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Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI

Caitlin R Woolcott, Stephanie Torrey, Patricia V Turner, Lilia Serpa, Karen Schwean-Lardner, Tina M Widowski
On-farm euthanasia is a critical welfare issue in the poultry industry and can be particularly difficult to perform on mature turkeys due to their size. We evaluated the efficacy of two commercially available non-penetrating captive bolt devices, the Zephyr-EXL and the Turkey Euthanasia Device (TED), on 253 turkeys at three stages of production: 4-5, 10, and 15-20 weeks of age. Effectiveness of each device was measured using both ante- and post-mortem measures. Application of the Zephyr-EXL resulted in a greater success rate (immediate abolishment of brainstem reflexes) compared to the TED (97...
March 20, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Nikki Kells, Ngaio Beausoleil, Craig Johnson, Mhairi Sutherland
The aim of this research was to evaluate the welfare of pre-weaned piglets euthanised using three different gas treatments: 100% carbon dioxide (CO₂), 100% argon (Ar) or a mixture of 60% Ar/40% carbon dioxide (Ar/CO₂). Two studies (n = 5 piglets/treatment/study) were conducted: (1) behavioural and physiological data were collected from conscious piglets during exposure to test gases via immersion in a pre-filled chamber and (2) electrophysiological data were collected from lightly anaesthetised, intubated and mechanically ventilated piglets exposed to the same test gases...
March 16, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Jessica E Martin, Dale A Sandercock, Victoria Sandilands, Julian Sparrey, Laurence Baker, Nick H C Sparks, Dorothy E F McKeegan
Council Regulation (EC) no. 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing restricts the use of manual cervical dislocation in poultry on farms in the European Union (EU) to birds weighing up to 3 kg and 70 birds per person per day. However, few studies have examined whether repeated application of manual cervical dislocation has welfare implications and whether these are dependent on individual operator skill or susceptibility to fatigue. We investigated the effects of repeated application (100 birds at a fixed killing rate of 1 bird per 2 min) and multiple operators on two methods of killing of broilers, laying hens, and turkeys in commercial settings...
March 15, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Jena G Alexopoulos, David S Lines, Suzanne Hallett, Kate J Plush
Piglet movement from one sow to another, or fostering, is required in modern pig farming but there is little available literature on the most effective strategy. In this review, we focus on the behavioural and physiological mechanisms responsible for piglet survival and growth, and have identified six key principles. (1) Colostrum provides piglets with warmth, energy and immunity. It is most accessible during the first 12 h from the birth sow, therefore no piglet should be moved before this; (2) To ensure even intake of birth sow colostrum, techniques such as split suckling prior to piglet movement should be implemented; (3) Udder assessment for functional teats should occur at farrowing, with number of fostered piglets not exceeding teat number; (4) Primiparous sows should receive as many piglets as the udder allows to maximise mammary stimulation, although older parities should be assessed for rearing ability; (5) Piglet fostering should occur between 12 and 24 h and movement kept to a minimum to prevent transfer of disease; Litter outliers should be moved and relocated to a litter of similar size; (6) Piglet movement after 24 h should be minimised...
March 9, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Shailesh Gurung, Dima White, Gregory Archer, Dan Zhao, Yuhua Farnell, J Allen Byrd, E David Peebles, Morgan Farnell
Hatched male layer chicks are currently euthanized by maceration in the United States. Public concerns on the use of maceration have led to the search for alternative methods. We hypothesized that gas inhalation and low atmospheric pressure stunning (LAPS) are viable and humane alternatives to instantaneous mechanical destruction. The objective of this study was to evaluate the physiological and behavioral responses of recently hatched male layer chicks when subjected to carbon dioxide, nitrogen inhalation, or LAPS...
March 9, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Sloane Hawes, Josephine Kerrigan, Kevin Morris
With advances in veterinary medicine that can increase the lifespan of cats and dogs and the effectiveness of spay/neuter programs in reducing the juvenile population of pets, animal shelters are experiencing an increasing population of older companion animals in their care. The purpose of this study was to assess the factors that inform the outcomes of these older cats and dogs. The sample consisted of 124 cats and 122 dogs that were over the age of 84 months (seven years) who were taken into a shelter over a one-year period...
March 7, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Dominique Van der Saag, Peter White, Lachlan Ingram, Jaime Manning, Peter Windsor, Peter Thomson, Sabrina Lomax
The use of pain relief during castration and dehorning of calves on commercial beef operations can be limited by constraints associated with the delivery of analgesic agents. As topical anaesthetic (TA) and buccal meloxicam (MEL) are now available in Australia, offering practical analgesic treatments for concurrent castration and dehorning of beef calves, a study was conducted to determine their efficacy in providing pain relief when applied separately or in combination. Weaner calves were randomly allocated to; (1) no castration and dehorning/positive control (CONP); (2) castration and dehorning/negative control (CONN); (3) castration and dehorning with buccal meloxicam (BM); (4) castration and dehorning with topical anaesthetic (TA); and (5) castration and dehorning with buccal meloxicam and topical anaesthetic (BMTA)...
February 28, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Matthias Eggel, Herwig Grimm
Directive 2010/63/EU (henceforth "Directive") on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes mandates that every project proposal in EU member states involving procedures on living non-human vertebrates and cephalopods has to be approved in an review process, including a harm-benefit-analysis (HBA), to assess "whether the harm to the animals in terms of suffering, pain and distress is justified by the expected outcome taking into account ethical consideration and may ultimately benefit human beings, animals or the environment"...
February 28, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Danila Marini, M Dennis Meuleman, Sue Belson, T Bas Rodenburg, Rick Llewellyn, Caroline Lee
To ensure animal welfare isn't compromised when using virtual fencing, animals must be able to associate a benign conditioned stimulus with an aversive stimulus. This study used an associative learning test to train 30, four-year-old, Merino x Suffolk ewes, to associate an audio cue with an electric stimulus. Collars manually controlled by a GPS hand-held unit were used to deliver the audio and electric stimuli cues. For the associative learning, when sheep approached an attractant at a distance of three m from the trough, an audio cue was applied for one s...
February 27, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Taryn M Graham, Katrina J Milaney, Cindy L Adams, Melanie J Rock
Previous research has shown that housing insecurity contributes to animal relinquishment and that tenants with dogs face disadvantages in the rental market. Still, little is known about how dog owners navigate rental markets, nor how landlords and property managers perceive dogs and other pets. This case study reports on in-depth interviews with younger tenants with dogs and on open-ended survey responses from landlords and property managers. In their housing searches, tenants with dogs reported feeling powerless in negotiations and feeling discriminated against...
February 27, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Danila Marini, Rick Llewellyn, Sue Belson, Caroline Lee
Virtual fencing has the potential to greatly improve livestock movement, grazing efficiency, and land management by farmers; however, relatively little work has been done to test the potential of virtual fencing with sheep. Commercial dog training equipment, comprising of a collar and GPS hand-held unit were used to implement a virtual fence in a commercial setting. Six, 5-6 year-old Merino wethers, which were naïve to virtual fencing were GPS tracked for their use of a paddock (80 × 20 m) throughout the experiment...
February 26, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Mark J Farnworth, Rowena M A Packer, Lorena Sordo, Ruoning Chen, Sarah M A Caney, Danièlle A Gunn-Moore
Changes in the popularity of cat breeds are largely driven by human perceptions of, and selection for, phenotypic traits including skull morphology. The popularity of breeds with altered skull shapes appears to be increasing, and owner preferences are an important part of this dynamic. This study sought to establish how and why a range of phenotypic attributes, including skull shape, affect preferences shown by cat owners. Two questionnaires were distributed on-line to cat owners who were asked to rate preferences for pictures of cats on a 0-10 scale...
February 20, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Malini Suchak, Jacalyn Lamica
The merits of various housing options for domestic cats in shelters have been debated. However, comparisons are difficult to interpret because cats are typically not able to be randomly assigned to different housing conditions. In the current study, we attempted to address some of these issues by creating a retrospective matched cohort of cats in two housing types. Cats in group housing (GH) were matched with cats in single housing (SH) that were the same age, sex, breed, coat color, and size. Altogether we were able to find a match for 110 GH cats...
February 14, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Shaun Yon-Seng Khoo
Current animal research ethics frameworks emphasise consequentialist ethics through cost-benefit or harm-benefit analysis. However, these ethical frameworks along with institutional animal ethics approval processes cannot satisfactorily decide when a given potential benefit is outweighed by costs to animals. The consequentialist calculus should, theoretically, provide for situations where research into a disease or disorder is no longer ethical, but this is difficult to determine objectively. Public support for animal research is also falling as demand for healthcare is rising...
February 14, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Heather Mohan-Gibbons, Emily D Dolan, Pamela Reid, Margaret R Slater, Hugh Mulligan, Emily Weiss
Many shelters euthanize or restrict adoptions for dogs that exhibit food guarding while in the animal shelter. However, previous research showed that only half the dogs exhibiting food guarding during an assessment food guard in the home. So, dogs are often misidentified as future food guarders during shelter assessments. We examined the impact of shelters omitting food guarding assessments. Nine shelters conducted a two-month baseline period of assessing for food guarding followed by a two-month investigative period during which they omitted the food guarding assessment...
February 8, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Dana L M Campbell, Andrew C Talk, Ziyang A Loh, Tim R Dyall, Caroline Lee
Radio-frequency identification tracking shows individual free-range laying hens vary in range use, with some never going outdoors. The range is typically more environmentally complex, requiring navigation to return to the indoor resources. Outdoor-preferring hens may have improved spatial abilities compared to indoor-preferring hens. Experiment 1 tested 32 adult ISA Brown hens in a T-maze learning task that showed exclusively-indoor birds were slowest to reach the learning success criterion (p < 0.05). Experiment 2 tested 117 pullets from enriched or non-enriched early rearing treatments (1 pen replicate per treatment) in the same maze at 15-16 or 17-18 weeks...
February 8, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Susan J Hazel, Caitlin J Jenvey, Jonathan Tuke
While traditionally people relinquish their pets to an animal shelter or pound, the internet provides a newer method to re-home. We analyzed advertisements (ads) on the largest website in Australia for trading dogs and cats: Gumtree. Data was collected in 2016. Dogs were sampled on 7, 16 and 24 February 2016 and cats on 9, 19 and 26 February 2016, with 2640 ads for relinquished dogs, and 2093 ads for relinquished cats. It was estimated >31,000 puppies/dogs and >24,000 kittens/cats are relinquished on Gumtree per year...
February 7, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Xinxin You, Min Sun, Jia Li, Chao Bian, Jieming Chen, Yunhai Yi, Hui Yu, Qiong Shi
Mudskippers are the largest group of amphibious teleost fish that are uniquely adapted to live on mudflats. During their successful transition from aqueous life to terrestrial living, these fish have evolved morphological and physiological modifications of aerial vision and olfaction, higher ammonia tolerance, aerial respiration, improved immunological defense against terrestrial pathogens, and terrestrial locomotion using protruded pectoral fins. Comparative genomic and transcriptomic data have been accumulated and analyzed for understanding molecular mechanisms of the terrestrial adaptations...
February 7, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Sarah Zito, Mandy Paterson, John Morton, Di Vanken, Pauleen Bennett, Jacquie Rand, Clive J C Phillips
The surrender of cats to animal shelters results in financial, social and moral burdens for the community. Correlations of caretaking and interactions with surrendered cats were calculated, to understand more about humans' relationships with surrendered cats and the contribution of semi-owned cats to shelter intakes. A questionnaire was used to collect detailed information about 100 surrenderers' relationships with cats they surrendered to four animal shelters in Australia, with each surrenderer classifying themselves as being either the owner or a non-owner of the surrendered cat (ownership perception)...
February 7, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Courtney Daigle
Pregnancy and parturition in all mammals is accompanied with physical, psychological, social, and hormonal shifts that impact the mother physically and psychologically. Pre-weaning piglet mortality continues to be a major welfare and economic issue in U.S. swine production, running at 12-15% with crushing by the sow the major cause. Much research has focused on farrowing environment design, yet the fact that little progress has been made emphasizes that psychosocial factors may impact rates of postpartum disorders (PPD)...
February 6, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
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