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Animals, Volume 7, Issue 3 (March 2017)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Impact of Feed Delivery Pattern on Aerial Particulate Matter and Behavior of Feedlot Cattle †
Animals 2017, 7(3), 14; doi:10.3390/ani7030014
Received: 15 August 2016 / Revised: 13 February 2017 / Accepted: 25 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
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Abstract
Fine particulate matter with less than 2.5 microns diameter (PM2.5) generated by cattle in feedlots is an environmental pollutant and a potential human and animal health issue. The objective of this study was to determine if a feeding schedule affects cattle
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Fine particulate matter with less than 2.5 microns diameter (PM2.5) generated by cattle in feedlots is an environmental pollutant and a potential human and animal health issue. The objective of this study was to determine if a feeding schedule affects cattle behaviors that promote PM2.5 in a commercial feedlot. The study used 2813 crossbred steers housed in 14 adjacent pens at a large-scale commercial West Texas feedlot. Treatments were conventional feeding at 0700, 1000, and 1200 (CON) or feeding at 0700, 1000, and 1830 (ALT), the latter feeding time coincided with dusk. A mobile behavior lab was used to quantify behaviors of steers that were associated with generation of PM2.5 (e.g., fighting, mounting of peers, and increased locomotion). PM2.5 samplers measured respirable particles with a mass median diameter ≤2.5 μm (PM2.5) every 15 min over a period of 7 d in April and May. Simultaneously, the ambient temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, precipitation, air pressure, and solar radiation were measured with a weather station. Elevated downwind PM2.5 concentrations were measured at dusk, when cattle that were fed according to the ALT vs. the CON feeding schedule, demonstrated less PM2.5-generating behaviors (p < 0.05). At dusk, steers on ALT vs. CON feeding schedules ate or were waiting to eat (standing in second row behind feeding cattle) at much greater rates (p < 0.05). Upwind PM2.5 concentrations were similar between the treatments. Downwind PM2.5 concentrations averaged over 24 h were lower from ALT compared with CON pens (0.072 vs. 0.115 mg/m3, p < 0.01). However, dry matter intake (DMI) was less (p < 0.05), and average daily gain (ADG) tended to be less (p < 0.1) in cattle that were fed according to the ALT vs. the CON feeding schedules, whereas feed efficiency (aka gain to feed, G:F) was not affected. Although ALT feeding may pose a challenge in feed delivery and labor scheduling, cattle exhibited fewer PM2.5-generating behaviors and reduced generation of PM2.5 when feed delivery times matched the natural desires of cattle to eat in a crepuscular pattern. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Lupinus albus on Growth Performance, Body Composition and Satiety Hormones of Male Pigs Immunized against Gonadotrophin Releasing Factor
Animals 2017, 7(3), 15; doi:10.3390/ani7030015
Received: 13 December 2016 / Revised: 23 February 2017 / Accepted: 25 February 2017 / Published: 2 March 2017
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Abstract
Two hundred and ninety four pigs were used with the aim to develop a dietary management strategy using Lupinus albus L. (albus lupins) to reduce the increase in feed intake and subsequent increase in carcass fatness in pigs immunized against gonadotrophin releasing factor
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Two hundred and ninety four pigs were used with the aim to develop a dietary management strategy using Lupinus albus L. (albus lupins) to reduce the increase in feed intake and subsequent increase in carcass fatness in pigs immunized against gonadotrophin releasing factor (immunocastrates; IC males) and entire male pigs in the late finishing stage. From day (d) 0 to 28, IC males fed the control diet grew faster (p = 0.009) than entire males fed the control diet but there was no difference in growth rate between sexes for pigs fed albus lupins for 14 days pre-slaughter (Albus 14) or pigs fed albus lupins for 28 days pre-slaughter (Albus 28). From d 15 to 28, IC males receiving the Albus 14 diet grew more slowly (p < 0.001) than entire males receiving the Albus 14 diet. From d 15 to 28 (p < 0.001), IC males fed the control diet ate more feed than entire males fed the control diet, although there was no difference between sexes in feed intake of the Albus 14 and Albus 28 diet. Immunocastrates had a lower backfat when fed either Albus 14 or Albus 28 compared to the control diet, although there was no difference between diets for entire males. There was also a trend for pigs on the Albus 14 and Albus 28 diets to have a higher lean deposition (p = 0.055) and a lower fat deposition (p = 0.056) compared to the pigs on the control diet. Pigs fed the Albus 28 diet had a lower plasma ghrelin concentration compared to pigs fed the Albus 14 or the control diet (p = 0.002). Pigs fed the Albus 28 diet had a higher peptide YY concentration than those fed the control or albus 14 diet (p = 0.004). The inclusion of albus lupins at 20% in the diets of IC male pigs for either 14 or 28 days pre-slaughter was successful in reducing feed intake, body fat and backfat to similar levels of entire males. However, the growth rate of the IC male pigs was impacted more than would be desirable. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Dairy Cows Produce Less Milk and Modify Their Behaviour during the Transition between Tie-Stall to Free-Stall
Animals 2017, 7(3), 16; doi:10.3390/ani7030016
Received: 22 September 2016 / Revised: 19 January 2017 / Accepted: 27 February 2017 / Published: 3 March 2017
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Abstract
Transfer of cattle to an unknown barn may result in a reduction in its welfare. Housing and management practices can result in signs of stress that include a long-term suppression of milk efficiency. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence
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Transfer of cattle to an unknown barn may result in a reduction in its welfare. Housing and management practices can result in signs of stress that include a long-term suppression of milk efficiency. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of moving cows from the stanchion-stall housing to free-stall housing on their behaviour and production. The Holstein cows were moved into the new facility with free-stall housing from the old barn with stanchion-stall housing. Cows lay down up to ten hours (596.3 ± 282.7 min) after removing. The cows in their second lactation and open cows tended to lie sooner after removing than cows in their first lactation and pregnant cows. The times of total lying and rumination were increasing from the first day to the tenth day after removing (23.76 ± 7.20 kg vs. 30.97 ± 7.26 kg, p < 0.001). Cows produced 23.3% less milk at the first day following the transfer than at the last day prior to moving (p < 0.001). Loss of milk was gradually reduced and maximum production was achieved on the 14th day. The difference was found in milk losses due to the shift between cows on the first and second lactation (p < 0.01). The results of this study suggest that removing from the tie-stall barn with a pipeline milking system into the barn with free-stall housing and a milking parlour caused a decline in the cows’ milk production. However, when the cows are moved to a better environment, they rapidly adapt to the change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Ethology and Welfare of Animals)
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Open AccessArticle Corporate Reporting on Farm Animal Welfare: An Evaluation of Global Food Companies’ Discourse and Disclosures on Farm Animal Welfare
Animals 2017, 7(3), 17; doi:10.3390/ani7030017
Received: 29 October 2016 / Revised: 21 February 2017 / Accepted: 28 February 2017 / Published: 6 March 2017
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Abstract
The views that food companies hold about their responsibilities for animal welfare can strongly influence the lives and welfare of farm animals. If a company’s commitment is translated into action, it can be a major driver of animal welfare. The Business Benchmark on
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The views that food companies hold about their responsibilities for animal welfare can strongly influence the lives and welfare of farm animals. If a company’s commitment is translated into action, it can be a major driver of animal welfare. The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) is an annual evaluation of farm animal welfare-related practices, reporting and performance of food companies. The framework evaluates how close, based on their disclosures, companies are to best practice in three areas: Management Commitment, Governance & Performance and Leadership & Innovation. The BBFAW analysed information published by 68 (2012) and 70 (2013) of the world’s largest food companies. Around 70% of companies acknowledged animal welfare as a business issue. Between 2012 and 2013, the mean BBFAW score increased significantly by 5% (p < 0.001, Wilcoxon Signed-Rank test). However, only 34% (2012) and 44% (2013) of companies published comprehensive animal welfare policies. This increase suggests that global food companies are increasingly aware that farm animal welfare is of interest to their stakeholders, but also that many companies have yet to acknowledge farm animal welfare as a business issue or to demonstrate their approach to farm animal welfare to stakeholders and society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Farm Animal Welfare 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Factors Which Influence Owners When Deciding to Use Chemotherapy in Terminally Ill Pets
Animals 2017, 7(3), 18; doi:10.3390/ani7030018
Received: 17 October 2016 / Accepted: 4 March 2017 / Published: 7 March 2017
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Abstract
Chemotherapy is a commonly integrated treatment option within human and animal oncology regimes. Limited research has investigated pet owners’ treatment decision-making in animals diagnosed with malignant neoplasia. Dog and cat owners were asked to complete an online questionnaire to elucidate factors which are
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Chemotherapy is a commonly integrated treatment option within human and animal oncology regimes. Limited research has investigated pet owners’ treatment decision-making in animals diagnosed with malignant neoplasia. Dog and cat owners were asked to complete an online questionnaire to elucidate factors which are key to the decision making process. Seventy-eight respondents completed the questionnaire in full. Fifty-eight percent of pet owners would not elect to treat pets with chemotherapy due to the negative impact of the associated side effects. Seventytwo percent of respondents over estimated pet survival time post chemotherapy, indicating a general perception that it would lead to remission or a cure. Vomiting was considered an acceptable side effect but inappetence, weight loss and depression were considered unacceptable. Owners did expect animals’ to be less active, sleep more and play less, but common side effects were not rated as acceptable despite the potential benefits of chemotherapy. Based on the results, veterinary teams involved with oncology consultations should establish if clients have prior experience of cancer treatments and their expectations of survival time. Quality of life assessments should also be implemented during initial oncology consultations and conducted regularly during chemotherapy courses to inform client decision making and to safe guard animal welfare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Ethology and Welfare of Animals)
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Open AccessArticle Statistical Evaluations of Variations in Dairy Cows’ Milk Yields as a Precursor of Earthquakes
Animals 2017, 7(3), 19; doi:10.3390/ani7030019
Received: 9 December 2016 / Revised: 27 February 2017 / Accepted: 4 March 2017 / Published: 8 March 2017
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Abstract
Previous studies have provided quantitative data regarding unusual animal behavior prior to earthquakes; however, few studies include long-term, observational data. Our previous study revealed that the milk yields of dairy cows decreased prior to an extremely large earthquake. To clarify whether the milk
[...] Read more.
Previous studies have provided quantitative data regarding unusual animal behavior prior to earthquakes; however, few studies include long-term, observational data. Our previous study revealed that the milk yields of dairy cows decreased prior to an extremely large earthquake. To clarify whether the milk yields decrease prior to earthquakes, we examined the relationship between earthquakes of various magnitudes and daily milk yields. The observation period was one year. In the results, cross-correlation analyses revealed a significant negative correlation between earthquake occurrence and milk yields approximately three weeks beforehand. Approximately a week and a half beforehand, a positive correlation was revealed, and the correlation gradually receded to zero as the day of the earthquake approached. Future studies that use data from a longer observation period are needed because this study only considered ten earthquakes and therefore does not have strong statistical power. Additionally, we compared the milk yields with the subionospheric very low frequency/low frequency (VLF/LF) propagation data indicating ionospheric perturbations. The results showed that anomalies of VLF/LF propagation data emerged prior to all of the earthquakes following decreases in milk yields; the milk yields decreased earlier than propagation anomalies. We mention how ultralow frequency magnetic fields are a stimulus that could reduce milk yields. This study suggests that dairy cow milk yields decrease prior to earthquakes, and that they might respond to stimuli emerging earlier than ionospheric perturbations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Public Understanding and Attitudes towards Meat Chicken Production and Relations to Consumption
Animals 2017, 7(3), 20; doi:10.3390/ani7030020
Received: 9 January 2017 / Revised: 13 February 2017 / Accepted: 2 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
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Abstract
Little is known about public knowledge of meat chicken production and how it influences attitudes to birds’ welfare and consumer behaviour. We interviewed 506 members of the public in SE Queensland; Australia; to determine how knowledge of meat chicken production and slaughter links
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Little is known about public knowledge of meat chicken production and how it influences attitudes to birds’ welfare and consumer behaviour. We interviewed 506 members of the public in SE Queensland; Australia; to determine how knowledge of meat chicken production and slaughter links to attitudes and consumption. Knowledge was assessed from 15 questions and low scores were supported by respondents’ self-assessed report of low knowledge levels and agreement that their knowledge was insufficient to form an opinion about which chicken products to purchase. Older respondents and single people without children were most knowledgeable. There was uncertainty about whether chicken welfare was adequate, particularly in those with little knowledge. There was also evidence that a lack of empathy towards chickens related to lack of knowledge, since those that thought it acceptable that some birds are inadequately stunned at slaughter had low knowledge scores. More knowledgeable respondents ate chicken more frequently and were less likely to buy products with accredited labelling. Approximately half of the respondents thought the welfare of the chicken was more important than the cost. It is concluded that the public’s knowledge has an important connection to their attitudes and consumption of chicken. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Individual Ranging Behaviour Patterns in Commercial Free-Range Layers as Observed through RFID Tracking
Animals 2017, 7(3), 21; doi:10.3390/ani7030021
Received: 21 December 2016 / Revised: 27 February 2017 / Accepted: 6 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
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Abstract
In this exploratory study, we tracked free-range laying hens on two commercial flocks with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology with the aim to examine individual hen variation in range use. Three distinct outdoor zones were identified at increasing distances from the shed; the
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In this exploratory study, we tracked free-range laying hens on two commercial flocks with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology with the aim to examine individual hen variation in range use. Three distinct outdoor zones were identified at increasing distances from the shed; the veranda [0–2.4 m], close range [2.4–11.4 m], and far range [>11.4 m]. Hens’ movements between these areas were tracked using radio frequency identification technology. Most of the hens in both flocks (68.6% in Flock A, and 82.2% in Flock B) accessed the range every day during the study. Of the hens that accessed the range, most hens accessed all three zones (73.7% in Flock A, and 84.5% in Flock B). Hens spent half of their time outdoors in the veranda area. Within-individual consistency of range use (daily duration and frequency) varied considerably, and hens which were more consistent in their daily range use spent more time on the range overall (p < 0.001). Understanding variation within and between individuals in ranging behaviour may help elucidate the implications of ranging for laying hens. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Of Fur, Feather, and Fin: Human’s Use and Concern for Non-Human Species
Animals 2017, 7(3), 22; doi:10.3390/ani7030022
Received: 11 December 2016 / Revised: 16 February 2017 / Accepted: 6 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
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Abstract
The public’s concern for animal welfare is evolving and it is important to consider factors that are related to concern for animals and their use by humans. An online survey of 825 U.S. residents was conducted. Relationships between approval of animal uses and
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The public’s concern for animal welfare is evolving and it is important to consider factors that are related to concern for animals and their use by humans. An online survey of 825 U.S. residents was conducted. Relationships between approval of animal uses and stated concern for animal welfare were examined. More than 90% of respondents reported that using animals for egg production, service or therapy, pets, and milk production was acceptable to them. Respondents who were younger or reported being female less frequently found most uses acceptable than older or male respondents. Half of respondents reported concern for the welfare of bison while 40% or more stated concern for the welfare of elk, beef cattle, and dairy cattle. Respondents who stated they were concerned for the welfare of dairy cattle less frequently reported accepting using animals for meat production, livestock shows, and hunting. Thus, self-reported concern for animal species and acceptance of the use of animals were related in some instances. A better understanding of the factors related to acceptance of animal uses and concern for animal welfare will help animal-related industries and wildlife agencies develop practices that are consistent with public attitudes. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Need for Formal Evidence Synthesis in Food Policy: A Case Study of Willingness-to-Pay
Animals 2017, 7(3), 23; doi:10.3390/ani7030023
Received: 29 November 2016 / Revised: 27 February 2017 / Accepted: 4 March 2017 / Published: 10 March 2017
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Abstract
Meta-analysis is increasingly utilised in the understanding of consumer behaviour, including in relation to farm animal welfare. However, the issue of publication bias has received little attention. As willingness-to-pay (WTP) is widely used in policy, it is important to explore publication bias. This
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Meta-analysis is increasingly utilised in the understanding of consumer behaviour, including in relation to farm animal welfare. However, the issue of publication bias has received little attention. As willingness-to-pay (WTP) is widely used in policy, it is important to explore publication bias. This research aimed to evaluate publication bias in WTP, specifically public WTP for farm animal welfare. A systematic review of four databases yielded 54 studies for random effects meta-analysis. Publication bias was assessed by the Egger test, rank test, contour-enhanced funnel plots, and the Vevea and Hedges weight-function model. Results consistently indicated the presence of publication bias, highlighting an overestimation of WTP for farm animal welfare. Stakeholders should be wary of WTP estimates that have not been critically evaluated for publication bias. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Conscientious Objection to Animal Experimentation in Italian Universities
Animals 2017, 7(3), 24; doi:10.3390/ani7030024
Received: 15 October 2016 / Revised: 28 February 2017 / Accepted: 4 March 2017 / Published: 13 March 2017
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Abstract
In Italy, Law 413/1993 states that public and private Italian Institutions, including academic faculties, are obliged to fully inform workers and students about their right to conscientious objection to scientific or educational activities involving animals, hereafter written as “animal CO”. However, little monitoring
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In Italy, Law 413/1993 states that public and private Italian Institutions, including academic faculties, are obliged to fully inform workers and students about their right to conscientious objection to scientific or educational activities involving animals, hereafter written as “animal CO”. However, little monitoring on the faculties’ compliance with this law has been performed either by the government or other institutional bodies. Based on this premise, the authors have critically reviewed the existing data and compared them with those emerging from their own investigation to discuss limitations and inconsistencies. The results of this investigation revealed that less than half of Italian academic faculties comply with their duty to inform on animal CO. Non-compliance may substantially affect the right of students to make ethical choices in the field of animal ethics and undermines the fundamental right to express their own freedom of thought. The Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, ethics committees and animal welfare bodies should cooperate to make faculties respect this law. Further research is needed to better understand the reasons for the current trend, as well as to promote the enforcement of Law 413/1993 with particular regard to information on animal CO. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview Land Use for Edible Protein of Animal Origin—A Review
Animals 2017, 7(3), 25; doi:10.3390/ani7030025
Received: 16 December 2016 / Revised: 20 February 2017 / Accepted: 13 March 2017 / Published: 18 March 2017
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Abstract
The present period is characterized by a growing world population and a higher demand for more and better quality food, as well as other products for an improved standard of living. In the future, there will be increasingly strong competition for arable land
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The present period is characterized by a growing world population and a higher demand for more and better quality food, as well as other products for an improved standard of living. In the future, there will be increasingly strong competition for arable land and non-renewable resources such as fossil carbon-sources, water, and some minerals, as well as between food, feed, fuel, fiber, flowers, and fun (6 F’s). Proteins of animal origin like milk, meat, fish, eggs and, probably, insects are very valuable sources of essential amino acids, minerals and vitamins, but their production consumes some non-renewable resources including arable land and causes considerable emissions. Therefore, this study´s objective was to calculate some examples of the land use (arable land and grassland) for production of edible animal protein taking into consideration important animal species/categories, levels of plant and animal yields, the latter estimated with and without co-products from agriculture, and the food/biofuel industry in animal feeding. There are large differences between animal species/categories and their potential to produce edible protein depending on many influencing variables. The highest amounts per kilogram body weight are produced by growing broiler chicken followed by laying hens and dairy cows; the lowest yields in edible protein and the highest land need were observed for beef cattle. This review clearly indicates that the production of food of animal origin is a very complex process, and selective considerations, i.e., focusing on single factors, do not provide an assessment that reflects the complexity of the subject. Full article
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Other

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Open AccessAddendum Addendum: Sommavilla, R. et al. Season, Transport Duration and Trailer Compartment Effects on Blood Stress Indicators in Pigs: Relationship to Environmental, Behavioral and Other Physiological Factors, and Pork Quality Traits. Animals 2017, 7, 8
Animals 2017, 7(3), 13; doi:10.3390/ani7030013
Received: 16 February 2017 / Revised: 20 February 2017 / Accepted: 20 February 2017 / Published: 24 February 2017
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Abstract
The authors would like to add that “Sébastien Goumon was supported by Grant No MZERO0716 from the Czech Ministry of Agriculture” in the Acknowledgement Section of their paper published in Animals [...] Full article
Open AccessOpinion A Review of Sustainability Enhancements in the Beef Value Chain: State-of-the-Art and Recommendations for Future Improvements
Animals 2017, 7(3), 26; doi:10.3390/ani7030026
Received: 11 January 2017 / Revised: 10 March 2017 / Accepted: 19 March 2017 / Published: 22 March 2017
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Abstract
The beef sector is working towards continually improving its sustainability in order to achieve environmentally, socially and economically desirable outcomes, all of which are of increasing concern to consumers. In this context, the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) provides guidance to advance
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The beef sector is working towards continually improving its sustainability in order to achieve environmentally, socially and economically desirable outcomes, all of which are of increasing concern to consumers. In this context, the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) provides guidance to advance the sustainability of the beef industry, through increased stakeholder engagement and the formation of national roundtables. Recently, the 2nd Global Conference on Sustainable Beef took place in Banff, Alberta, Canada, hosted by the GRSB and the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. Conference attendees discussed the various initiatives that are being developed to address aspects of beef sustainability. This paper reviews the main discussions that occurred during this event, along with the key lessons learned, messages, and strategies that were proposed to improve the sustainability of the global beef industry. Full article
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