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Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI

Daniel D Spehar, Peter J Wolf
The use of trap-neuter-return (TNR) as a method of managing free-roaming cat populations has increased in the United States in recent decades. Historically, TNR has been conducted most often at a grassroots level, which has led to inconsistent data collection and assessment practices. Consequently, a paucity of analyzable data exists. An initiative is underway to standardize TNR program data collection and assessment. However, it could be some time before scientifically sound protocols are implemented on a broad scale...
January 18, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Yuzhi Li, Haifeng Zhang, Lee J Johnston, Wayne Martin
The objective of this study was to investigate the association between social structure and incidence of tail-biting in pigs. Pigs (n = 144, initial weight = 7.2 ± 1.57 kg, 4 weeks of age) were grouped based on their litter origin: littermates, non-littermates, and half-group of littermates. Six pens (8 pigs/pen) of each litter origin were studied for 6 weeks. Incidence of tail injury and growth performance were monitored. Behavior of pigs was video recorded for 6 h at 6 and 8 weeks of age. Video recordings were scanned at 10 min intervals to register pigs that were lying together (1) or not (0) in binary matrices...
January 15, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Jamie Barwick, David Lamb, Robin Dobos, Derek Schneider, Mitchell Welch, Mark Trotter
Lameness is a clinical symptom associated with a number of sheep diseases around the world, having adverse effects on weight gain, fertility, and lamb birth weight, and increasing the risk of secondary diseases. Current methods to identify lame animals rely on labour intensive visual inspection. The aim of this current study was to determine the ability of a collar, leg, and ear attached tri-axial accelerometer to discriminate between sound and lame gait movement in sheep. Data were separated into 10 s mutually exclusive behaviour epochs and subjected to Quadratic Discriminant Analysis (QDA)...
January 11, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Shailesh Gurung, John Hoffman, Kendre Stringfellow, Daad Abi-Ghanem, Dan Zhao, David Caldwell, Jason Lee, Darrel Styles, Luc Berghman, James Byrd, Yuhua Farnell, Gregory Archer, Morgan Farnell
During the 2014-2015 US highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak, 50.4 million commercial layers and turkeys were affected, resulting in economic losses of $3.3 billion. Rapid depopulation of infected poultry is vital to contain and eradicate reportable diseases like HPAI. The hypothesis of the experiment was that a compressed air foam (CAF) system may be used as an alternative to carbon dioxide (CO₂) inhalation for depopulating caged layer hens. The objective of this study was to evaluate corticosterone (CORT) and time to cessation of movement (COM) of hens subjected to CAF, CO₂ inhalation, and negative control (NEG) treatments...
January 11, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Jessica E Martin, Victoria Sandilands, Julian Sparrey, Laurence Baker, Dorothy E F McKeegan
Urgent development of alternative on-farm killing methods for poultry is required following the number restrictions placed on the use of traditional manual cervical dislocation by European Legislation (EU 1099/2009). Alternatives must be proven to be humane and, crucially, practical in commercial settings with multiple users. We assessed the performance and reliability of a novel mechanical cervical dislocation device (NMCD) compared to the traditional manual cervical dislocation (MCD) method. NMCD was based on a novel device consisting of a thin supportive glove and two moveable metal finger inserts designed to aid the twisting motion of cervical dislocation...
January 10, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Carolina Munoz, Angus Campbell, Stuart Barber, Paul Hemsworth, Rebecca Doyle
This study examined variation in the welfare of extensively managed ewes and potential welfare risks. A total of 100 Merino ewes (aged 2-4 years) were individually identified and examined at three key stages: pregnancy, lactation and weaning. Eight animal-based welfare measures were used to assess welfare: flight distance, body condition score (BCS), fleece condition, skin lesions, tail length, dag score, lameness and mastitis. Data were analysed by ANOVA and McNemar's statistics. Overall, the average BCS of the group was in agreement with industry recommendations...
January 8, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Irena Czycholl, Kathrin Büttner, Philipp Klingbeil, Joachim Krieter
To enhance feasibility, the Animal Welfare Indicators (AWIN) assessment protocol for horses consists of two levels: the first is a visual inspection of a sample of horses performed from a distance, the second a close-up inspection of all horses. The aim was to analyse whether information would be lost if only the first level were performed. In this study, 112 first and 112 second level assessments carried out on a subsequent day by one observer were compared by calculating the Spearman's Rank Correlation Coefficient (RS), Intraclass Correlation Coefficients (ICC), Smallest Detectable Changes (SDC) and Limits of Agreements (LoA)...
January 5, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Shailesh Gurung, Dima White, Gregory Archer, Darrel Styles, Dan Zhao, Yuhua Farnell, James Byrd, Morgan Farnell
Depopulation of infected poultry flocks is a key strategy to control and contain reportable diseases. Water-based foam, carbon dioxide inhalation, and ventilation shutdown are depopulation methods available to the poultry industry. Unfortunately, these methods have limited usage in caged layer hen operations. Personnel safety and welfare of birds are equally important factors to consider during emergency depopulation procedures. We have previously reported that compressed air foam (CAF) is an alternative method for depopulation of caged layer hens...
January 3, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Liyan Huang, Marcia Coradini, Jacquie Rand, John Morton, Kat Albrecht, Brigid Wasson, Danielle Robertson
Missing pet cats are often not found by their owners, with many being euthanized at shelters. This study aimed to describe times that lost cats were missing for, search methods associated with their recovery, locations where found and distances travelled. A retrospective case series was conducted where self-selected participants whose cat had gone missing provided data in an online questionnaire. Of the 1210 study cats, only 61% were found within one year, with 34% recovered alive by the owner within 7 days...
January 2, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Frida Lundmark, Charlotte Berg, Helena Röcklinsberg
The current shift moves the governance of animal welfare away from the government towards the private market and the consumers. We have studied the intentions, content, and on-farm inspection results from different sets of animal welfare legislation and private standards with an aim to highlight the most important opportunities and risks identified in relation to the trend of increasingly relying on private standards for safeguarding or improving farm animal welfare. Our results show that different focuses, intentions, animal welfare requirements, inspection methods (i...
January 2, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Alannah Jupe, Jacquie Rand, John Morton, Sophie Fleming
Approximately 50% of cats admitted to Australian shelters are kittens, and 26% of dogs are puppies, and, particularly for cats, euthanasia rates are often high. Cats can be pregnant by 4 months of age, yet the traditional desexing age is 5-6 months, and studies in Australasia and Nth America reveal that only a minority of veterinarians routinely perform early age desexing (EAD) of cats or dogs, suggesting they are not graduating with these skills. This study aimed to describe the attitudes of veterinary teaching staff in Australian and New Zealand universities towards EAD, and to determine if these changed from 2008 to 2015...
December 25, 2017: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Carolina Munoz, Angus Campbell, Paul Hemsworth, Rebecca Doyle
The reliability and feasibility of 10 animal-based measures of ewe welfare were examined for use in extensive sheep production systems. Measures were: Body condition score (BCS), rumen fill, fleece cleanliness, fleece condition, skin lesions, tail length, dag score, foot-wall integrity, hoof overgrowth and lameness, and all were examined on 100 Merino ewes (aged 2-4 years) during mid-pregnancy, mid-lactation and weaning by a pool of nine trained observers. The measures of BCS, fleece condition, skin lesions, tail length, dag score and lameness were deemed to be reliable and feasible...
December 24, 2017: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Kathrin Wagner, Jan Brinkmann, Solveig March, Peter Hinterstoißer, Sylvia Warnecke, Maximilian Schüler, Hans Marten Paulsen
Grazing provides livestock better opportunities to act out their species-specific behavior compared to restrictive stable conditions. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of daily grazing time on welfare of dairy cows in organic and conventional farms based on the Welfare Quality® assessment protocol for dairy cattle (WQ®). Therefore, we applied the WQ® on 32 dairy farms (classified in 3 groups: Group 0, minor/zero grazing, n = 14; Group 1, medium grazing, n = 10; Group 2, high grazing, n = 8)...
December 22, 2017: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Cordelie DuBois, Helen Hambly-Odame, Derek B Haley, Katrina Merkies
As part of a larger Delphi survey project, equine professionals (n = 14) were presented with twelve short scenarios in which a horse's welfare could be compromised. They were asked to rank each scenario (with 0 indicating no welfare concerns and 5 indicating a situation where immediate intervention was necessary), provide justification for their ranking, and give examples of what might have been the motivation behind the scenario. The wide range within vignette scores demonstrated the diversity of opinion even among a relatively small group of equine professionals...
December 20, 2017: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Anne Algers, Charlotte Berg
Knowledge about slaughter of animals for human food is often perceived as controversial and therefore not made widely available. An open educational resource on the Internet about the slaughter of animals has created tension at launch but also resolved tension. Aiming to explore how this resource at the boundary between academia and society is perceived, a study was carried out with participants from slaughterhouses, universities, authorities and NGOs. Focus group sessions were video recorded and transcripts were coded using an interpretive thematic analysis...
December 18, 2017: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Jessica L Walsh, Aaron Percival, Patricia V Turner
The commercial meat rabbit industry is without validated on-farm euthanasia methods, potentially resulting in inadequate euthanasia protocols. We evaluated blunt force trauma (BFT), a mechanical cervical dislocation device (MCD), and a non-penetrating captive bolt device (NPCB) for euthanasia of pre-weaned kits, growers, and adult rabbits. Trials were conducted on three commercial meat rabbit farms using 170 cull rabbits. Insensibility was assessed by evaluating absence of brainstem and spinal reflexes, rhythmic breathing, and vocalizations...
December 15, 2017: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Qurat ulAin, Terry L Whiting
The phrase "essentially contested concept" (ECC) entered the academic literature in 1956 in an attempt to better characterize certain contentious concepts of political theory. Commonly identified examples of contested concepts are morality, religion, democracy, science, nature, philosophy, and certain types of creative products such as the novel and art. The structure proposed to identify an ECC has proven useful in a wide variety of deliberative discourse in the social, political, and religious arenas where seemingly intractable but productive debates are found...
December 14, 2017: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Lenka van Riemsdijk, Paul T M Ingenbleek, Hans C M van Trijp, Gerrita van der Veen
This article presents a conceptual framework that aims to encourage consumer animal-friendly product choice by introducing positioning strategies for animal-friendly products. These strategies reinforce the animal welfare with different types of consumption values and can therefore reduce consumers' social dilemma, which is a major barrier to animal-friendly consumer choices. The article suggests how animal-friendly products can use various types of consumption values (functional, sensory, emotional, social, epistemic and situational) to create an attractive position relative to their competitors...
December 14, 2017: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Mona Franziska Giersberg, Birgit Spindler, Nicole Kemper
The assessment of plumage and integument condition in laying hens provides useful information about the occurrence of feather pecking and cannibalism. Although feather loss and skin injuries can result from mechanical abrasion or clinical diseases, they are valid animal-based indicators for behavioural disorders. This particularly applies to damage on the back and tail region of the hens. The aim was to evaluate the behaviour of dual-purpose breeds (Lohmann Dual, LD) and conventional layer hybrids (Lohmann Brown plus, LB+), and to compare a mere visual assessment (Visual Scoring, VSc), with a method involving the handling of individual animals (Hands-on Scoring, HSc)...
December 12, 2017: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Peter Sandøe, Björn Forkman, Franziska Hakansson, Sine Norlander Andreasen, Rikke Nøhr, Matt Denwood, Thomas Bøker Lund
Welfare Quality® proposes a system for aggregation according to which the total welfare score for a group of animals is a non-linear effect of the prevalence of welfare scores across the individuals within the group. Three assumptions serve to justify this: (1) experts do not follow a linear reasoning when they assess a welfare problem; (2) it serves to prevent compensation (severe welfare problems hidden by scoring well on other aspects of welfare); (3) experts agree on the weight of different welfare measures...
December 11, 2017: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
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