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Animals, Volume 7, Issue 8 (August 2017)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Welfare Status of Working Horses and Owners′ Perceptions of Their Animals
Animals 2017, 7(8), 56; doi:10.3390/ani7080056
Received: 5 June 2017 / Revised: 27 July 2017 / Accepted: 27 July 2017 / Published: 1 August 2017
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Abstract
Appropriate interventions to improve working equine welfare should be proposed according to scientific evidence that arises from different geo-cultural contexts. This study aims to assess and compare the welfare status of working horses in two administrative regions of Chile and to determine how
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Appropriate interventions to improve working equine welfare should be proposed according to scientific evidence that arises from different geo-cultural contexts. This study aims to assess and compare the welfare status of working horses in two administrative regions of Chile and to determine how owners perceive their horses. Horses’ welfare status was assessed through direct indicators (direct observation and clinical examination) and indirect indicators (an interview with the owner). Owners′ perceptions of their horses were determined through a discourse analysis of their statements. In total, 100 horses and 100 owners were assessed. Results showed a low prevalence of health problems and negative behavior responses among horses in the two regions evaluated. Significant associations were found between inadequate body condition and the absence of deworming, and between hoof abnormalities and a low frequency of shoeing. Between regions, significant differences were found in the presence of lesions and the person responsible for horseshoeing. In regards to the owners′ appreciations, two differing perceptions of working horses were found: a predominantly affective perception and a perception of the animal as a working instrument. Although the instrumental perception was more frequent in the Araucania region, the affective perception was widely shared by both owner populations. The results reveal a good welfare status in working horses and suggest that both affective and instrumental perceptions of these animals can coexist. Full article
Open AccessArticle Direct Observation of Dog Density and Composition during Street Counts as a Resource Efficient Method of Measuring Variation in Roaming Dog Populations over Time and between Locations
Animals 2017, 7(8), 57; doi:10.3390/ani7080057
Received: 29 May 2017 / Revised: 21 July 2017 / Accepted: 28 July 2017 / Published: 3 August 2017
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Abstract
Dog population management is conducted in many countries to address the public health risks from roaming dogs and threats to their welfare. To assess its effectiveness, we need to monitor indicators from both the human and dog populations that are quick and easy
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Dog population management is conducted in many countries to address the public health risks from roaming dogs and threats to their welfare. To assess its effectiveness, we need to monitor indicators from both the human and dog populations that are quick and easy to collect, precise and meaningful to intervention managers, donors and local citizens. We propose that the most appropriate indicators from the roaming dog population are population density and composition, based on counting dogs along standard routes using a standard survey protocol. Smart phone apps are used to navigate and record dogs along standard routes. Density expressed as dogs seen per km predicts the number of dogs residents will encounter as they commute to work or school and is therefore more meaningful than total population size. Composition in terms of gender, age and reproductive activity is measured alongside welfare, in terms of body and skin condition. The implementation of this method in seven locations reveals significant difference in roaming dog density between locations and reduction in density within one location subject to intervention. This method provides a resource efficient and reliable measure of roaming dog density, composition and welfare for the assessment of intervention impact. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Stated Preferences for Dog Characteristics and Sources of Acquisition
Animals 2017, 7(8), 59; doi:10.3390/ani7080059
Received: 20 June 2017 / Revised: 22 July 2017 / Accepted: 3 August 2017 / Published: 5 August 2017
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Abstract
People’s preferences for where they acquire dogs and the characteristics they focus on may provide insight into their perceptions of socially responsible pet ownership, as acquiring a dog is the first step in dog ownership. An online survey of 1523 U.S. residents was
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People’s preferences for where they acquire dogs and the characteristics they focus on may provide insight into their perceptions of socially responsible pet ownership, as acquiring a dog is the first step in dog ownership. An online survey of 1523 U.S. residents was used to aid understanding of public perceptions of dog acquisition. Likert-scale questions allowed respondents to assign a level of agreement, within the given scale, to ten statements related to dog acquisition. A significantly higher percentage of women (39.6%) than men (31.7%) agreed that the only responsible way to acquire a dog is through a shelter/rescue. More women (71.3%) than men (66.4%), as well as those with a higher household income (71%), identified source as important. Best-worst methodology was used to elicit perceptions regarding the most/least ethical ways to acquire a dog. Three subgroups were identified, one of which had an overwhelmingly large preference share (96%) for adoption. The second group had more evenly distributed preference shares amongst the various dog acquisition methods, while the third indicated a preference for “homeless” pets. Additional investigation of the values/beliefs underlying the preferences of these groups is necessary to design appropriately tailored companion animal-focused communication strategies for these different groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Sheltering)
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Open AccessArticle Optimum Drug Combinations for the Sedation of Growing Boars Prior to Castration
Animals 2017, 7(8), 61; doi:10.3390/ani7080061
Received: 29 June 2017 / Revised: 31 July 2017 / Accepted: 7 August 2017 / Published: 10 August 2017
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Abstract
Juvenile male pigs were sedated for castration. Eight five-month old boars were sedated twice (two weeks apart) with a combination of detomidine (0.1 mg/kg), midazolam (0.2 mg/kg) and either butorphanol (0.2 mg/kg) (Group MDB, n = 8) or morphine (0.2 mg/kg) (Group MDM,
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Juvenile male pigs were sedated for castration. Eight five-month old boars were sedated twice (two weeks apart) with a combination of detomidine (0.1 mg/kg), midazolam (0.2 mg/kg) and either butorphanol (0.2 mg/kg) (Group MDB, n = 8) or morphine (0.2 mg/kg) (Group MDM, n = 8) intramuscularly. The boars were positioned in lateral recumbency and lidocaine (200 mg total) was injected into the testicle and scrotal skin. Castration of a single testicle was performed on two occasions. Sedation and reaction (to positioning and surgery) scores, pulse rate, respiratory rate, haemoglobin oxygen saturation, body temperature, arterial blood gas parameters and the times to immobility and then recovery were recorded. Atipamezole was administered if spontaneous recovery was not evident within 60 min of sedative administration. Data were compared with either a paired-sample t-test or a Wilcoxon-Signed Rank Test. There was no difference in sedation score, body temperature, respiratory rate and haemoglobin oxygen saturation between MDB and MDM. Mild hypoxaemia was noted in both groups. There was less reaction to castration after MDB. The pulse rate was higher after MDM sedation. The times to immobility and then recovery were similar. The combination of MDB provided more reliable sedation than MDM. MDB may be useful for sedation for short procedures in pigs, though oxygen supplementation is recommended to avoid hypoxaemia. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Epidemiology of Musculoskeletal Injury during Racing on New Zealand Racetracks 2005–2011
Animals 2017, 7(8), 62; doi:10.3390/ani7080062
Received: 12 May 2017 / Revised: 17 July 2017 / Accepted: 5 August 2017 / Published: 11 August 2017
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Abstract
The objective of the study was to determine the incidence of veterinary events that resulted in a horse failing to finish a race and identify risk factors for musculoskeletal injury (MSI) during a race. Data were obtained on Thoroughbred flat race starts in
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The objective of the study was to determine the incidence of veterinary events that resulted in a horse failing to finish a race and identify risk factors for musculoskeletal injury (MSI) during a race. Data were obtained on Thoroughbred flat race starts in New Zealand between 1 August 2005 and 31 July 2011 (six racing seasons). Stipendiary Steward’s reports were key-word searched to identify veterinary events that prevented a horse from finishing a race. Race data were used calculate the incidence of veterinary events per 1000 horse starts and Poisson regression was used to investigate risk factors for MSI. There were 188,616 race starts and 177 reported veterinary events. The incidence of MSI on race day was 0.72 per 1000 starts, whilst the incidence of respiratory events was 0.21 per 1000 starts. The rate of MSI was significantly lower on ‘dead’ and ‘slow’ tracks compared with ‘good’ tracks and significantly greater in longer races (≥1671 m) compared with races of ≤1200 m. The rate of MSI during flat races in New Zealand appears lower than that reported worldwide, which may be due to the management and training of horses in New Zealand or differences in case definitions used in comparable studies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Veterinary and Equine Science Students’ Interpretation of Horse Behaviour
Animals 2017, 7(8), 63; doi:10.3390/ani7080063
Received: 1 July 2017 / Revised: 7 August 2017 / Accepted: 12 August 2017 / Published: 15 August 2017
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Abstract
Many veterinary and undergraduate equine science students have little previous horse handling experience and a poor understanding of horse behaviour; yet horses are one of the most unsafe animals with which veterinary students must work. It is essential for veterinary and equine students
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Many veterinary and undergraduate equine science students have little previous horse handling experience and a poor understanding of horse behaviour; yet horses are one of the most unsafe animals with which veterinary students must work. It is essential for veterinary and equine students to learn how to interpret horse behaviour in order to understand demeanour and levels of arousal, and to optimise their own safety and the horses’ welfare. The study utilised a qualitative research approach to investigate veterinary science and veterinary technology and undergraduate equine science students’ interpretation of expressive behaviours shown by horses. The students (N = 127) were shown six short video clips and asked to select the most applicable terms, from a pre-determined list, to describe the behavioural expression of each individual horse. A wide variation of terms were selected by students and in some situations of distress, or situations that may be dangerous or lead to compromised welfare, apparently contradictory terms were also selected (happy or playful) by students with less experience with horses. Future studies should consider the use of Qualitative Behavioural Analysis (QBA) and free-choice profiling to investigate the range of terms used by students to describe the expressive demeanour and arousal levels of horses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle American Citizens’ Views of an Ideal Pig Farm
Animals 2017, 7(8), 64; doi:10.3390/ani7080064
Received: 10 July 2017 / Revised: 15 August 2017 / Accepted: 19 August 2017 / Published: 22 August 2017
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Abstract
Food animal production practices are often cited as having negative animal welfare consequences. The U.S. swine industry has not been exempt from such criticisms. Little is known, however, about how lay citizens who are not actively engaged in agricultural discussions, think about swine
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Food animal production practices are often cited as having negative animal welfare consequences. The U.S. swine industry has not been exempt from such criticisms. Little is known, however, about how lay citizens who are not actively engaged in agricultural discussions, think about swine production. Thus, the aim of this study was to explore the views of people not affiliated with the swine industry on what they perceived to be the ideal pig/pork farm, and their associated reasons. Through an online survey, participants were invited to respond to the following open-ended question: “What do you consider to be an ideal pig/pork farm and why are these characteristics important to you?”. Generally respondents considered animal welfare (e.g., space, freedom to move, and humane treatment), respondents considered the business operation role important for pork production (e.g., profitability, compliance with sanitary, environmental rules and regulations, and workers′ rights), and naturalness (e.g., natural feeding, behaviours and life) important for pork production. Concerns relating to pigs’ quality of life included space to move, feeding, contact with outdoors or nature, absence of pain, suffering and mistreatment. Perspectives were also raised regarding the ideal farm as a profitable business operation, clean, and with optimal sanitary conditions. Respondents also emphasized naturalness, frequently stating that pigs should have access to the outdoors, and rejected the use of hormones, antibiotics, and other chemicals for the purposes of increasing production. In summary, the findings of this study suggest that the U.S. swine industry should strive to adopt animal management practices that resonate with societal values, such as ensuring humane treatment, and the failure to do so could risk the sustainability of the swine industry. Full article

Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Operational Details of the Five Domains Model and Its Key Applications to the Assessment and Management of Animal Welfare
Animals 2017, 7(8), 60; doi:10.3390/ani7080060
Received: 19 June 2017 / Revised: 3 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 August 2017 / Published: 9 August 2017
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Abstract
In accord with contemporary animal welfare science understanding, the Five Domains Model has a significant focus on subjective experiences, known as affects, which collectively contribute to an animal’s overall welfare state. Operationally, the focus of the Model is on the presence or absence
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In accord with contemporary animal welfare science understanding, the Five Domains Model has a significant focus on subjective experiences, known as affects, which collectively contribute to an animal’s overall welfare state. Operationally, the focus of the Model is on the presence or absence of various internal physical/functional states and external circumstances that give rise to welfare-relevant negative and/or positive mental experiences, i.e., affects. The internal states and external circumstances of animals are evaluated systematically by referring to each of the first four domains of the Model, designated “Nutrition”, “Environment”, “Health” and “Behaviour”. Then affects, considered carefully and cautiously to be generated by factors in these domains, are accumulated into the fifth domain, designated “Mental State”. The scientific foundations of this operational procedure, published in detail elsewhere, are described briefly here, and then seven key ways the Model may be applied to the assessment and management of animal welfare are considered. These applications have the following beneficial objectives—they (1) specify key general foci for animal welfare management; (2) highlight the foundations of specific welfare management objectives; (3) identify previously unrecognised features of poor and good welfare; (4) enable monitoring of responses to specific welfare-focused remedial interventions and/or maintenance activities; (5) facilitate qualitative grading of particular features of welfare compromise and/or enhancement; (6) enable both prospective and retrospective animal welfare assessments to be conducted; and, (7) provide adjunct information to support consideration of quality of life evaluations in the context of end-of-life decisions. However, also noted is the importance of not overstating what utilisation of the Model can achieve. Full article
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Other

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Open AccessErratum Erratum: Caroline Good; et al.; A Cultural Conscience for Conservation. Animals 2017, 7, 52
Animals 2017, 7(8), 58; doi:10.3390/ani7080058
Received: 4 August 2017 / Revised: 4 August 2017 / Accepted: 4 August 2017 / Published: 4 August 2017
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