods in veterinary medicine to achieve diagnostic/therapeutic and educational goals. The purpose of our review was to evaluate studies for their use of virtual reality and augmented reality in veterinary medicine, as well as human medicine with animal trials, to report results and the state of the art. We collected all of the articles we included in our review by screening the Scopus, PubMed, and Web of Science databases. Of the 24 included studies, 11 and 13 articles belonged to virtual reality and augmented reality, respectively. Based on these articles, we determined that using these technologies has a positive impact on the scientific output of students and residents, can reduce training costs, and can be used in training/educational programs. Furthermore, using these tools can promote ethical standards. We reported the absence of standard operation protocols and equipment costs as study limitations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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15 pages, 282 KiB  
Commentary
Animals in Animal-Assisted Services: Are They Volunteers or Professionals?
by Brigitte Wijnen and Pim Martens
Animals 2022, 12(19), 2564; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12192564 - 26 Sep 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2766
Abstract
With the increasingly common practice of Animal-Assisted Services (AAS), whether in therapy, coaching, education, or volunteering programs, the concern over animal welfare has also risen. However, no standards have yet been established for good practices to ensure the animal’s mental health. This is [...] Read more.
With the increasingly common practice of Animal-Assisted Services (AAS), whether in therapy, coaching, education, or volunteering programs, the concern over animal welfare has also risen. However, no standards have yet been established for good practices to ensure the animal’s mental health. This is largely due to the wide variety of roles played by animals in interventions and the lack of ‘job descriptions’ for the animal in diverse settings. Some professionals call their animal a ‘volunteer’, others mention that some directive guidance is given to the therapy animal, and some assistance animals are highly trained. Misunderstandings could be avoided if the integrated animal were to receive a justifiable label: volunteer or professional. Choosing either one comes with obligations for the owner, handler, or therapist. In this paper, we compare the roles of human volunteers and professionals to the roles of animals involved in therapy. We also demonstrate the obligations that come along with the decision to label animals as such either volunteers or professionals. Furthermore, we make a plea for animal-friendly interventions, whether in a volunteer position or as a professional, in order to stimulate the animal’s cooperation and motivation. Studying dopamine and translating the findings into context-ethograms can provide a way to judge behavior more objectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
18 pages, 871 KiB  
Commentary
Defining Terms Used for Animals Working in Support Roles for People with Support Needs
by Tiffani J. Howell, Leanne Nieforth, Clare Thomas-Pino, Lauren Samet, Sunday Agbonika, Francisca Cuevas-Pavincich, Nina Ekholm Fry, Kristine Hill, Brinda Jegatheesan, Miki Kakinuma, Maureen MacNamara, Sanna Mattila-Rautiainen, Andy Perry, Christine Y. Tardif-Williams, Elizabeth Ann Walsh, Melissa Winkle, Mariko Yamamoto, Rachel Yerbury, Vijay Rawat, Kathy Alm, Ashley Avci, Tanya Bailey, Hannah Baker, Pree Benton, Catherine Binney, Sara Boyle, Hagit Brandes, Alexa M. Carr, Wendy Coombe, Kendra Coulter, Audrey Darby, Lowri Davies, Esther Delisle, Marie-Jose Enders-Slegers, Angela Fournier, Marie Fox, Nancy Gee, Taryn M. Graham, Anne Hamilton-Bruce, Tia G. B. Hansen, Lynette Hart, Morag Heirs, Jade Hooper, Rachel Howe, Elizabeth Johnson, Melanie Jones, Christos Karagiannis, Emily Kieson, Sun-A Kim, Christine Kivlen, Beth Lanning, Helen Lewis, Deborah Linder, Dac Loc Mai, Chiara Mariti, Rebecca Mead, Gilly Mendes Ferreira, Debbie Ngai, Samantha O’Keeffe, Grainne O’Connor, Christine Olsen, Elizabeth Ormerod, Emma R. Power, Peggy A. Pritchard, Kerri Rodriguez, Deborah Rook, Matthew B. Ruby, Leah Schofield, Tania Signal, Jill Steel, Wendy Stone, Melissa Symonds, Diane van Rooy, Tiamat Warda, Monica Wilson, Janette Young and Pauleen Bennettadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Animals 2022, 12(15), 1975; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12151975 - 4 Aug 2022
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 14885
Abstract
The nomenclature used to describe animals working in roles supporting people can be confusing. The same term may be used to describe different roles, or two terms may mean the same thing. This confusion is evident among researchers, practitioners, and end users. Because [...] Read more.
The nomenclature used to describe animals working in roles supporting people can be confusing. The same term may be used to describe different roles, or two terms may mean the same thing. This confusion is evident among researchers, practitioners, and end users. Because certain animal roles are provided with legal protections and/or government-funding support in some jurisdictions, it is necessary to clearly define the existing terms to avoid confusion. The aim of this paper is to provide operationalized definitions for nine terms, which would be useful in many world regions: “assistance animal”, “companion animal”, “educational/school support animal”, “emotional support animal”, “facility animal”, “service animal”, “skilled companion animal”, “therapy animal”, and “visiting/visitation animal”. At the International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ) conferences in 2018 and 2020, over 100 delegates participated in workshops to define these terms, many of whom co-authored this paper. Through an iterative process, we have defined the nine terms and explained how they differ from each other. We recommend phasing out two terms (i.e., “skilled companion animal” and “service animal”) due to overlap with other terms that could potentially exacerbate confusion. The implications for several regions of the world are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals’ Tenth Anniversary)
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