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Animals, Volume 7, Issue 7 (July 2017)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Factors that Influence Intake to One Municipal Animal Control Facility in Florida: A Qualitative Study
Animals 2017, 7(7), 48; doi:10.3390/ani7070048
Received: 22 April 2017 / Revised: 21 June 2017 / Accepted: 25 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
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Abstract
This qualitative study identified a study area by visualizing one year of animal intake from a municipal animal shelter on geographic information systems (GIS) maps to select an area of high stray-dog intake to investigate. Researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with residents of the
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This qualitative study identified a study area by visualizing one year of animal intake from a municipal animal shelter on geographic information systems (GIS) maps to select an area of high stray-dog intake to investigate. Researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with residents of the selected study area to elucidate why there were high numbers of stray dogs coming from this location. Using grounded theory, three themes emerged from the interviews: concerns, attitudes, and disparities. The residents expressed concerns about animal welfare, personal safety, money, and health. They held various attitudes toward domestic animals in the community, including viewing them as pets, pests, or useful commodities (products). Residents expressed acceptance as well as some anger and fear about the situation in their community. Interviewees revealed they faced multiple socioeconomic disparities related to poverty. Pet abandonment can result when pet owners must prioritize human needs over animal needs, leading to increased shelter intake of stray dogs. Community-specific strategies for reducing local animal shelter intake should address the issue of pet abandonment by simultaneously targeting veterinary needs of animals, socioeconomic needs of residents, and respecting attitude differences between residents and shelter professionals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Survey of Public Opinion on Cat (Felis catus) Predation and the Future Direction of Cat Management in New Zealand
Animals 2017, 7(7), 49; doi:10.3390/ani7070049
Received: 24 February 2017 / Revised: 19 June 2017 / Accepted: 25 June 2017 / Published: 3 July 2017
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Abstract
Cat predation is a prominent issue in New Zealand that provokes strong and opposing views. We explored, via 1011 face-to-face questionnaires, public opinion on (a) support for a National Cat Management Strategy (78% support); (b) concern regarding predation of wildlife by owned and
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Cat predation is a prominent issue in New Zealand that provokes strong and opposing views. We explored, via 1011 face-to-face questionnaires, public opinion on (a) support for a National Cat Management Strategy (78% support); (b) concern regarding predation of wildlife by owned and un-owned cats (managed stray, unmanaged stray, and feral cats); (c) the acceptability of management techniques for owned cats; and (d) the acceptability of population management techniques for un-owned cats. The highest concern was expressed regarding the predation of non-native and native wildlife by feral cats (60 and 86% repectively), followed by unmanaged stray cats (59 and 86% respectively), managed stray cats (54 and 82% respectively), and finally owned cats (38 and 69% repectively). Limits to the number of cats owned and cat restriction zones received high levels of support (>65%), and compulsory microchipping, Council registration, and de-sexing were supported by the majority (>58%). Public support of population control methods for unowned cats was explored, and the influence of participant demographic variables on responses is described. These findings provide insight into public opinion regarding the management of cats in New Zealand, which should be considered during the development of legislation in this area. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Surrendered and Stray Dogs in Australia—Estimation of Numbers Entering Municipal Pounds, Shelters and Rescue Groups and Their Outcomes
Animals 2017, 7(7), 50; doi:10.3390/ani7070050
Received: 19 April 2017 / Revised: 1 July 2017 / Accepted: 5 July 2017 / Published: 12 July 2017
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Abstract
There is no national system for monitoring numbers of dogs entering municipal council pounds and shelters in Australia, or their outcomes. This limits understanding of the surrendered and stray dog issue, and prevents the evaluation of management strategies. We aimed to estimate these
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There is no national system for monitoring numbers of dogs entering municipal council pounds and shelters in Australia, or their outcomes. This limits understanding of the surrendered and stray dog issue, and prevents the evaluation of management strategies. We aimed to estimate these in 2012–2013. Dog intake and outcome data were collected for municipal councils and animal welfare organizations using annual reports, publications, primary peer-reviewed journal articles, websites and direct correspondence. More comprehensive data were obtained for New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Australian Capital Territory, whereas it was necessary to impute some or all data for Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and Tasmania, as data were incomplete/unavailable. A refined methodology was developed to address the numerous limitations of the available data. An estimated national total of 211,655 dog admissions (9.3 admissions/1000 residents) occurred in 2012–2013. Of these admissions, the numbers where the dog was reclaimed, rehomed or euthanized were estimated as 4.4, 2.9 and 1.9/1000 residents, respectively. Differences in outcomes were evident between states, and between municipal councils, welfare organizations and rescue groups. This study emphasizes the need for an ongoing standardized monitoring system with appropriate data routinely collected from all municipal councils, animal welfare organizations and rescue groups in Australia. Such a system would only require data that are easily collected by all relevant organizations and could be implemented at relatively low cost. This could facilitate ongoing evaluation of the magnitude of the surrendered and stray dog problem, and allow assessment of strategies aiming to reduce numbers of admissions and euthanasia. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Estimating the Availability of Potential Homes for Unwanted Horses in the United States
Animals 2017, 7(7), 53; doi:10.3390/ani7070053
Received: 8 May 2017 / Revised: 12 July 2017 / Accepted: 13 July 2017 / Published: 20 July 2017
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Abstract
There are approximately 200,000 unwanted horses annually in the United States. This study aimed to better understand the potential homes for horses that need to be re-homed. Using an independent survey company through an Omnibus telephone (land and cell) survey, we interviewed a
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There are approximately 200,000 unwanted horses annually in the United States. This study aimed to better understand the potential homes for horses that need to be re-homed. Using an independent survey company through an Omnibus telephone (land and cell) survey, we interviewed a nationally projectable sample of 3036 adults (using both landline and cellular phone numbers) to learn of their interest and capacity to adopt a horse. Potential adopters with interest in horses with medical and/or behavioral problems and self-assessed perceived capacity to adopt, constituted 0.92% of the total sample. Extrapolating the results of this survey using U.S. Census data, suggests there could be an estimated 1.25 million households who have both the self-reported and perceived resources and desire to house an unwanted horse. This number exceeds the estimated number of unwanted horses living each year in the United States. This study points to opportunities and need to increase communication and support between individuals and organizations that have unwanted horses to facilitate re-homing with people in their community willing to adopt them. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Ranging Behaviour of Commercial Free-Range Broiler Chickens 1: Factors Related to Flock Variability
Animals 2017, 7(7), 54; doi:10.3390/ani7070054
Received: 4 June 2017 / Revised: 14 July 2017 / Accepted: 16 July 2017 / Published: 20 July 2017
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Abstract
Little is known about the ranging behaviour of chickens. Understanding ranging behaviour is required to improve management and shed and range design to ensure optimal ranging opportunities. Using Radio Frequency Identification technology, we tracked 300 individual broiler chickens in each of four mixed
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Little is known about the ranging behaviour of chickens. Understanding ranging behaviour is required to improve management and shed and range design to ensure optimal ranging opportunities. Using Radio Frequency Identification technology, we tracked 300 individual broiler chickens in each of four mixed sex ROSS 308 flocks on one commercial farm across two seasons. Ranging behaviour was tracked from the first day of range access (21 days of age) until 35 days of age in winter and 44 days of age in summer. Range use was higher than previously reported from scan sampling studies. More chickens accessed the range in summer (81%) than winter (32%; p < 0.05). On average, daily frequency and duration of range use was greater in summer flocks (4.4 ± 0.1 visits for a total of 26.3 ± 0.8 min/day) than winter flocks (3.2 ± 0.2 visits for a total of 7.9 ± 1.0 min/day). Seasonal differences were only marginally explained by weather conditions and may reflect the reduction in range exposure between seasons (number of days, hours per day, and time of day). Specific times of the day (p < 0.01) and pop-holes were favoured (p < 0.05). We provide evidence of relationships between ranging and external factors that may explain ranging preferences. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Ranging Behaviour of Commercial Free-Range Broiler Chickens 2: Individual Variation
Animals 2017, 7(7), 55; doi:10.3390/ani7070055
Received: 4 June 2017 / Revised: 7 July 2017 / Accepted: 12 July 2017 / Published: 20 July 2017
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Abstract
Little is known about broiler chicken ranging behaviour. Previous studies have monitored ranging behaviour at flock level but whether individual ranging behaviour varies within a flock is unknown. Using Radio Frequency Identification technology, we tracked 1200 individual ROSS 308 broiler chickens across four
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Little is known about broiler chicken ranging behaviour. Previous studies have monitored ranging behaviour at flock level but whether individual ranging behaviour varies within a flock is unknown. Using Radio Frequency Identification technology, we tracked 1200 individual ROSS 308 broiler chickens across four mixed sex flocks in two seasons on one commercial farm. Ranging behaviour was tracked from first day of range access (21 days of age) until 35 days of age in winter flocks and 44 days of age in summer flocks. We identified groups of chickens that differed in frequency of range visits: chickens that never accessed the range (13 to 67% of tagged chickens), low ranging chickens (15 to 44% of tagged chickens) that accounted for <15% of all range visits and included chickens that used the range only once (6 to 12% of tagged chickens), and high ranging chickens (3 to 9% of tagged chickens) that accounted for 33 to 50% of all range visits. Males spent longer on the range than females in winter (p < 0.05). Identifying the causes of inter-individual variation in ranging behaviour may help optimise ranging opportunities in free-range systems and is important to elucidate the potential welfare implications of ranging. Full article
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Open AccessBrief Report A Note on Suckling Behavior and Laterality in Nursing Humpback Whale Calves from Underwater Observations
Animals 2017, 7(7), 51; doi:10.3390/ani7070051
Received: 13 June 2017 / Revised: 29 June 2017 / Accepted: 12 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
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Abstract
We investigated nursing behavior on the Hawaiian breeding grounds for first year humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) calves. We observed and video-documented underwater events with nursing behavior from five different whale groups. The observed nursing events include behaviors where a calf positions
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We investigated nursing behavior on the Hawaiian breeding grounds for first year humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) calves. We observed and video-documented underwater events with nursing behavior from five different whale groups. The observed nursing events include behaviors where a calf positions itself at a 30–45° angle to the midline of the mother’s body, with its mouth touching her mammary slit (i.e., suckling position). On two occasions, milk in the water column was recorded in close proximity to a mother/calf pair, and on one occasion, milk was recorded 2.5 min after suckling observed. Nursing events, where the calf was located in the suckling position, were found to be short in duration with a mean of 30.6 s (range 15.0–55.0, standard deviation (SD) = 16.9). All observations of the calf in the suckling position (n = 5, 100%) were with the calf located on the right side of the mother, suggesting a potential for right side laterality preference in the context of nursing behavior. Our study provides insight into mother/calf behaviors from a unique underwater vantage. Results supplement previous accounts of humpback whale nursing in Hawaiian waters, validate mother/calf positioning, document milk in the water column, and introduce the potential for laterality in nursing behavior for humpback whale calves. Full article
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Open AccessOpinion A Cultural Conscience for Conservation
Animals 2017, 7(7), 52; doi:10.3390/ani7070052
Received: 5 June 2017 / Revised: 6 July 2017 / Accepted: 13 July 2017 / Published: 20 July 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1836 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
On 2 July 2015, the killing of a lion nicknamed “Cecil” prompted the largest global reaction in the history of wildlife conservation. In response to this, it is propitious to consider the ways in which this moment can be developed into a financial
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On 2 July 2015, the killing of a lion nicknamed “Cecil” prompted the largest global reaction in the history of wildlife conservation. In response to this, it is propitious to consider the ways in which this moment can be developed into a financial movement to transform the conservation of species such as the lion that hold cultural significance and sentiment but whose numbers in the wild are dwindling dangerously. This provocative piece explores how a species royalty could be used effectively by drawing revenue from the heavy symbolic use of charismatic animals in affluent economies. This would, in turn, reduce strain on limited government funds in threatened animals’ native homelands. Three potential areas of lucrative animal symbolism—fashion, sports mascots, and national animals—provide examples of the kind of revenue that could be created from a species royalty. These examples also demonstrate how this royalty could prove to be a desirable means by which both corporations and consumers could positively develop their desired selves while simultaneously contributing to a relevant and urgent cause. These examples intend to ignite a multi-disciplinary conversation on the global cultural economy’s use of endangered species symbols. An overhaul in perspective and practice is needed because time is running out for much of the wildlife and their ecosystems that embellish products and embody anthropocentric business identities. Full article
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