Journal Menu► ▼ Journal Menu
Journal Browser► ▼ Journal Browser
Special Issue "Impact of Environment and Stressors on Animal Welfare"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 2019).
Oklahoma State University, Departments of Animal and Food Sciences, United States
Interests: stress and environmental physiology, sow housing, maternal-fetal interaction, prenatal stress, and effects of the environment on immune status, behavior, and well-being of swine and other livestock
Stress is an intrinsic part of life, and successfully adapting to stimuli that induce stress is essential for the survival of farm animals kept in a complex and ever-changing environment. Despite the presence of numerous components in an animal’s environment acting as supportive elements, at times, the surrounding stimuli become challenging and overwhelming, thus evoking a stress response. Farm animals experience varying degrees of environmental and psychological stressors throughout their lives, as well as a wide array of abiotic stressors associated with social interactions, common husbandry practices (weaning, mixing, castration, dehorning, teeth clipping, etc.), handling, and transportation, just to name a few. These environmental forces (or other stressors) disrupt homeostasis, resulting in new adaptations that can be either detrimental or advantageous. When the stressful conditions become too demanding for the animal to adapt or withstand stress, the consequences will be altered biological functions with possible development of pathologies. Moreover, the biological cost of stress on animal welfare depends on the characteristics of the stressor, such as the stressor type (psychological, physiological, or physical), duration (chronic versus acute), and timing, as well as the genetic predisposition of the animal, its age, physiological status, and social status. Many interacting factors can influence the outcome: in this respect, data is conflicting, but a consistent finding across species is that, whenever the environment and other stressors are too demanding so that the animal struggles to cope with them, growth, reproduction, performance, productivity, or health are negatively affected. Despite a plethora of research studies trying to understand the complexity of the physiological and behavioral reactions mediating the stress responses, it is not possible to generalize the biological consequences of the impact of stress on animals, because so many factors contribute to the evoked biological response and the biological cost. Moreover, an animal cannot be in a state of good welfare if environmental or psychological challenges disrupt either its mental or its physiological state.
We invite original research papers that address the influence of any aspect of the environment and any stressors on both short- and long-term animal growth, reproduction, productivity, health, and welfare and propose strategies to minimize the negative impacts of agricultural practices. In particular, of special interests are studies integrating traditional physiological metrics with behavioral, immunological, and proteomics analyses and those examining the stress-mediated effects on gut microbiota and immune function, alternative management and nutritional strategies to minimize the consequences of stress, long-term consequences of prenatal and postnatal stress, and mechanisms and biomarkers related to an animal’s capacity to cope.
Dr. Janeen L. Salak-Johnson
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 papers will be 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 monthly 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 1200 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.