Animals

Published by MDPI
Online ISSN: 2076-2615
Publications
Article
Simple Summary Possible electromagnetic effects on abnormal animal behavior before earthquakes. Abstract The former statistical properties summarized by Rikitake (1998) on unusual animal behavior before an earthquake (EQ) have first been presented by using two parameters (epicentral distance (D) of an anomaly and its precursor (or lead) time (T)). Three plots are utilized to characterize the unusual animal behavior; (i) EQ magnitude (M) versus D, (ii) log T versus M, and (iii) occurrence histogram of log T. These plots are compared with the corresponding plots for different seismo-electromagnetic effects (radio emissions in different frequency ranges, seismo-atmospheric and -ionospheric perturbations) extensively obtained during the last 15–20 years. From the results of comparisons in terms of three plots, it is likely that lower frequency (ULF (ultra-low-frequency, f ≤ 1 Hz) and ELF (extremely-low-frequency, f ≤ a few hundreds Hz)) electromagnetic emissions exhibit a very similar temporal evolution with that of abnormal animal behavior. It is also suggested that a quantity of field intensity multiplied by the persistent time (or duration) of noise would play the primary role in abnormal animal behavior before an EQ.
 
Article
This paper reviews current findings in the human aggression and antisocial behaviour literature and those in the animal abuse literature with the aim of highlighting the overlap in conceptualisation. The major aim of this review is to highlight that the co-occurrence between animal abuse behaviours and aggression and violence toward humans can be logically understood through examination of the research evidence for antisocial and aggressive behaviour. From examination through this framework, it is not at all surprising that the two co-occur. Indeed, it would be surprising if they did not. Animal abuse is one expression of antisocial behaviour. What is also known from the extensive antisocial behaviour literature is that antisocial behaviours co-occur such that the presence of one form of antisocial behaviour is highly predictive of the presence of other antisocial behaviours. From such a framework, it becomes evident that animal abuse should be considered an important indicator of antisocial behaviour and violence as are other aggressive and antisocial behaviours. The implications of such a stance are that law enforcement, health and other professionals should not minimize the presence of animal abuse in their law enforcement, prevention, and treatment decisions.
 
Article
Without animals this planet would be a very different place, indeed many of the remaining life forms could not exist. As animals ourselves we are linked to a vast network of moving, living, reproducing organisms that form an essential part of the various ecosystems that are themselves competing for survival. By virtue of our large cognitive capacity and complex societal living structures, we manage and influence many of these ecosystems, in the most extreme way by keeping animals captive for our own benefit. [...]
 
Article
Although there is a long-established tradition of concern for the welfare of animals, it was not until the mid 1800's that governments sought to enact legislation to protect animals from cruelty. In the 1950's, questions concerning animal welfare re-emerged and in the ensuing years have been an on-going focus of government activities. These developments occurred against a backdrop of significant social change but there are important differences in what now underpins and informs these considerations. In the formulation and implementation of public policies, governments look for a course of action that represents and protects the interests of the community; the process may be challenging with competing interests but the final determination seeks a middle ground that best meets the needs and interests of the community as a whole. When policy development concerns our relationship with other animals, the complexity of this relationship presents particular challenges not only to the formulation of policies but also to the evaluation of outcomes. Notably, the depth of feelings and diversity of views in our community reflect the complex social, cultural and personal dimensions of this relationship. The use of animals for scientific purposes remains one of the most contentious animal welfare issues primarily because when animals are used for these purposes, accepted animal welfare benchmarks cannot always be met. Based on the Australian experience, this paper will discuss the influences in and on-going challenges to the development and implementation of public policy when animals are used for these purposes.
 
Article
Few animals provoke as wide a range of emotions as wolves. Some see wolves as icons of a lost wilderness; others see them as intruders. As the battle continues between wolf proponents and opponents, finding solutions that resolve conflicts while supporting the integrity of nature is challenging. In this essay we argue that we need to make room for wolves and other native carnivores who are re-colonizing areas from which they were extirpated. Strategies that foster coexistence are necessary and wildlife agencies must consider all stakeholders and invest adequate resources to inform the public about how to mitigate conflicts between people/domestic animals, and predators. Values and ethics must be woven into wildlife policy and management and we must be willing to ask difficult ethical questions and learn from past mistakes.
 
Article
As humans increasingly acknowledge the effects that they are having on the planet, there is a realisation implicit in these effects that human interrelationships with nature are actually arbitrated and expedited exploitatively. Understanding how the different discourses and histories through which the interrelationships with nature are mediated and actually told and then retold is fundamental to appreciating how humans may relate with nature less exploitatively and in ways that are more inclusionary, particularly with nonhuman animals. Humans perceive nature and individual nonhuman animals in various ways. This paper provides an investigation of how humans have socially constructed nature and their place as either within or outside of it. Such constructions are elaborated conceptually and through narrative. More pertinently, this paper examines how nature and nonhuman animals are perceived and placed within those narratives that humans construct from reality. It is stressed here that such constructions have, and may continue, to lead to a worsening of the effects that humans have on the planet if there is no acceptance or recognition that certain realities exist beyond the exploitative bounds of any human-inspired concept or narrative. This paper therefore provides the groundwork for the foundations of an ethic that is both socially and ecologically inclusive and is based on a soft realist approach.
 
Article
How can we make sense of the fact that we live in a world where good people co-exist in silence about widespread animal suffering. How is it that sites of suffering such as laboratories, factory farms, abattoirs and animal transportation are all around us and yet we 'do not, in a certain sense, know about them' [1]. This 'not knowing' is one of the most difficult barriers for animal activists who must constantly develop new strategies in an attempt to catch public attention and translate it into action. Recent contributions from the 'sociology of denial' have elucidated many of the mechanisms involved in 'not knowing' in relation to human atrocities and genocide. In this context, 'denial' refers to the maintenance of social worlds in which an undesirable situation is unrecognized, ignored or made to seem normal [2]. These include different types of denial: personal, official and cultural, as well as the process of normalization whereby suffering becomes invisible through routinization, tolerance, accommodation, collusion and cover up. Denial and normalization reflect both personal and collective states where suffering is not acknowledged [3]. In this paper, I will examine insights from the sociology of denial and apply them to human denial and normalization of animal suffering. This will include an examination of denial which is both individual and social and the implications of these insights for theory and practice in the human/animal relationship.
 
Article
Simple Summary The twentieth century has witnessed a bewildering array of ethical revolutions, from civil rights to environmentalism to feminism. Often ignored is the rise of massive societal concern across the world regarding animal treatment. Regulation of animal research exists in virtually all western countries, and reform of “factory farming” is regnant in Europe and rapidly emerging in the United States. Opponents of concern for animals often dismiss the phenomenon as rooted in emotion and extremist lack of appreciation of how unrestricted animal use has improved human life. Such a view totally ignores the rational ethical basis for elevating legal protection for animals, as explained in this essay. Abstract Businesses and professions must stay in accord with social ethics, or risk losing their autonomy. A major social ethical issue that has emerged in the past four decades is the treatment of animals in various areas of human use. Society's moral concern has outgrown the traditional ethic of animal cruelty that began in biblical times and is encoded in the laws of all civilized societies. There are five major reasons for this new social concern, most importantly, the replacement of husbandry-based agriculture with industrial agriculture. This loss of husbandry to industry has threatened the traditional fair contract between humans and animals, and resulted in significant amounts of animal suffering arising on four different fronts. Because such suffering is not occasioned by cruelty, a new ethic for animals was required to express social concerns. Since ethics proceed from preexisting ethics rather than ex nihilo, society has looked to its ethic for humans, appropriately modified, to find moral categories applicable to animals. This concept of legally encoded rights for animals has emerged as a plausible vehicle for reform.
 
Article
Michel Foucault's work traces shifting techniques in the governance of humans, from the production of 'docile bodies' subjected to the knowledge formations of the human sciences (disciplinary power), to the facilitation of self-governing agents directed towards specified forms of self-knowledge by quasi-therapeutic authorities (pastoral power). While mindful of the important differences between the governance of human subjects and the oppression of nonhuman animals, exemplified in nonhuman animals' legal status as property, this paper explores parallel shifts from disciplinary to pastoral regimes of human-'farmed' animal relations. Recent innovations in 'animal-centred' welfare science represent a trend away from the 'disciplinary' techniques of confinement and torture associated with 'factory farms' and towards quasi-therapeutic ways of claiming to know 'farmed' animals, in which the animals themselves are co-opted into the processes by which knowledge about them is generated. The new pastoral turn in 'animal-centred' welfare finds popular expression in 'happy meat' discourses that invite 'consumers' to adopt a position of vicarious carer for the 'farmed' animals who they eat. The paper concludes that while 'animal-centred' welfare reform and 'happy meat' discourses promise a possibility of a somewhat less degraded life for some 'farmed' animals, they do so by perpetuating exploitation and oppression and entrenching speciesist privilege by making it less vulnerable to critical scrutiny.
 
Article
Simple Summary It is a core task of collecting institutions like museums to take examples of animals and preserve them as specimens in collections. In the twenty-first century, museums are equally the places where research is conducted and education is promoted in the service of conservation of animals in an era of the decline of biodiversity. In this paper, the balance of co-operation between collecting of animals by museums and the promotion and scientific pursuit of conservation of fauna in those museums is considered. As a “challenge” to museum science, it is considered in the context of Australia's oldest museum, and its policy and practice in the current century. Abstract Collecting of animals from their habitats for preservation by museums and related bodies is a core operation of such institutions. Conservation of biodiversity in the current era is a priority in the scientific agendas of museums of natural heritage in Australia and the world. Intuitively, to take animals from the wild, while engaged in scientific or other practices that are supposed to promote their ongoing survival, may appear be incompatible. The Australian Museum presents an interesting ground to consider zoological collecting by museums in the twenty-first century. Anderson and Reeves in 1994 argued that a milieu existed that undervalued native species, and that the role of natural history museums, up to as late as the mid-twentieth century, was only to make a record the faunal diversity of Australia, which would inevitably be extinct. Despite the latter, conservation of Australia's faunal diversity is a key aspect of research programmes in Australia's institutions of natural heritage in the current era. This paper analyses collecting of animals, a core task for institutions of natural heritage, and how this interacts with a professed “conservation ethic” in a twenty-first century Australian setting.
 
Article
Simple summary History teaches us that the act of naming can have various consequences for that which is named. Thus, applying labels as well as both specific and generic names to non-human animals can have consequences for our relationships to them, as various examples show. The issues of whether and how we should name other animals should therefore be given careful consideration. Abstract The act of naming is among the most basic actions of language. Indeed, it is naming something that enables us to communicate about it in specific terms, whether the object named is human or non-human, animate or inanimate. However, naming is not as uncomplicated as we may usually think and names have consequences for the way we think about animals (human and non-human), peoples, species, places, things etc. Through a blend of history, philosophy and representational theory—and using examples from, among other things, the Bible, Martin Luther, colonialism/imperialism and contemporary ways of keeping and regarding non-human animals—this paper attempts to trace the importance of (both specific and generic) naming to our relationships with the non-human. It explores this topic from the naming of the animals in Genesis to the names given and used by scientists, keepers of companion animals, media etc. in our societies today, and asks the question of what the consequences of naming non-human animals are for us, for the beings named and for the power relations between our species and the non-human species and individuals we name.
 
Article
I'm honored to be the guest editor of this volume of Animals. The essays included here are in the spirit of this new and forward-looking journal http://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/1/1/1/pdf. They stem from a precedent setting gathering of scholars from all over the world representing many different disciplines at a meeting called ‘Minding Animals’, held in Newcastle, Australia in July 2009 (http://www.mindinganimals.com//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=210&Itemid=236). All of the delegates who journeyed from varying distances, sometimes huge, to be part of this unique gathering, shared a deep interest in learning more about who nonhuman animals (hereafter, animals) are from colleagues studying them from various perspectives, representing disciplines including biology, psychology, anthropology, and the social sciences and humanities. Not surprisingly, the meeting was characterized by great enthusiasm, lots of discussion often bordering on the frenetic since people would soon be dispersing to their homelands and not be readily accessible, and a commitment to continue learning more about animals in society.
 
Earthquake events in June 2010 in a 40 km radius around the location of AntCam1 within the tectonically active Neuwied basin [39]. 
Near-infrared video image of top of the RWA mound monitored by AntCam 1 with active near-infrared illumination (a). Grass containing chlorophyll appears bright, as it strongly reflects near-infrared light. The ants are visible as very small dark spots. Change detection between two video frames acquired at nighttime at a time interval of 10 s (b). Moving ants are apparent as bright spots. 
Automatically analyzed raw activity index A(t) (before polynomial regression) in comparison with the manually analyzed data. A qualitatively similar behavior is clearly apparent. 
The automatically determined activity index (blue) for the time interval June 08-30, 2010 (AntCam 1) combined with the manually analyzed activities (green) in correlation with local earthquakes with a magnitude of <2. At lower magnitudes, an anomalous behavior may possibly be present as well. A comparison of the earth tides and the earthquake events suggest a possible correlation for the given time interval. An accumulation of earthquakes (June 09 (day 161); June 12-14 (days 163-165) and June 26-29 (days 177-180)) occurs only when the absolute values of the vertical displacements are at their maximum. A similar, but less pronounced, relation can be observed for nuptial flights in the given time interval (June 22-30, days 174-181). It is necessary to further analyze these relationships in long-term studies. 
Article
Short-term earthquake predictions with an advance warning of several hours or days are currently not possible due to both incomplete understanding of the complex tectonic processes and inadequate observations. Abnormal animal behaviors before earthquakes have been reported previously, but create problems in monitoring and reliability. The situation is different with red wood ants (RWA; Formica rufa-group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)). They have stationary mounds on tectonically active, gas-bearing fault systems. These faults may be potential earthquake areas. For three years (2009-2012), two red wood ant mounds (Formica rufa-group), located at the seismically active Neuwied Basin (Eifel, Germany), have been monitored 24/7 by high-resolution cameras with both a color and an infrared sensor. Early results show that ants have a well-identifiable standard daily routine. Correlation with local seismic events suggests changes in the ants' behavior hours before the earthquake: the nocturnal rest phase and daily activity are suppressed, and standard daily routine does not resume until the next day. At present, an automated image evaluation routine is being applied to the more than 45,000 hours of video streams. Based on this automated approach, a statistical analysis of the ants' behavior will be carried out. In addition, other parameters (climate, geotectonic and biological), which may influence behavior, will be included in the analysis.
 
Article
Simple Summary I argue that cultural representations of donkeys arise from the contradictory philosophies that underpin western society. Donkeys have invariable been used symbolically in a negative way in early western literature which has affected our ongoing attitudes towards them: used as allegories for human nature, their own remains largely hidden. Tracing literary representations of donkeys reveals not only their conflicting origins but also how they developed over time. Understanding how these representations have affected our treatment of donkeys may lead to a better appreciation of the actual animals. Abstract How we represent animals both reflects our attitudes towards them and affects our treatment of them. The donkey has lived alongside humans, bearing their burdens since the time of their domestication over 10,000 years ago. Despite this, they have invariably enjoyed a low status in human cultures, received little appreciation and been treated harshly. We view some animals as being more worthy than others and represent them accordingly: donkeys have been ridiculed and derided. Literary representations of donkeys from the fables of Ancient Greece to contemporary iconic texts are explored to follow the donkey through the human imaginary. These representations derive from two main, conflicting sources, Greek literature and the Bible. Examining these cultural representations may lead towards a greater understanding of the way they affect the actual animal and lead to a greater understanding of that animal and, ultimately, to better treatment of them.
 
A summary of reports of unusual behaviour in free ranging cattle. 
A Google Earth map of the Colfiorito Basin, red arrow indicates cow movements. 
Schematic representation of the 2-step air ionization that has been demonstrated in laboratory experiments during stressing of rocks [16]. 
Surface profile extracted from Figure 1b, showing the Colfiorito plain, Monte Prefoglio (and Monte Maggio behind it) relative to the fault geometry which generated the Umbria-Marche earthquake; + symbol represents the charge distribution on the ground surface. 
Conference Paper
Unusual behaviour of domestic cattle before earthquakes has been reported for centuries, and often relates to cattle becoming excited, vocal, aggressive or attempting to break free of tethers and restraints. Cattle have also been reported to move to higher or lower ground before earthquakes. Here, we report unusual movements of domestic cows 2 days prior to the Marche-Umbria (M=6) earthquake in 1997. Cows moved down from their usual summer pastures in the hills and were seen in the streets of a nearby town, a highly unusual occurrence. We discuss this in the context of positive holes and air ionisation as proposed by Freund's unified theory of earthquake precursors.
 
Ecoversity schematic model.
Article
Wildlife objectification and cruelty are everyday aspects of Australian society that eschew values of human kindness, empathy, and an understanding of the uniqueness and importance of non-human life in the natural world. Fostered by institutional failure, greed and selfishness, and the worst aspects of human disregard, the objectification of animals has its roots in longstanding Western anthropocentric philosophical perspectives, post colonialism, and a global uptake of neoliberal capitalism. Conservation, animal rights and welfare movements have been unable to stem the ever-growing abuse of wildlife, while 'greenwash' language such as 'resource use', 'management', 'pests', 'over-abundance', 'conservation hunting' and 'ecology' coat this violence with a respectable public veneer. We propose an engaged learning approach to address the burgeoning culture of wildlife cruelty and objectification that comprises three elements: a relational ethic based on intrinsic understanding of the way wildlife and humans might view each other [1-3]; geography of place and space [4], where there are implications for how we ascribe contextual meaning and practice in human-animal relations; and, following [5], engaged learning designed around our ethical relations with others, beyond the biophysical and novel and towards the reflective metaphysical. We propose the 'ecoversity' [6], as a scholarly and practical tool for focusing on the intersection of these three elements as an ethical place-based learning approach to wildlife relationism. We believe it provides a mechanism to help bridge the gap between human and non-human animals, conservation and welfare, science and understanding, and between objectification and relationism as a means of addressing entrenched cruelty to wildlife.
 
Percent change in population for U.S. States 1990–1999. 
Salt Lake City’s Days of ’47 Parade [16]. 
Public Land Percentages. 
Map Highlighting Wild Horse Areas in the American West [23]. 
Article
Simple Summary This study, based on ten years of ethnographic and archival research, explores the complexity of the mustang in the United States. Images are explored to show how one unique animal is manipulated to advance political, social and economic agendas using a theoretical framework that combines elements of praxis and globalization theory. Abstract Translocal spaces are created out of the process of globalization whereby interventions such as electronic media and migration radically change social relations and breakdown the isomorphism of space, place, and culture [1]. This approach is useful in examining the controversy surrounding the mustang. This paper explores how different social constructions influence the management of mustangs as they move between the local and national level. At each cultural level, political, economic, and environmental issues converge encouraging the emphasis of some cultural constructions over others. These socially constructed images give insight into what the mustang means to a post-industrial culture and it may simultaneously contribute to the animal's eventual demise.
 
Characteristics of the charcoal added to the experimental diets of the turkey toms in Experiments 1 and 2, analysed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT (Sulzbach-Rosenberg, Germany).
Article
Wet litter is the most important cause of footpad dermatitis in poultry, this in turn being a highly relevant animal-related welfare indicator. This field study was subdivided into two experiments. In Experiment 1, the standard diet was supplemented by 0.2% enriched charcoal, being a non-specific absorber and therefore might be promising in reducing faecal moisture. In Experiment 2, the experimental group received a reduced crude protein diet during weeks 6–13, combined with a 0.2% enriched charcoal supplementation. The trials were each conducted with two batches on three farms under on-farm conditions. The animals were observed at 6, 10, 14 and 18 weeks of age to collect data on body weight and different health parameters. The mortality and litter samples were analysed after slaughtering. In Experiment 1, performance and health were not affected despite higher dry matter content of the litter. In Experiment 2, the weight of birds receiving the protein-reduced diet was decreased significantly throughout the experiment. However, the slaughter weight did not differ. The mortality was reduced by 0.5% in the experimental group. Therefore, it was concluded that 0.2% of enriched charcoal is not a valuable feed-additive regarding animal health, while temporary protein reduction might have positive effects.
 
Cont.
Article
In veterinary medicine, investigations relating the effects of hydroxyethyl starch (HES) on renal function report contrasting results. This study aimed to assess the changes in the selected biomarkers of kidney injury in dogs after the administration of HES 130/0.4 as a constant rate infusion (CRI) for 24 h. Ten adult client-owned dogs with hypoalbuminemia (albumin < 2 g/dL) and ongoing fluid losses were included. Enrolled dogs received intravenous fluid therapy with crystalloids and a CRI of HES 130/0.4 at a dose of 2 mL/kg/h for 24 h. Serum creatinine (sCr), fractional excretion (FE) of electrolytes, urinary protein to creatinine ratio (UPC), urinary albumin to creatinine ratio (UAC), SDS-page, and urinary neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (uNGAL) were measured at the baseline before HES infusion, and after 24 h (T24) and 48 h (T48) from the baseline. No statistically significant difference was found between the baseline value vs. T24 and the baseline vs. T48 for sCr, UAC, UPC, FE of sodium, chloride and calcium, and uNGAL. A significant increase in FEK (p = 0.04) was noticed between the baseline and T48. In this study sample of hypoalbuminemic dogs, HES 130/0.4 at the dose and rate of infusion applied did not cause any significant changes in the investigated biomarkers of kidney injury.
 
Article
An experiment was performed to study the effects of a low inclusion level of Chlorella vulgaris (CV) biomass in broiler diets on performance, immune response related to inflammatory status, and the intestinal histomorphology. The study was performed with 120 Ross 308 male broiler chickens from 0–35 days of age. The broilers were housed in 12 floor pens (1.5 m2) bedded with wood shavings. The broilers received a three phase diet program, either with 0.8% CV biomass (CV) or without CV (CON). Each diet program was replicated in six pens. The final body weight increased (p = 0.053), and the feed conversion ratio (FCR), corrected for body weight, was reduced (p = 0.02) in birds fed CV compared to birds fed CON. In addition, decreased haptoglobins (p = 0.02) and interleukin-13 (p < 0.01) responses were observed during the grower phase of birds fed CV compared to the birds fed CON. A strong correlation (r = 0.82, p < 0.01) was observed between haptoglobin response and FCR. Histomorphology parameters of the jejunum were not different between the groups. It was concluded that the inclusion of 0.8% CV biomass in broiler diets is effective in influencing immune responses related to inflammatory status and promoting broiler growth.
 
Article
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of partial and total replacement of protein from genetically modified soybean meal (GM-SBM) with protein from 00-rapeseed meal (00-RSM), alone or in combination with protein from low-tannin faba bean (Vicia faba L.) seeds (FB) or low-alkaloid yellow lupine (Lupinus luteus L.) seeds (YL) in grower-finisher diets on nutrient digestibility, nitrogen retention and utilization, selected blood biochemical parameters, fattening performance of pigs and carcass quality traits. Two digestibility-balance trials and one feeding trial were performed during two-phase fattening on male hybrid Danbred growing-finishing pigs were divided into four groups. The pigs were fed grower diets where 50% of GM-SBM protein (diet S-c) was replaced with 00-RSM protein (diet R), 00-RSM and FB protein (diet R + FB) or 00-RSM and YL protein (diet R + YL), and finisher diets where 100% of GM-SBM protein (diet S-c) was totally replaced with 00-RSM protein (diet R), and with 00-RSM and FB protein (diet R + FB) or YL protein (diet R + YL) in 50%. It was found that partial (50% in grower diets) and total (100% in finisher diets) replacement of GM-SBM protein with 00-RSM protein combined with FB or YL protein had no adverse effect on nutrient and energy digestibility, N balance, serum of blood carbohydrate and protein metabolism or the biochemical parameters of liver and kidney function. Protein from 00-RSM (6%) and FB seeds (10%/12%) contributed to high daily gains and high feed conversion efficiency. Protein from 00-RSM (6%) and YL seeds (6%/7%) in grower-finisher diets led to a further improvement in fattening performance. The analyzed vegetable protein sources had no negative influence on carcass quality. The results of the present study indicate that 00-RSM protein combined with protein from low-tannin FB or low-alkaloid YL seeds can be valuable high-protein feed ingredients alternative to GM-SBM in pig nutrition.
 
Dust jacket of Considering Animals. 
Article
In 2005 a small group of academics gathered at the University of Western Australia for a modest yet highly significant interdisciplinary conference focused on scholarship in the emerging field of human-animal studies. A critical mass of academics from the University of Tasmania attended that first conference and pledged to host a second human-animal studies conference two years later. True to their word a second human-animal studies conference was held in Hobart, Australia, in 2007. The organisers called the second conference “Considering Animals” and the book under review here is a compilation of papers presented at that conference. [...]
 
Article
Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing (Knopf 2012) is an easy to read and entertaining book co-written by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, MD and Kathryn Bowers. Natterson-Horowitz is a practicing cardiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) David Geffen School of Medicine, who also has training in psychiatry. Kathryn Bowers is a professional writer who teaches writing at UCLA. The book addresses traits shared by nonhuman animals (hereafter referred to simply as animals) and humans that have medical relevance. The authors are to be commended for discussing matters that should be obvious in the 21st century, but sadly still are not universally accepted. Humans share our lineage with animals and this has implications for the origin of traits. Clearly, animals have emotions, preferences, and suffer from diseases that are similar on some levels to the ones humans suffer from. The Cartesian view of animals has been debunked and the authors give many examples supporting a more scientifically advanced view of animals.
 
Cont.
Physical characteristics of racing starts and spells in Thoroughbred flat racing in New Zealand during the 2005/6 and 2017/8 racing seasons.
Number of racing starts, days between races within a prep and spell length for horses of different ages for the 2005/6-2018/18 racing seasons in New Zealand.
Article
This study aimed to examine thirteen seasons of flat racing starts (n = 388,964) in the context of an ecological system and identify metrics that describe the inherent characteristics and constraints of the New Zealand Thoroughbred racing industry. During the thirteen years examined, there was a 2–3% per year reduction in the number of races, starts and number of horses. There was a significant shift in the racing population with a greater number of fillies (aged 2–4 years) having a race start, and subsequent longer racing careers due to the inclusion of one more racing preparation post 2008 (p < 0.05). Additionally, there was an increasingly ageing population of racehorses. These changes resulted in more race starts in a career, but possibly because of biological constraints, there was no change in the number of race starts per season, starts per preparation, or days spelling between preparations (p < 0.05). There was no change in the proportion of horses having just one race start (14% of new entrants), indicating that the screening for suitability for a racing career remained consistent. These data identify key industry parameters which provide a basis for future modelling of intervention strategies to improve economic performance and reduce horse injury. Consideration of the racing industry as a bio-economic or ecological model provides framework to test how the industry may respond to intervention strategies and signal where changes in system dynamics may alter existing risk factors for injury.
 
Article
Given the volatile nature of animal rights issues and the extensive array of writings on the topic, one might expect several introductory anthologies to be available. The only anthologies in print, however, are scholarly tomes (listed below) geared towards more advanced readers. Fortunately, Lauri S. Friedman, author of dozens of anthologies on controversial topics such as gun control, national security, terrorism, fast food, sexually transmitted diseases, and many other topics, fills this void well with her volume titled Introducing Issues with Opposing Viewpoints: Animal Rights. She has included articles by influential authors in a diverse range of lay outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Slate, Guardian, Christianity Today, Food & Wine, among others. Below, I describe the contents of the book, its strengths and weaknesses, and how educators might use the book in classroom settings.
 
Composition of late gestation diets.
Article
1,3-Butanediol (BD) is a ketogenic substance that can improve piglet growth and survival and potentially increase performance in gilt progeny when provided as a dietary supplement during late gestation. Gilts (n = 77; parity 1) and sows (n = 74; parities 2 and 3) were fed either a standard commercial gestation diet or a diet supplemented with 4% BD from day 90 of gestation until farrowing. Dams fed with diets supplemented with BD had higher plasma beta-hydroxybutyrate (p = 0.01) and lower non-esterified fatty acid concentrations (p < 0.001). The percentage of progeny that were light-for-age (<1.1 kg) at birth was decreased by BD (18.2 vs. 13.5%, p < 0.006), particularly in gilts (24.0 vs. 18.3%, p < 0.034). Individual birth weights and litter weights birth weights tended to be increased by the BD diet (p = 0.085 and 0.078; respectively) although these effects were not maintained to weaning. Pre-weaning mortality was greater in gilt than in sow progeny and was not altered by dietary BD. Feeding BD in late gestation can improve birth weight, but further work is needed to see if these effects are carried through subsequent stages of growth, particularly in gilt progeny.
 
Article
This study evaluated the efficacy of live and inactivated conventional GII LaSota and recombinant GVII Newcastle disease vaccines in commercial broilers. The experimental groups (G2–G7) were vaccinated on day 7 and day 21 of age with live vaccines from the same vaccine type “GII LaSota, GVII vaccine (A), GVII vaccine (B)” via eye drop; however, G3, G5, and G7 received a single dose from inactivated counterpart vaccines subcutaneously on day 7 of age. Vaccine efficacy was evaluated based on elicited humoral immunity, clinical protection, and reduction in virus shedding after challenge with virulent GVII 1.1. strain. Results demonstrated that live and inactivated recombinant GVII vaccine based on VG/GA strain backbone elicited superior protection parameters (100% protection). Although the conventional GII LaSota live and inactivated vaccination regime protected 93.3% of vaccinated birds, the virus shedding continued until 10 DPC. The post-vaccination serological monitoring was consistent with protection results. The study concludes that conventional GII ND vaccines alone are probably insufficient due to the current epidemiology of the GVII 1.1 NDV strains. Our findings further support that protection induced by recombinant GVII 1.1. ND vaccines are superior. Interestingly, the efficacy of recombinant ND vaccines seemed to be influenced by the backbone virus since the VG/GA backbone-based vaccine provided better protection and reduced virus shedding.
 
Article
Newcastle disease (ND) is considered to be one of the most economically significant avian viral diseases. It has a worldwide distribution and a continuous diversity of genotypes. Despite its limited zoonotic potential, Newcastle disease virus (NDV) outbreaks in Egypt occur frequently and result in serious economic losses in the poultry industry. In this study, we investigated and characterized NDV in wild cattle egrets and house sparrows. Fifty cattle egrets and fifty house sparrows were collected from the vicinity of chicken farms in Kafrelsheikh Governorate, Egypt, which has a history of NDV infection. Lung, spleen, and brain tissue samples were pooled from each bird and screened for NDV by real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RRT-PCR) and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to amplify the 370 bp NDV F gene fragment. NDV was detected by RRT-PCR in 22 of 50 (44%) cattle egrets and 13 of 50 (26%) house sparrows, while the conventional RT-PCR detected NDV in 18 of 50 (36%) cattle egrets and 10 of 50 (20%) of house sparrows. Phylogenic analysis revealed that the NDV strains identified in the present study are closely related to other Egyptian class II, sub-genotype VII.1.1 NDV strains from GenBank, having 99.7%–98.5% identity. The pathogenicity of the wild-bird-origin NDV sub-genotype VII.1.1 NDV strains were assessed by experimental inoculation of identified strains (KFS-Motobas-2, KFS-Elhamoul-1, and KFS-Elhamoul-3) in 28-day-old specific-pathogen-free (SPF) Cobb chickens. The clinical signs and post-mortem changes of velogenic NDV genotype VII (GVII) were observed in inoculated chickens 3 to 7 days post-inoculation, with 67.5%–70% mortality rates. NDV was detected in all NDV-inoculated chickens by RRT-PCR and RT-PCR at 3, 7, and 10 days post-inoculation. The histopathological findings of the experimentally infected chickens showed marked pulmonary congestion and pneumonia associated with complete bronchial stenosis. The spleen showed histocytic cell proliferation with marked lymphoid depletion, while the brain had malacia and diffuse gliosis. These findings provide interesting data about the characterization of NDV in wild birds from Egypt and add to our understanding of their possible role in the transmission dynamics of the disease in Egypt. Further research is needed to explore the role of other species of wild birds in the epidemiology of this disease and to compare the strains circulating in wild birds with those found in poultry.
 
Article
Newcastle disease virus (NDV) remains a constant threat to the poultry industry. There is scarce information concerning the pathogenicity and genetic characteristics of the circulating velogenic Newcastle disease virus (NDV) in Egypt. In the present work, NDV was screened from tracheal swabs collected from several broiler chicken farms (N = 12) in Dakahlia Governorate, Egypt. Real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RRT-PCR) was used for screening of velogenic and mesogenic NDV strains through targeting F gene fragment amplification, followed by sequencing of the resulting PCR products. The identified strain, namely, NDV-CH-EGYPT-F42-DAKAHLIA-2019, was isolated and titrated in the allantoic cavity of 10 day old specific pathogen-free (SPF) embryonated chicken eggs (ECEs), and then their virulence was determined by mean death time (MDT) and intracerebral pathogenicity index (ICPI). The pathogenicity of the identified velogenic NDV strain was also assessed in 28 day old chickens using different inoculation routes as follows: intraocular, choanal slit, intranasal routes, and a combination of both intranasal and intraocular routes. In addition, sera were collected 5 and 10 days post inoculation (pi) for the detection of NDV antibodies by hemagglutination inhibition test (HI), and tissue samples from different organs were collected for histopathological and immunohistochemical examination. A series of different clinical signs and postmortem lesions were recorded with the various routes. Interestingly, histopathology and immunohistochemistry for NDV nucleoprotein displayed widespread systemic distribution. The intensity of viral nucleoprotein immunolabeling was detected within different cells including the epithelial and endothelium lining, as well as macrophages. The onset, distribution, and severity of the observed lesions were remarkably different between various inoculation routes. Collectively, a time-course comparative pathogenesis study of NDV infection demonstrated the role of different routes in the pathogenicity of NDV. The intranasal challenge was associated with a prominent increase in NDV lesions, whereas the choanal slit route was the route least accompanied by severe NDV pathological findings. Clearly, the present findings might be helpful for implementation of proper vaccination strategies against NDV.
 
Collecting saliva from a cat for food intolerance testing.
Summary of 1000 feline cases by age, sex and weight.
Outcome of 10 cases.
Article
This prospective study assessed the efficacy of a novel saliva-based immunoassay of IgA- and IgM-antibodies in predicting feline food sensitivities and intolerances. Clinical samples were obtained from 1000 cats proven or suspected to have food intolerances. Most were of domestic shorthair breed type, over 10 years of age, and weighed around 5 kg; they were equally distributed between spayed females and neutered males. Saliva was collected after at least an 8-h fast with a dental cotton rope, placed in a double-sleeved saliva collection tube, and sent to the laboratory. Salivary antibodies elicited by 24 common foods were measured with goat anti-canine IgA and IgM. Low reacting foods were lamb, cow milk, pork, turkey, wheat (lowest) and white-colored fish, whereas high reacting foods were millet, white potato, rice (highest) and salmon. Thus, the novel salivary-based food sensitivity and intolerance test, described previously for canines, also provided a reliable and clinically predictive alternative to food elimination trials, serum-based food allergy testing, and skin patch testing in cats. Manufacturers of commercial cat foods and treats, as well as those making homemade diets and treats for cats, should consider avoiding the more highly reactive foods as determined by the present study.
 
(A) Chemical structure of KA-1002, an inhibitor screened from cellular analysis based on lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) induced inflammatory cytokine, TNFα production using bovine blood vessel cell line, CAPE. Inhibitory effects of KA-1002 on the production of LPA-induced (B) TNFα, (C) IL-1β, and (D) IL-6 production in bovine endothelial cells, CAPE. The cells were exposed to KA-1002 and Ki-16425 at 5 and 20 μM in the presence of 100 μM of LPA for 18 h. Inhibition rates were calculated by comparing the corresponding levels of TNFα from the control (LPA-untreated) group under the high-throughput (HTS) system. Pooled results are shown from 3 independent experiments. ns: not significant; *p < 0.05, or **p < 0.01, indicate significant differences in comparison to the LPAtreated group according to two-tailed unpaired Student's t-testing. Error bars denote standard error (SEM). (E) Physiochemical properties of KA-1002 based on Swiss ADME analysis. (F) Relative transcriptional level of LPAR1 and LPAR2 on CAPE cells. Pooled results are shown from 3 independent experiments. ** p < 0.01.
Inhibitory effects of KA-1002 on LPA-induced angiogenesis of bovine blood vessel cell line, CAPE. (A) Representative images of the CAPE cells exposed to 100 μM of LPA in the presence or absence of 20 μM KA-1002 for 3 days were from three different independent experiments. (B) Quantification of tube network was calculated using Imaris software (Oxford Instruments). Pooled results are shown from 3 independent experiments. *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01, or **p < 0.001 indicate significant differences in comparison to the LPA-treated group according to two-tailed unpaired Student's t-testing. Error bars denote standard error (SEM).
(A) EBTr cells were treated with 100 μM LPA or 100 μM LPA + 20 μM KA-1002 for 18 hours. Representative images of ZO-1 expression in each group were obtained using confocal microscopy,
Inhibitory effects of KA-1002 on the production of LPA-induced (A) TNFα and (B) IL-1β production from EBTr cells. The cells were exposed to KA-1002 at 5 and 20 μM in the presence of 100 μM of LPA for 18 hours and inhibition rates were calculated by comparing the corresponding
Primer sequences.
Article
The industrial livestock environment can cause stress and weakened immunity in cattle, leading to microbial infections which reduce productivity. As such, there is a need for an effective therapeutic agent that can alleviate uncontrolled destructive respiratory inflammation. We found that lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a potent endogenous stress-induced inflammatory agent, causes respiratory tissue damage and triggers inflammation in bovine bronchial cells. LPA also inflames pulmonary bovine blood vessel cells to produce inflammatory cytokines. These findings strongly suggest that LPA is a highly important endogenous material exacerbating bovine respiratory diseases. We further identified a novel LPA-signaling antagonist, KA-1002, and showed that it alleviated LPA-mediated bovine tracheal cell disruption and inflammation. Therefore, KA-1002 could potentially serve as a novel therapeutic agent to maintain physiologically healthy and balanced conditions in bovine respiratory tracts.
 
Highly differentially expressed genes in LPA treated swine macrophages vs. untreated swine macrophages.
Highly differentially expressed genes in LPA plus KA-1002 treated vs. LPA treated swine macrophages.
Differential biological pathways between LPA treated vs. control and LPA plus KA-1002 treated vs. LPA treated swine macrophage.
Article
Stresses and various infectious reagents caused multiple inflammatory diseases in swine in a livestock industrial environment. Therefore, there is a need for an effective therapeutic or preventive agent that could alleviate chronic and acute inflammation. We found that lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a stress-induced potent endogenous inflammatory molecule, causes a broad range-regulation of inflammation related genes inflammation in swine macrophages. We further investigated the genome scaled transcriptional regulatory effect of a novel LPA-signaling antagonist, KA-1002 on swine macrophages, inducing the alleviated LPA-mediated inflammation related gene expression. Therefore, KA-1002 could potentially serve as a novel therapeutic or preventive agent to maintain physiologically healthy and balanced conditions of pigs.
 
Chemical composition, nutritive value and fatty acid profile of feeds.
Milk yield (g/head/day) and chemical composition (%).
Milk fatty acid profile (% total fatty acids).
Milk fatty acid profile (% of total fatty acid) along the trial.
Fatty acid profile (% of total fatty acids) of pasture as function of sampling months.
Article
The effect of pasture on the stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD) and miRNA 103 expression was evaluated on dairy goats divided into two homogeneous groups (G, grazing, and S, stable). Group S was housed in a stall and received alfalfa hay as forage, while group G was led to pasture. The goats of both the groups received the same amount of concentrate. Milk yield did not differ statistically between the groups. Group G showed significantly higher fat (4.10% vs. 2.94%, p < 0.01) and protein percentage (3.43% vs. 3.25%; p < 0.05) than group S. Among milk fatty acids, group S showed significantly higher levels of saturated fatty acids (SFA) and lower values of mono-unsaturated fatty acid (MUFA). The percentages of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) were not different between groups even if pasture significantly affected the percentages of C18:3 and total omega 3. In group G, total CLAs were twice than in group S (0.646% vs. 0.311%; p < 0.01) mainly due to the differences in CLA cis9 trans 11 (0.623% vs. 0.304%; p < 0.01). Milk total CLA in grazing group was significantly (p < 0.01) higher in August according to the highest value of both linoleic and α-linolenic acids in the pasture. In grazing animals, SCD expression decreased from April to June, increased in July and decreased again in August, while it was almost unvaried along the trial in group S. By contrast, the expression of miRNA 103 showed a similar trend for both groups, decreasing from April to June, increasing in July and falling down in August. To our knowledge, this is the first observation of the effects of pasture on miRNA expression in milk from ruminant species.
 
Summary of regions and time periods from which the equine sarcoids were submitted. The number of sarcoids from each region and the time to contain detectible papillomaviral (PV) sequences is included.
Summary of the type of bovine papillomavirus (BPV) detected in the equine sarcoids. This table only includes those sarcoids that were found to contain papillomavirus DNA.
Article
Equine sarcoids are common mesenchymal neoplasms of horses that are caused by cross-species infection by deltapapillomaviruses. While bovine papillomavirus (BPV) 1 and 2 are the most common causes, there are differences between countries regarding which of these BPV types cause the majority of sarcoids. Additionally, no causative PV can be detected in a subset of sarcoids, suggesting that other PV types could be rarer causes of these neoplasms. In the present study, consensus PCR primers and PCR primers specific for the five deltapapillomavirus types currently known to cause mesenchymal neoplasia (BPV1, BPV2, BPV13, BPV14, and Ovis aries PV2 DNA) were used to investigate the presence of PV DNA in 104 sarcoids from three defined regions in New Zealand and from two distinct time periods separated by 15 years. PV DNA was detected in 94 (90.4%) sarcoids. Of the sarcoids containing PV DNA, 83 (88.3%) contained only BPV2 DNA, 9 (9.6%) BPV1 and BPV2 DNA, and 2 (2.1%) only BPV1 DNA. No other PV types were detected. The predominance of BPV2 is consistent with studies of sarcoids from North America but dissimilar to studies of sarcoids from Europe and Australia. Detection rates of BPV1 and BPV2 were similar in sarcoids from different regions of New Zealand and in sarcoids from different time periods. These results suggest that most equine sarcoids in New Zealand are caused by BPV2 and thus if vaccines are developed to prevent sarcoids, vaccines that provide good protection against BPV2 will be required in this country.
 
Article
(1) Background: Nowadays the industry aims to improve lay persistency for extended cycles (100 weeks or longer) to make egg production more sustainable. However, intensive egg production challenges hen health, inducing severe osteoporosis and the incidence of bone fractures. In this study, the relationship between bone quality and egg production, and/or eggshell quality, was evaluated at the end of an extended laying cycle of 100 weeks, comparing groups of hens with different production and eggshell quality parameters; (2) Methods: Quality parameters of egg (as weight, egg white height), eggshell (as thickness, weight, breaking strength, elasticity and microstructure) and tibiae bone (weight, diameter, cortical thickness, ash weight, breaking strength, medullary bone) were determined; (3) Results: Hens from groups with a high egg production and good eggshell quality have poorer bone quality (lower ash weight and lesser amount of medullary bone). However, Pearson’s correlation analysis shows no clear relationship between bone and egg/eggshell parameters. (4) Conclusions: Bone and egg production/eggshell quality are independent and can be improved separately. Medullary bone has an important contribution to bone mechanical properties, being important to accumulate enough bone medullary bone early in life to maintain skeletal integrity and eggshell quality in old hens.
 
Article
The roadkill of wildlife is a global problem. Much has been written about deterring wildlife from roads, but, as of yet, there is no empirical support for deterrents based on visual and/or auditory signals. A recent paper entitled ‘Can virtual fences reduce wombat road mortalities?’reported the results of a roadkill mitigation trial. The authors installed a ‘virtual fence’ system produced by iPTE Traffic Solutions Ltd. (Graz, Austria) and evaluated its effectiveness for reducing roadkills of bare-nosed wombats (Vombatus ursinus) in southern Australia. The authors recorded roadkills in a simple Before-After-Control-Impact design but did not conduct any formal statistical analysis. They also measured three contextual variables (vegetation, wombat burrows, and vehicle velocity) but did not link these to the occurrence of roadkills in space and time. The authors concluded that the iPTE virtual fence system was ‘minimally effective’, yet ‘appears promising’. Our analysis of their data, using standard inferential statistics, showed no effect of the virtual fence on roadkills whatsoever. We conclude that the iPTE system was not effective for mitigating the roadkills of bare-nosed wombats.
 
Article
The blue fox (Vulpes lagopus), a fur-bearing animal, is an important component of the breeding industry in China. Semen quality is a key factor for the reproductive process and the breeding effectiveness of the farmed blue fox. However, bacterial contamination in semen samples utilized in artificial fertilization is very common. The β-defensins, a class of important antimicrobial peptides in mammals, could protect the reproductive system of male animals from bacterial invasion, maintain the stability of the genital tract microenvironment and improve semen quality. In this study, molecular cloning and bioinformatics analysis were conducted to analyze the protein structure and function of blue fox β-defensin 108 (Vulpes lagopus beta-defensin 108, vBD108) and 122 (Vulpes lagopus beta-defensin 122, vBD122). To evaluate the bacteriostatic effect of recombinant vBDs (Vulpes lagopus beta-defensins) protein, varying concentrations (0, 25, 50, 100, 200 µg/mL) were taken to evaluate the effects on Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus at different times (0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 12 h). The results showed that vBD108 and vBD122 existed in different forms in protein structure and had antibacterial activity. Both proteins, at 50 µg/mL, had efficacious bacteriostatic activity. This study shows that recombinant vBD108 and vBD122 proteins have good antibacterial activity in vitro. This implies a potential role in improving semen quality and hygienic measures in the process of artificial insemination as an extender of semen dilution with antibacterial activity.
 
Article
This article pertains to the issue of early medieval dogs (10th–mid-13th century) from the territory of Poland and Central Europe. The study is based on dog remains from the Wroclaw Cathedral Island (Ostrów Tumski), one of the most important administrative centres of early medieval Poland, the capital of a secular principality and the seat of diocese authorities. The main morphological and functional types of dogs living in Wroclaw and other parts of Poland were characterized on that basis. It has been concluded that the roles and perceptions of dogs were very ambiguous. On the one hand, they were hunting companionship for the elite and were considered a symbol of devotion and loyalty. On the other hand, dogs symbolised disgrace. In everyday life, these animals were sometimes abused, their skin was sometimes tanned and their bones modified into tools, and in exceptional cases, dogs were even eaten.
 
Article
This study explores whether crustacean products inhibit viral infections in aquaculture. Chitosan (CHT) was extracted from waste products of Parapenaeus longirostris. Biochemical composition, viscosity measurement, molecular weight, structure and cytotoxicity tests were used to characterize the extracted chitosan. Cultures of E-11 cells derived from snakehead Ophicephalus striatus were inoculated with 106.74 TCID50 of an isolate of betanodavirus genotype RGNNV (redspotted grouper nervous necrosis virus) after being treated with solutions of 0.3% CHT for 1 h at room temperature. The antiviral effect of CHT was assessed by comparing the ability of RGNVV to replicate and produce cytopathic effects on CHT-treated cell cultures. The change in RNA expression levels of the nodavirus capsid protein gene and three mediator genes in infected cells with or without CHT treatment was evaluated by qPCR. Changes in gene expression compared to control groups were monitored at 6, 24, 48 and 71 h post treatment in all target gene transcripts. The CCR3 expression in CHT treated cells showed a significant increase (p < 0.05) until day 3. On the other hand, the expression of TNF-α decreased significantly (p < 0.05) in CHT treated cells throughout the experimental period. Likewise, the expression of the IL-10 gene showed a significant downregulation in CHT treated cells at all time points (p ≤ 0.05). As further evidence of an antiviral effect, CHT treatment of cells produced a reduction in virus load as measured by a reduced expression of the viral capsid gene and the increase in RQ values from 406 ± 1.9 at hour 1 to 695 ± 3.27 at 72 h post inoculation. Statistical analysis showed that the expression of the viral capsid gene was significantly lower in cells treated with chitosan (p ≤ 0.05). These results improve our knowledge about the antiviral activity of this bioactive molecule and highlight its potential use in fish feed industry.
 
The genotype and allele frequencies and population indices of the 11-bp indel of CSN1SI gene in three different goat breeds.
Association between the indel in the CSN1S1 gene and milk performance indices in the Guanzhong dairy goats.
Relationships between the 11-bp indel of the CSN1S1 gene and body measurement traits in the three goat breeds.
Article
The casein alpha s1 (CSN1S1) gene encodes α-s1 casein, one of the proteins constituting milk, which affects milk performance, as well as improving the absorption of calcium and bone development in mammals. A previous study found that an 11-bp insertion/deletion (indel) of this gene strongly affected litter size in goats. However, to our knowledge, the relationships between this polymorphism and the milk performance and body measurement traits of goats have not been reported. In this paper, the previously identified indel has been recognized in three Chinese goat breeds, namely the Guanzhong dairy goat (GZDG; n = 235), Shaanbei white cashmere goat (SBWC; n = 1092), and Hainan black goat (HNBG; n = 278), and the following three genotypes have been studied for all of the breeds: insertion/insertion (II), deletion/deletion (DD), and insertion/deletion (ID). The allele frequencies analyzed signified that the frequencies of the "D" allele were higher (47.8%-65.5%), similar to the previous report, which indicates that this polymorphism is genetically stable in different goat breeds. Further analysis showed that this indel was markedly associated with milk fat content, total solids content, solids-not-fat content, freezing point depression, and acidity in GZDG (p < 0.05), and also affected different body measurement traits in all three breeds (p < 0.05). The goats with II genotypes had superior milk performance, compared with the others; however, goats with DD genotypes had better body measurement sizes. Hence, it may be necessary to select goats with an II or DD genotype, based on the desired traits, while breeding. Our study provides information on the potential impact of the 11-bp indel polymorphism of the CSN1S1 gene for improving the milk performance and body measurement traits in goats.
 
Article
We illustrate the problematic nature of different assumptions guiding the examination of whether humans can detect the source of fear chemosignals (i.e., body odors) emitted by horses—a research question examined in an article recently published in Animals. A central issue is that the formulation of the question itself contains the answer to it. In this paper, we parse the problematic assumptions on which the analysis and methodology rely, leading to conclusions that are difficult to support. These assumptions constitute examples of methodological problems that should be avoided in research with animals and odors. The unique aspect of this paper is that it is a collaborative product, including the original contributor, in the pursuit of transparency in science.
 
Article
The transmission of the ts-11 strain of Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) vaccine (ts-11MGV) between incubated eggs and between hatchlings that was administrated via in ovo injection, and its subsequent effects on their posthatch performance were evaluated. Marek’s disease diluent alone (sham-injected) or containing either 3.63 × 10−1, 10−2, 10−3, or 10−4 cfu of ts-11MGV was manually in ovo-injected into the amnion on 18 days of incubation. Egg residue analysis, percentage incubational egg weight loss, hatchability of viable injected eggs, and hatchling body weight (BW) were assessed. Selected hatchlings from each treatment replicate group were swabbed in the choanal cleft for MG DNA detection. Female chick live performance was also assessed through 21 days of posthatch age. Unexposed control sentinel chicks were allocated to each treatment replicate group to assess horizontal transmission. Birds were later swabbed and bled respectively, for detection of MG DNA and IgM production at 21 days posthatch. In all birds, no MG DNA was detected and SPA tests for IgM were negative. Among all variables, only 0 to 21 day BW gain was significantly affected by treatment and was lower in the 3.63 × 104 ts-11 MGV treatment in comparison to all the other treatments. Because ts-11MGV does not exhibit vertical or horizontal transmission capabilities under commercial conditions, it may not be a good candidate for in ovo injection.
 
Top-cited authors
Paul Damien McGreevy
  • University of New England (Australia)
Laura Gasco
  • Università degli Studi di Torino
Clive J C Phillips
  • Estonian University of Life Sciences
Frank Rowland Dunshea
  • University of Melbourne
Mahmoud Alagawany
  • Zagazig University