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Animals, Volume 2, Issue 1 (March 2012), Pages 1-107

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Research

Jump to: Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Three Cage Layer Housing Systems
Animals 2012, 2(1), 1-15; doi:10.3390/ani2010001
Received: 9 December 2011 / Revised: 21 December 2011 / Accepted: 26 December 2011 / Published: 27 December 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (363 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Agriculture accounts for 10 to 12% of the World’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Manure management alone is responsible for 13% of GHG emissions from the agricultural sector. During the last decade, Québec’s egg production systems have shifted from deep-pit housing systems [...] Read more.
Agriculture accounts for 10 to 12% of the World’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Manure management alone is responsible for 13% of GHG emissions from the agricultural sector. During the last decade, Québec’s egg production systems have shifted from deep-pit housing systems to manure belt housing systems. The objective of this study was to measure and compare carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from three different cage layer housing systems: a deep liquid manure pit and a manure belt with natural or forced air drying. Deep liquid manure pit housing systems consist of “A” frame layer cages located over a closed pit containing the hens’ droppings to which water is added to facilitate removal by pumping. Manure belt techniques imply that manure drops on a belt beneath each row of battery cages where it is either dried naturally or by forced air until it is removed. The experiment was replicated with 360 hens reared into twelve independent bench-scale rooms during eight weeks (19–27 weeks of age). The natural and forced air manure belt systems reduced CO2 (28.2 and 28.7 kg yr−1 hen−1, respectively), CH4 (25.3 and 27.7 g yr−1 hen−1, respectively) and N2O (2.60 and 2.48 g yr−1 hen−1, respectively) emissions by about 21, 16 and 9% in comparison with the deep-pit technique (36.0 kg CO2 yr−1 hen−1, 31.6 g CH4 yr−1 hen−1 and 2.78 g N2O yr−1 hen−1). The shift to manure belt systems needs to be encouraged since this housing system significantly decreases the production of GHG. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Livestock Management)
Open AccessArticle Effects of Dietary Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisia) Supplementation in Practical Diets of Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus)
Animals 2012, 2(1), 16-24; doi:10.3390/ani2010016
Received: 21 November 2011 / Revised: 26 December 2011 / Accepted: 4 January 2012 / Published: 13 January 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (171 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A 51-day feeding trial was carried out to determine the effects of various dietary levels of brewer’s yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, in the growth performance, body composition and nutrient utilization in Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, juveniles. Fish (7.6 ± 0.3 g) were stocked into eighteen 1,000-L tanks (100 fish per tank; n = 3) and fed to apparent satiation six isonitrogenous (27% crude protein) and isoenergetic (19 kJ/g) diets, formulated to contain different dried yeast levels (0%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 30% or 40% diet) in substitution to fishmeal. Body weight tripled at the end of the feeding trial for fish fed up to 20% dietary yeast incorporation. Daily growth coefficient (DGC, % body weight/day) decreased with increasing dietary yeast level (P < 0.0001). Voluntary feed intake (VFI, %BW/day) did not vary significantly with increasing yeast level. Fish fed 40% yeast showed significant reduction in protein efficiency rate, protein retention and nitrogen gain. Increasing levels of dietary yeast did not significantly affect protein or lipid digestibility. Dietary dried yeast was seemingly palatable to tilapia juveniles and was suitable up to 15% inclusion to promote growth and efficient diet utilization, without affecting body composition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monogastric Animal Nutrition and Metabolism)
Open AccessArticle Prevalence and Incidence of Abnormal Behaviours in Individually Housed Sheep
Animals 2012, 2(1), 27-37; doi:10.3390/ani2010027
Received: 18 January 2012 / Revised: 31 January 2012 / Accepted: 1 February 2012 / Published: 6 February 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (297 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study examined the prevalence and incidence of abnormal behaviour in sheep housed individually indoors. Ninety-six castrated Merino sheep were observed using 15-min instantaneous sampling between 08:15 and 18:15 h for two consecutive days over a 3-week period. Sheep on average spent [...] Read more.
This study examined the prevalence and incidence of abnormal behaviour in sheep housed individually indoors. Ninety-six castrated Merino sheep were observed using 15-min instantaneous sampling between 08:15 and 18:15 h for two consecutive days over a 3-week period. Sheep on average spent 62% of their time idle, 17% feeding, 1% drinking, 5% pacing, 10% chewing pen fixtures and 4% nosing pen fixtures. Pacing behaviour was predominantly seen in the morning with sheep on average spending 14% of their time pacing. Sheep on average spent 4% of their time in the morning and 13% of their time in the afternoon chewing pen fixtures. In the afternoon, the predominant behaviour was idle with sheep on average spending 71% of their time idle. Seventy-one percent of the sheep displayed one or more of the behaviours of pacing, and chewing and nosing pen fixtures for more than 10% of the day and 47% displayed one or more of these behaviours for more than 20% of the day. The prevalence and incidence of these ‘abnormal’ behaviours appears high, especially in relation to that of sheep grazed outdoors on pasture, and raises the question of the welfare risk to these animals. However, without a more comprehensive appreciation of other aspects of the animal’s biology, such as stress physiology and fitness characteristics, it is difficult to understand the welfare implications of these behaviours. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers)
Open AccessArticle Effects of Dietary Fatty Acids on Lipid Traits in the Muscle and Perirenal Fat of Growing Rabbits Fed Mixed Diets
Animals 2012, 2(1), 55-67; doi:10.3390/ani2010055
Received: 16 January 2012 / Revised: 13 February 2012 / Accepted: 20 February 2012 / Published: 22 February 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (287 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of various raw materials (spirulina, curcuma, tomato pomace, false flax, linseed, chia, perilla seeds) as suitable polyunsaturated fatty acid n-3 (n-3 PUFA) sources, on the lipid traits in the longissimus dorsi muscle [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of various raw materials (spirulina, curcuma, tomato pomace, false flax, linseed, chia, perilla seeds) as suitable polyunsaturated fatty acid n-3 (n-3 PUFA) sources, on the lipid traits in the longissimus dorsi muscle and perirenal fat of growing rabbits. The fatty acid (FA) analyses of the diets, carried out by gas chromatography, differed over a wide range on the basis of the highly varied ingredients in 27 experimental formulations. Among the 29 identified FAs, three from feeds were catabolized in the rabbits, five were de novo synthesized and stored chiefly in the muscle. It was possible to linearly characterize the incorporation from the feed to the muscle of 16 FAs. This study has confirmed that the dietary inclusion of various raw materials could be considered as a way of enriching the n-3 PUFA of rabbit meat. A proposal for the prediction of n-3 PUFA from dietary α-linolenic acid (C18:3 n-3) and a panel of another 10 FAs has been made for intramuscular fat (R2 = 0.94) and perirenal fat (R2 = 0.96). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monogastric Animal Nutrition and Metabolism)
Open AccessArticle Analysis of Animal Research Ethics Committee Membership at American Institutions
Animals 2012, 2(1), 68-75; doi:10.3390/ani2010068
Received: 29 January 2012 / Revised: 20 February 2012 / Accepted: 20 February 2012 / Published: 22 February 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (179 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUCs) were created to review, approve and oversee animal experiments and to balance the interests of researchers, animals, institutions and the general public. This study analyzed the overall membership of IACUCs at leading U.S. research institutions. [...] Read more.
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUCs) were created to review, approve and oversee animal experiments and to balance the interests of researchers, animals, institutions and the general public. This study analyzed the overall membership of IACUCs at leading U.S. research institutions. We found that these committees and their leadership are comprised of a preponderance of animal researchers, as well as other members who are affiliated with each institution; some of whom also work in animal laboratories. This overwhelming presence of animal research and institutional interests may dilute input from the few IACUC members representing animal welfare and the general public, contribute to previously-documented committee bias in favor of approving animal experiments and reduce the overall objectivity and effectiveness of the oversight system. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Interaction Between Dietary Valine and Tryptophan Content and Their Effect on the Performance of Piglets
Animals 2012, 2(1), 76-84; doi:10.3390/ani2010076
Received: 4 January 2012 / Revised: 17 February 2012 / Accepted: 20 February 2012 / Published: 22 February 2012
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Abstract
Four experimental diets for newly weaned pigs were formulated: (1) low valine and low tryptophan; (2) low valine and high tryptophan; (3) high valine and low tryptophan and (4) high valine and high tryptophan. Dietary standardized ileal digestible (SID) lysine content was 1.06 g/kg. The SID valine to SID lysine ratio was 0.58 and 0.67 for the low and high valine diets, respectively, and SID tryptophan to SID lysine ratios were 0.19 and 0.22 for the low and high tryptophan diets, respectively. In total, 64 pens of 6 pigs (3 barrows and 3 gilts) were divided over the four experimental treatments. No interaction between dietary supply of valine and tryptophan was observed (P > 0.1 for all parameters). Increasing the dietary valine content increased the daily feed intake, daily gain and gain:feed (P < 0.001 for all three parameters). Increasing the dietary tryptophan content improved gain:feed during the first 2 weeks (P < 0.05) and overall (P < 0.05). Valine supply had a greater effect on performance results than tryptophan supply. It may thus be beneficial to provide a diet with an optimal dietary concentration of valine even if other amino acids are at suboptimal dietary levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monogastric Animal Nutrition and Metabolism)
Open AccessCommunication Bias During the Evaluation of Animal Studies?
Animals 2012, 2(1), 85-92; doi:10.3390/ani2010085
Received: 8 February 2012 / Revised: 22 February 2012 / Accepted: 22 February 2012 / Published: 23 February 2012
PDF Full-text (156 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
My recent book entitled The Costs and Benefits of Animal Experiments seeks to answer a key question within animal ethics, namely: is animal experimentation ethically justifiable? Or, more precisely, is it justifiable within the utilitarian cost:benefit framework that fundamentally underpins most regulations [...] Read more.
My recent book entitled The Costs and Benefits of Animal Experiments seeks to answer a key question within animal ethics, namely: is animal experimentation ethically justifiable? Or, more precisely, is it justifiable within the utilitarian cost:benefit framework that fundamentally underpins most regulations governing animal experimentation? To answer this question I reviewed more than 500 scientific publications describing animal studies, animal welfare impacts, and alternative research, toxicity testing and educational methodologies. To minimise bias I focused primarily on large-scale systematic reviews that had examined the human clinical and toxicological utility of animal studies. Despite this, Dr. Susanne Prankel recently reviewed my book in this journal, essentially accusing me of bias. However, she failed to provide any substantive evidence to refute my conclusions, let alone evidence of similar weight to that on which they are based. Those conclusions are, in fact, firmly based on utilitarian ethical reasoning, informed by scientific evidence of considerable strength, and I believe they are robust. Full article

Review

Jump to: Research, Other

Open AccessReview Social Environment and Control Status of Companion Animal-Borne Zoonoses in Japan
Animals 2012, 2(1), 38-54; doi:10.3390/ani2010038
Received: 23 January 2012 / Revised: 7 February 2012 / Accepted: 13 February 2012 / Published: 15 February 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (205 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Changing social and environmental factors have been the cause of an increase in the number and variety of animals are being imported into Japan. Moreover, the number of Japanese households are keeping companion animals has also risen. These factors, along with the [...] Read more.
Changing social and environmental factors have been the cause of an increase in the number and variety of animals are being imported into Japan. Moreover, the number of Japanese households are keeping companion animals has also risen. These factors, along with the high density of the Japanese population and the low percentage of registered dogs, have increased the risk of animal-to-human transmission of zoonoses. To control zoonosis outbreaks, the Japanese government has implemented a three-stage approach for the border control of zoonoses and has stipulated the monitoring and reporting of eight companion animal-borne zoonoses under the Rabies Prevention Law and the Infectious Diseases Control Law. The fact that no case of human and animal rabies has been reported over the past 50 years indicates that these measures are highly effective in preventing rabies transmission. Although it is known that the total number of possible companion animal-borne zoonosis outbreaks decreased between 2005 and 2009 when compared with numbers between 2001 and 2004, the number of zoonosis cases that can be attributed to transmission by companion animals remains unclear. Active surveillance should be conducted on a national level to collect the data necessary to determine this number and identify trends in companion-animal transmitted diseases. Using the data collected, regulation systems should be evaluated to determine whether they have met reasonable goals and policy planning conducted for the control of emerging diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoonotic Diseases of Companion Animals)
Open AccessReview Livestock Helminths in a Changing Climate: Approaches and Restrictions to Meaningful Predictions
Animals 2012, 2(1), 93-107; doi:10.3390/ani2010093
Received: 31 January 2012 / Revised: 27 February 2012 / Accepted: 2 March 2012 / Published: 6 March 2012
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (174 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Climate change is a driving force for livestock parasite risk. This is especially true for helminths including the nematodes Haemonchus contortus, Teladorsagia circumcincta, Nematodirus battus, and the trematode Fasciola hepatica, since survival and development of free-living stages is chiefly [...] Read more.
Climate change is a driving force for livestock parasite risk. This is especially true for helminths including the nematodes Haemonchus contortus, Teladorsagia circumcincta, Nematodirus battus, and the trematode Fasciola hepatica, since survival and development of free-living stages is chiefly affected by temperature and moisture. The paucity of long term predictions of helminth risk under climate change has driven us to explore optimal modelling approaches and identify current bottlenecks to generating meaningful predictions. We classify approaches as correlative or mechanistic, exploring their strengths and limitations. Climate is one aspect of a complex system and, at the farm level, husbandry has a dominant influence on helminth transmission. Continuing environmental change will necessitate the adoption of mitigation and adaptation strategies in husbandry. Long term predictive models need to have the architecture to incorporate these changes. Ultimately, an optimal modelling approach is likely to combine mechanistic processes and physiological thresholds with correlative bioclimatic modelling, incorporating changes in livestock husbandry and disease control. Irrespective of approach, the principal limitation to parasite predictions is the availability of active surveillance data and empirical data on physiological responses to climate variables. By combining improved empirical data and refined models with a broad view of the livestock system, robust projections of helminth risk can be developed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Livestock Management)

Other

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Open AccessBook Review The Costs and Benefits of Animal Experiments: An Evaluation with Bias. By Andrew Knight. Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK, 2011; Hardcover, 272 pp; ISBN 978-0-230-57686-5; Paperback, ISBN: 978-0-230-57687-2
Animals 2012, 2(1), 25-26; doi:10.3390/ani2010025
Received: 21 December 2011 / Accepted: 13 January 2012 / Published: 13 January 2012
PDF Full-text (106 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The book is part of the Palgrave Macmillan Animal Ethics Series which was developed with the publisher and the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. Andrew Knight is a Fellow of the latter. The Centre “aims to demonstrate rigorous intellectual enquiry and the [...] Read more.
The book is part of the Palgrave Macmillan Animal Ethics Series which was developed with the publisher and the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. Andrew Knight is a Fellow of the latter. The Centre “aims to demonstrate rigorous intellectual enquiry and the highest standard of scholarship” (p. xv), and the series aims to satisfy the growing appetite for literature in the field. Knight presents a wealth of data on the issue of costs and benefits associated with animal experiments and the book goes beyond its title: it also imparts some information on alternatives. As the author states in the introduction, it represents an extension of his own published work. It is intended as a critical review of the available evidence, an aim which is somewhat different to the meta-analysis claimed by the publisher. [...] Full article

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