Michela Minero

Michela Minero
University of Milan | UNIMI · Department of Veterinary Sciences and Technologies for Food Safety VSA

DVM

About

85
Publications
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2,167
Citations

Publications

Publications (85)
Article
Full-text available
Horses with a low level of tameness are at higher risk for transport-related disease and injury; hence, European regulations for the protection of animals during transport (EC 1/2005) are stricter for unhandled (unbroken) horses. However, the regulation does not provide adequate tools for unhandled horse identification. The Broken/Unbroken Test (BU...
Article
Full-text available
Transportation of horses to slaughterhouses can pose a welfare concern, in particular when horses are unbroken/unhandled. This study aimed to describe their journeys and journey conditions, document their welfare status on arrival in a slaughterhouse in Italy, and investigate possible associations between journey conditions and welfare issues. A to...
Article
Full-text available
Immunocastration has been pointed out as an alternative to surgical castration; though, most of the scientific studies were performed in light pig production. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of immunocastration on animal welfare in heavy pig production through the evaluation of behaviour and body lesions. A total of 188 commercial-hybrid pi...
Article
Full-text available
Noise anxiety is an over-reaction to loud noises commonly detected among pets and can greatly impact on their welfare and on their management. When exposed to noisy events, horses can show intense escape attempts, which may cause severe accidents for the horse and the rider/handler. The aim of the present study was to investigate, through a web sur...
Article
Horses preparation for competition may cause psychological and physical stress. Physical vascular therapy BEMER® is reported to increase vasomotion and microcirculation, supporting body healing. This study aimed at assessing whether BEMER® physical vascular therapy in horses influences recovery rate of hematological and biochemical blood parameters...
Article
Full-text available
Regulation EC 1/2005 has stricter rules for transportation of unbroken (untamed) vs. broken (tamed) horses, but does not provide adequate tools for their identification. This study aimed to develop and validate such a tool. A behavioural test (Broken/Unbroken Test (BUT)) based on approaching, haltering, and leading was applied to 100 horses. Physio...
Article
Full-text available
This study aims to assess the correlation between surface temperature estimated by infrared thermography and core temperature measured with rectal thermometer in weaning and fattening pigs. A total of 108 pigs were used in this study. Thermal images of the eye of each animal were recorded with a thermal imaging camera, rectal temperatures were meas...
Article
The donkey population has increased in the last 10 years, with an estimated 50 million donkeys currently worldwide. Donkey welfare, meanwhile, is an increasing global concern that receives close public scrutiny. However, multiple challenges are surrounding how donkey welfare is assessed and recorded. The Animal Welfare Indicators (AWIN) project is...
Article
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Due to the lack of unequivocal scientific evidence, gonadectomy’s effects on dogs’ behavior are still debated. Since veterinarians differ in their opinion, there may be considerable diversity in the advice received by owners. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of gonadectomy on dog behavior across time. Ninety-six dog owners (48 control dogs...
Article
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Background. Pain in horses is an emergent welfare concern and its assessment represents a challenge for equine clinicians. This study aimed at improving pain assessment in horses through a convergent validation of existing tools: we investigated whether an effective analgesic treatment influences the Horse Grimace Scale (HGS) and the concentration...
Article
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An online survey was conducted to determine associations between equine transport management and transport-related injuries and problem behaviors in Italy. The survey was composed of four sections: respondents’ demographic information and background, transport management practices, journey details and vehicle design, and transport injuries experien...
Article
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The microbiome is now seen as an important resource to understand animal health and welfare in many species. However, there are few studies aiming at identifying the association between fecal microbiome composition and husbandry conditions in sheep. A wide range of stressors associated with management and housing of animals increases the hypothalam...
Article
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Adopting proper animal management strategies, including training, might reduce to a substantial extent the adverse effects of transport-related stress in animals. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of habituation to transport on stress-related behaviors and physiological indicators during loading and unloading in donkeys. Fourteen don...
Article
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The aim of this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group clinical field study was to evaluate the effect of detomidine oromucosal gel in alleviating anxiety and fear in horses. Sixteen horses with a history of acute anxiety and fear associated with firework-related noise entered the study. On New Year's Eve, eight horses were tr...
Article
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The aim of this work was to critically assess if functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) can be profitably used as a tool for noninvasive recording of brain functions and emotions in sheep. We considered an experimental design including advances in instrumentation (customized wireless multi-distance fNIRS system), more accurate physical model...
Article
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Road transport is known to be a stressful animal husbandry procedure as it induces the activation of two main physiological stress-related pathways: the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal cortex axis and the sympathetic-adrenal medulla axis. This preliminary study aimed to investigate whether salivary chromogranin A (CgA) concentration, known as a biom...
Article
Full-text available
Currently, no specific animal-based measures (ABMs) protocols are available for geese in commercial meat production systems. Following a critical review of the literature and consultation of experts, seven ABMs, potentially valid and feasible for the on-farm welfare assessment of geese, were identified and then tested in 12 farms in Poland to asses...
Article
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The Horse Grimace Scale (HGS) is a facial-expression-based pain coding system that enables a range of acute painful conditions in horses to be effectively identified. Using valid assessment methods to identify pain in horses is of a clear importance; however, the reliability of the assessment is highly dependent on the assessors’ ability to use it....
Article
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The present work aimed to evaluate the efficacy of a self-loading training using positive reinforcement on stress-related behaviors shown by meat horses during loading procedures into a truck. Thirty-two meat horses (M = 18; F = 14; 6 month-old) were included in the study. All horses had limited interactions with the farmer and were not used to be...
Article
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Welfare of animals significantly depends on how stakeholders perceive their needs and behave in a way to favor production systems that promote better welfare outcomes. This study aimed at investigating stakeholders’ perception of the welfare of equines, small ruminants, and turkeys using text mining analysis. A survey composed by open-ended questio...
Conference Paper
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Animal welfare is an increasingly relevant aspect of livestock farming for societal and economic reasons. It should also be a requirement for high-quality and sustainable production as assuring optimum welfare helps to minimize losses in animal performance and resource loss. In order to implement these production models it is critical to the livest...
Article
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Circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) are emerging as promising biomarkers for several disorders and related pain. In equine practice, acute laminitis is a common disease characterised by intense pain that severely compromises horse welfare. Recently, the Horse Grimace Scale (HGS), a facial expression-based pain coding system, was shown to be a valid welf...
Article
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Le bien-être des équidés occupe une place significative dans les préoccupations sociétales et il est nécessaire de disposer de protocoles d'évaluation fiables, simples et utilisables par un large public. La présente étude avait pour objectif de tester la fiabilité, la faisabilité et la reproductibilité du protocole AWIN Horse, au cours de deux phas...
Article
Donkey's milk is a valuable product for paediatric patients with allergy to cow milk proteins. As the donkey milk qualifies as a product intended primarily for consumers with special needs, it should be of good quality and therefore the donkeys must enjoy good health and welfare. To better understand how dairy donkeys' welfare is assured around Eur...
Article
State of the art and aim of the study - The return to the shelter of adopted dogs is a frequent occurrence, mainly due to behavioural disorders. Aim of this research was to evaluate whether it can be useful to advice the owner at the moment of adoption about behavioural matters in order to prevent behaviouralpathologies and to decrease dogs' return...
Article
The EU-funded Animal Welfare Indicators (AWIN) research project (2011-2015) aimed to improve animal welfare through the development of practical on-farm animal welfare assessment protocols. The present study describes the application of the AWIN approach to the development of a welfare assessment protocol for horses (Equus caballus). Its developmen...
Poster
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Emotional Contagion (EC), i.e. the capacity to express a motor emotional pattern when ob- serving another subject, can influence the welfare of animals, especially in social species like sheep. This research aimed to show evidence of EC in sheep and compare to previous stud- ies the indicators of positive/negative emotions during the anticipation o...
Poster
Full-text available
The lack of data concerning the organization of the central nervous system of the animals farmed for milk and meat produc- tion is a potential handicap for the study of cognition processes, important for the assessment of animal welfare, and a gap in comparative neuroscience. We conducted several trials in order to study the functional organization...
Article
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Cribbing is an oral stereotypy, tends to develop in captive animals as a means to cope with stress, and may be indicative of reduced welfare. Highly energetic diets ingested in a short time are one of the most relevant risk factors for the development of cribbing. The aim of this study was to verify whether feeding cribbing horses through a dispens...
Article
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Acute laminitis is a common equine disease characterized by intense foot pain, both acutely and chronically. The Obel grading system is the most widely accepted method for describing the severity of laminitis by equine practitioners, however this method requires movement (walk and trot) of the horse, causing further intense pain. The recently devel...
Article
A truthful snapshot of horse welfare conditions is a prerequisite for predicting the impact of any actions intended to improve the quality of life of horses. This can be achieved when welfare information, gathered by different assessors in diverse geographical areas, is valid, comparable and collected in a harmonized way. This paper aims to present...
Article
It's hard to give a universally acceptable definition of aggression. In general, it can be defined as an overt or intentional behaviour shown by an individual to harm or otherwise cause a noxious stimulus against another individual. All dogs may show aggressive behaviour, but the inclination to do it can vary enormously, depending on the genetic, n...
Article
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It is widely accepted that psychological stress and mental illness can compromise the function of the immune system. Clinical and epidemiological studies on humans recognized that specific psychosocial factors, such as stress, chronic depression and lack of social support are risk factors for the development and progression of cancer. Unfortunately...
Article
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Simple This paper aims to present the first outcomes of data collected using the AWIN welfare assessment protocol for donkeys in 20 EU donkey facilities. Three assessors evaluated 278 donkeys. The authors found recurrent issues: tendency to obesity, lack of hoof care and irregular positive interactions with humans. The protocol proved to be applic...
Article
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Successful veterinary treatment of animals requires owner adherence with a prescribed treatment plan. The aim of our study was to evaluate and compare the level of adherence of the owners of patients presented for behavioural, cardiological, urological, and oncological problems. At the end of the first examination, each owner completed a questionna...
Article
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Aim of the study - The treatment of noise phobias in dogs consists of behavioural therapy and, sometimes, of pharmacologic support. Aim of this study is to determine the efficacy of L-Theanine, a natural substance derived from the tea plant, used in conjunction with behavioural therapy in the treatment of such disorders and to assess any consequent...
Article
Full-text available
Consequences of a long stay in dog shelter have particular significance, because, since 1991, the Italian law (14/08/1991, n.281) prohibits euthanasia of dogs unless “they are seriously ill, incurable or proven dangerous”. Caught dogs are recovered for a quarantine period in the sanitary kennel, if they are not returned to the owner, they are moved...
Article
Full-text available
The adaptability of horses and donkeys to different types of activity has seen the European equine industry become an important economic sector, giving rise to increasing concern regarding equine welfare. As part of the AWIN (Animal Welfare Indicators) project, this review focuses on scientific literature to find potential animal-based welfare indi...
Article
Full-text available
The assessment of pain is critical for the welfare of horses, in particular when pain is induced by common management procedures such as castration. Existing pain assessment methods have several limitations, which reduce the applicability in everyday life. Assessment of facial expression changes, as a novel means of pain scoring, may offer numerous...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction - The intention of the new European legislation on rooting materials for pigs is to improve the welfare of pigs, supporting their need to express exploratory behaviours (i.e. rooting, sniffing, and chewing), reducing the risk of the pigs performing abnormal behavioural patterns that may be harmful to their pen mates. Aim - The aim of t...
Article
Introduction: If the interaction between pet owners and cats is not managed properly some behavioral problems might arise, for example aggression and house soiling. Gonadectomy is often recommended as a solution for these undesired behaviours. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of gonadectomy on feline behaviour. Materials and met...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of the study was to evaluate the per-formance of recognised by Italian law (tattoos) and other (ear tags and injectable transpon-ders) identification systems and to investigate if they caused different levels of short-term discomfort in piglets. Ninety-six ten-day-old piglets – equally assigned to four experimental groups – were identified...
Article
The purpose of this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was to evaluate the efficacy of a diet containing caseinate hydrolysate (CH) on signs of stress in 2 groups of dogs (defined as Anxious and Nonanxious), using physiological (serum cortisol and lysozyme, N:L ratios and heart rate) and behavioral parameters.From an initial group o...
Article
Newborn viability evaluation and early detection of fetal distress could contribute to reducing mortality at birth in canine species. High neonatal mortality rate in dogs is reported subsequent to complicated or uncomplicated whelping. Umbilical vein lactate and tocodynamometry could provide valuable clinical information to the obstetricians so tha...
Article
The present study investigates the feasibility in goats of an avoidance distance (AD) behaviour test set-up for cattle, and compares the results in the two species to assess the suitability of the test for on-farm welfare evaluation in goat farms.The tests were performed on 324 lactating cows (170 in small farms and 154 in large farms) and 271 lact...