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Animals, Volume 4, Issue 1 (March 2014), Pages 1-130

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Animals in 2013
Animals 2014, 4(1), 59-61; doi:10.3390/ani4010059
Received: 28 February 2014 / Accepted: 28 February 2014 / Published: 28 February 2014
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Abstract The editors of Animals would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2013. [...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle Effectiveness of Gel Repellents on Feral Pigeons
Animals 2014, 4(1), 1-15; doi:10.3390/ani4010001
Received: 30 October 2013 / Revised: 12 December 2013 / Accepted: 12 December 2013 / Published: 19 December 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (157 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Millions of feral pigeons (Columba livia) live in close association with the human population in our cities. They pose serious health risks to humans and lead to high economic loss due to damage caused to buildings. Consequently, house owners and city
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Millions of feral pigeons (Columba livia) live in close association with the human population in our cities. They pose serious health risks to humans and lead to high economic loss due to damage caused to buildings. Consequently, house owners and city authorities are not willing to allow pigeons on their buildings. While various avian repellents are regularly introduced onto the market, scientific proof of efficacy is lacking. This study aimed at testing the effectiveness of two avian gel repellents and additionally examined their application from animal welfare standpoint. The gels used an alleged tactile or visual aversion of the birds, reinforced by additional sensory cues. We mounted experimental shelves with the installed repellents in a pigeon loft and observed the behavior of free-living feral pigeons towards the systems. Both gels showed a restricted, transient repellent effect, but failed to prove the claimed complete effectiveness. Additionally, the gels’ adhesive effect remains doubtful in view of animal welfare because gluing of plumage presents a risk to feral pigeons and also to other non-target birds. This study infers that both gels lack the promised complete efficacy, conflict with animal welfare concerns and are therefore not suitable for feral pigeon management in urban areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Wildlife Management)
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Open AccessArticle Dogs’ Body Language Relevant to Learning Achievement
Animals 2014, 4(1), 45-58; doi:10.3390/ani4010045
Received: 7 November 2013 / Revised: 10 February 2014 / Accepted: 10 February 2014 / Published: 27 February 2014
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Abstract
The facial expressions and body postures of dogs can give helpful information about their moods and emotional states. People can more effectively obedience train their dogs if we can identify the mannerisms associated with learning in dogs. The aim of this study was
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The facial expressions and body postures of dogs can give helpful information about their moods and emotional states. People can more effectively obedience train their dogs if we can identify the mannerisms associated with learning in dogs. The aim of this study was to clarify the dog’s body language during operant conditioning to predict achievement in the test that followed by measuring the duration of behaviors. Forty-six untrained dogs (17 males and 26 females) of various breeds were used. Each session consisted of 5 minutes of training with a treat reward followed by 3 minutes of rest and finally an operant conditioning test that consisted of 20 “hand motion” cues. The operant tests were conducted a total of nine times over three consecutive days, and the success numbers were counted. The duration of the dog’s behavior, focusing on the dog’s eyes, mouth, ears, tail and tail-wagging, was recorded during the operant conditioning sessions before the test. Particular behaviors, including wide-eyes, closed mouth, erect ears, and forward and high tail carriage, without wagging or with short and quick wagging, related to high achievement results. It is concluded that dogs' body language during operant conditioning was related to their success rate. Full article
Open AccessArticle Characteristics of Loads of Cattle Stopping for Feed, Water and Rest during Long-Distance Transport in Canada
Animals 2014, 4(1), 62-81; doi:10.3390/ani4010062
Received: 11 October 2013 / Revised: 20 February 2014 / Accepted: 20 February 2014 / Published: 5 March 2014
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Abstract
This study is the first comprehensive examination of long-haul cattle being transported across Canada and off-loaded for feed, water and rest. A total of 129 truckloads were observed at one of two commercial rest stations near Thunder Bay, Ontario. Data collected included information
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This study is the first comprehensive examination of long-haul cattle being transported across Canada and off-loaded for feed, water and rest. A total of 129 truckloads were observed at one of two commercial rest stations near Thunder Bay, Ontario. Data collected included information regarding the truck driver, the trailer, the trip, the animals and animal handling. The majority of the loads stopping were feeder calves (60.94%) while 21.09% were weaned calves, and the remaining 14.84% were market weight cattle. The truck loads surveyed were in transit for, on average, 28.2 ± 5.0 hours before stopping and cattle were rested for an average of 11.2 ± 2.8 hours. These data suggest that loads stopping at the rest station were adhering to the regulations stated in the Health of Animals Act, which outline a maximum of 48 hours in transit before a mandatory stop of at least 5 hours for feed, water and rest. There was a large amount of variability around how well recommendations, such as stocking density were followed. Further research is required to assess how well cattle are coping with long-distance transport under current regulations and industry practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Long Distance Transport of Animals)
Open AccessArticle Effect of Corn Dried Distiller Grains with Solubles (DDGS) in Dairy Cow Diets on Manure Bioenergy Production Potential
Animals 2014, 4(1), 82-92; doi:10.3390/ani4010082
Received: 4 December 2013 / Revised: 22 January 2014 / Accepted: 26 February 2014 / Published: 5 March 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (133 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The main objective of this study was to obtain scientifically sound data on the bioenergy potential of dairy manures from cows fed different levels of corn dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS). Three diets differing in corn DDGS content were formulated: 0% corn
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The main objective of this study was to obtain scientifically sound data on the bioenergy potential of dairy manures from cows fed different levels of corn dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS). Three diets differing in corn DDGS content were formulated: 0% corn DDGS (DDGS0; control diet), 10% corn DDGS (DDGS10) and 30% corn DDGS (DDGS30). Bioenergy production was determined in psychrophilic (25 ± 1 °C) sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) fed 3 g COD L−1·day−1 during a two-week feeding period followed by a two-week react period. Compared to the control diet, adding DDGS10 and DDGS30 to the dairy cow diet increased the daily amount of fat excreted in slurry by 29% and 70%, respectively. The addition of DDGS30 increased the cows’ daily production of fresh feces and slurry by 15% and 11%, respectively. Furthermore, the incorporation of DDGS30 in the diet increased the daily amounts of dry matter (DM), volatile solids (VS), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF) and hemicellulose by 18%, 18%, 30%, 15% and 53%, respectively, compared to the control diet. While the addition of DDGS did not significantly affect the specific CH4 production per kg VS compared to the control diet, DDGS30 increased the per cow daily CH4 production by 14% compared to the control diet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Animal Production)
Open AccessArticle Social Networks and Welfare in Future Animal Management
Animals 2014, 4(1), 93-118; doi:10.3390/ani4010093
Received: 6 January 2014 / Revised: 26 February 2014 / Accepted: 10 March 2014 / Published: 17 March 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (506 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It may become advantageous to keep human-managed animals in the social network groups to which they have adapted. Data concerning the social networks of farm animal species and their ancestors are scarce but essential to establishing the importance of a natural social network
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It may become advantageous to keep human-managed animals in the social network groups to which they have adapted. Data concerning the social networks of farm animal species and their ancestors are scarce but essential to establishing the importance of a natural social network for farmed animal species. Social Network Analysis (SNA) facilitates the characterization of social networking at group, subgroup and individual levels. SNA is currently used for modeling the social behavior and management of wild animals and social welfare of zoo animals. It has been recognized for use with farm animals but has yet to be applied for management purposes. Currently, the main focus is on cattle, because in large groups (poultry), recording of individuals is expensive and the existence of social networks is uncertain due to on-farm restrictions. However, in many cases, a stable social network might be important to individual animal fitness, survival and welfare. For instance, when laying hens are not too densely housed, simple networks may be established. We describe here small social networks in horses, brown bears, laying hens and veal calves to illustrate the importance of measuring social networks among animals managed by humans. Emphasis is placed on the automatic measurement of identity, location, nearest neighbors and nearest neighbor distance for management purposes. It is concluded that social networks are important to the welfare of human-managed animal species and that welfare management based on automatic recordings will become available in the near future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Farm Animal Welfare)
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Open AccessArticle Environmental and Anthropogenic Impacts on Avifaunal Assemblages in an Urban Parkland, 1976 to 2007
Animals 2014, 4(1), 119-130; doi:10.3390/ani4010119
Received: 11 December 2013 / Revised: 10 March 2014 / Accepted: 12 March 2014 / Published: 17 March 2014
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Abstract
Urban environments are unique, rapidly changing habitats in which almost half of the world’s human population resides. The effects of urbanisation, such as habitat (vegetation) removal, pollution and modification of natural areas, commonly cause biodiversity loss. Long-term ecological monitoring of urban environments is
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Urban environments are unique, rapidly changing habitats in which almost half of the world’s human population resides. The effects of urbanisation, such as habitat (vegetation) removal, pollution and modification of natural areas, commonly cause biodiversity loss. Long-term ecological monitoring of urban environments is vital to determine the composition and long-term trends of faunal communities. This paper provides a detailed view of long-term changes in avifaunal assemblages of the Adelaide City parklands and discusses the anthropogenic and environmental factors that contributed to the changes between 1976 and 2007. The Adelaide City parklands (ACP) comprise 760 ha of land surrounding Adelaide’s central business district. Naturalist Robert Whatmough completed a 32-year survey of the ACP to determine the structure of the urban bird community residing there. Annual species richness and the abundance of birds in March and September months were analysed. Linear regression analysis was applied to species richness and abundance data of each assemblage. Resident parkland birds demonstrated significant declines in abundance. Native and introduced species also exhibited long-term declines in species richness and abundance throughout the 32-year period. Cycles of varying time periods indicated fluctuations in avian biodiversity demonstrating the need for future monitoring and statistical analyses on bird communities in the Adelaide City parklands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Wildlife Management)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Conscientious Objection to Harmful Animal Use within Veterinary and Other Biomedical Education
Animals 2014, 4(1), 16-34; doi:10.3390/ani4010016
Received: 4 November 2013 / Revised: 13 January 2014 / Accepted: 13 January 2014 / Published: 21 January 2014
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Abstract
Laboratory classes in which animals are seriously harmed or killed, or which use cadavers or body parts from ethically debatable sources, are controversial within veterinary and other biomedical curricula. Along with the development of more humane teaching methods, this has increasingly led to
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Laboratory classes in which animals are seriously harmed or killed, or which use cadavers or body parts from ethically debatable sources, are controversial within veterinary and other biomedical curricula. Along with the development of more humane teaching methods, this has increasingly led to objections to participation in harmful animal use. Such cases raise a host of issues of importance to universities, including those pertaining to curricular design and course accreditation, and compliance with applicable animal welfare and antidiscrimination legislation. Accordingly, after detailed investigation, some universities have implemented formal policies to guide faculty responses to such cases, and to ensure that decisions are consistent and defensible from legal and other policy perspectives. However, many other institutions have not yet done so, instead dealing with such cases on an ad hoc basis as they arise. Among other undesirable outcomes this can lead to insufficient student and faculty preparation, suboptimal and inconsistent responses, and greater likelihood of legal challenge. Accordingly, this paper provides pertinent information about the evolution of conscientious objection policies within Australian veterinary schools, and about the jurisprudential bases for conscientious objection within Australia and the USA. It concludes with recommendations for the development and implementation of policy within this arena. Full article

Other

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Open AccessReprint Improving Bioscience Research Reporting: The ARRIVE Guidelines for Reporting Animal Research
Animals 2014, 4(1), 35-44; doi:10.3390/ani4010035
Received: 20 January 2014 / Accepted: 31 January 2014 / Published: 3 February 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (888 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the last decade the number of bioscience journals has increased enormously, with many filling specialised niches reflecting new disciplines and technologies. The emergence of open-access journals has revolutionised the publication process, maximising the availability of research data. Nevertheless, a wealth of evidence
[...] Read more.
In the last decade the number of bioscience journals has increased enormously, with many filling specialised niches reflecting new disciplines and technologies. The emergence of open-access journals has revolutionised the publication process, maximising the availability of research data. Nevertheless, a wealth of evidence shows that across many areas, the reporting of biomedical research is often inadequate, leading to the view that even if the science is sound, in many cases the publications themselves are not “fit for purpose”, meaning that incomplete reporting of relevant information effectively renders many publications of limited value as instruments to inform policy or clinical and scientific practice [1–21]. A recent review of clinical research showed that there is considerable cumulative waste of financial resources at all stages of the research process, including as a result of publications that are unusable due to poor reporting [22]. It is unlikely that this issue is confined to clinical research [2–14,16–20]. Full article

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