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Proceedings, 2021, IECA 2020

The 1st International Electronic Conference on Animals—Global Sustainability and Animals: Science, Ethics and Policy

Online| 5–20 December 2020

Volume Editor:
Clive J. C. Phillips, 1 Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonia; 2 Curtin University, Australia

Number of Papers: 16
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Cover Story (view full-size image): This volume presents a collection of the contributions made to the ”1st International Electronic Conference on Animals—Global Sustainability and Animals: Science, Ethics and Policy” [...] Read more.
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Poster Session

Jump to: Research

141 KiB  
Abstract
Chunky Reproduces Better? Small Rodent Fertility and Fitness in Commercial Orchards
Proceedings 2021, 73(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECA2020-08541 - 24 Nov 2020
Viewed by 398
Abstract
Rodents are an important part of agricultural ecosystems, including within commercial orchards. In 2018–2020, we studied small mammals in commercial orchards in Lithuania (northern Europe), snap-trapping them twice a year (in June–July and September–October, 1450 individuals, 11 species) at 18 sites across central, [...] Read more.
Rodents are an important part of agricultural ecosystems, including within commercial orchards. In 2018–2020, we studied small mammals in commercial orchards in Lithuania (northern Europe), snap-trapping them twice a year (in June–July and September–October, 1450 individuals, 11 species) at 18 sites across central, northern, eastern, southern and western parts of the country. Sites were located in apple and plum orchards, as well as currant, raspberry and highbush blueberry plantations, with each site also having a control habitat (meadow or forest) adjacent. We present results of our analysis of body condition, based on body weight and body length in relation to the habitat type and the intensity of agricultural activities, and reproduction parameters (litter size, pregnancy disruption) in common, bank, short-tailed and root voles as well as yellow-necked and striped field mice, accounting for over 96% of trapped rodents. The average body condition index of Apodemus flavicollis was C = 3.39, that of Apodemus agrarius was C = 3.38, and those of Microtus agrestis, Microtus arvalis, Clethrionomys glareolus and Microtus oeconomus were C = 3.29, 3.25, 3.23 and 3.01, respectively. Body condition of rodents was significantly dependent on species (p < 0.0001), age (p < 0.005) and gender (p < 0.05) of the individual, season (p < 0.0001) and habitat (p < 0.05); the influence of crop age (p = 0.07) and intensity of agricultural practices (p = 0.12) was much weaker or insignificant. We found observed litter size decreasing in autumn in all rodents; that in M. arvalis and A. flavicollis was significant, and there was a tendency for it to decrease in M. oeconomus. A decrease in the observed litter size in areas with a higher intensity of agricultural practices was registered for M. arvalis and M. oeconomus, the trend in M. glareolus was not significant. In A. flavicollis, litter size was similar irrespective of the intensity of agricultural practices. In spring, litter size was significantly correlated with the female body mass in M. oeconomus (r = 0.67, p < 0.05, body mass explained 45% of variation of the litter size) and A. flavicollis (r = 0.53, p < 0.005, 27% of litter size variation explained). In autumn, litter size and female body mass were positively correlated in all rodent species. Female body condition index and litter size correlations were weak. Therefore, old orchards with a low intensity of agricultural practices are important habitats, maintaining sustainable rodent populations and diversity of animals in the agrolandscape. Full article
129 KiB  
Abstract
Gastrointestinal Microflora Homeostasis, Immunity and Growth Performance of Rabbits Supplemented with Innovative Non-Encapsulated or Encapsulated Synbiotic
Proceedings 2021, 73(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECA2020-08894 - 04 Dec 2020
Viewed by 539
Abstract
Synbiotics are a mixture of probiotics (live microbes) and prebiotics (nutrients for intestinal microbiota—soluble fibers, polyphenols, and polyunsaturated fatty acids) that are now being considered important tools to help in maintaining animals in good health. Synbiotics may improve animal health through different effects. [...] Read more.
Synbiotics are a mixture of probiotics (live microbes) and prebiotics (nutrients for intestinal microbiota—soluble fibers, polyphenols, and polyunsaturated fatty acids) that are now being considered important tools to help in maintaining animals in good health. Synbiotics may improve animal health through different effects. Synbiotics can modulate the gastrointestinal microbiota community in favor of beneficial intestinal and cecal microorganisms, improve immune system functions, and provide specific active molecules that can improve the digestion of feed and absorption of nutrients. Achieving adequate efficiency of the synbiotic products depends on maintaining probiotic survival and prebiotic stability against processing, storage, and gastrointestinal conditions. The development of nano-encapsulation technique facilitates the protection of live microorganism as well as the controlled and sustained release of bioactive molecules. In this study, the synbiotic, fabricated to be used as a dietary supplement for growing rabbits, consisted of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast (SCY) and Moringa oleifera leaf extract (MOLE) encapsulated, or not, with alginate nanoparticles. Sixty-four, 40-day-old, growing rabbits were equally allocated into four groups, receiving per each kg diet: non-capsulated 11 × 1012 SCY + 0.15 g MOLE (NCS), encapsulated 5.5 × 1012 SCY + 0.075 g MOLE (LCS) encapsulated 11 × 1012 SCY + 0.15 g MOLE (HCS), or no synbiotic (control). The treatments continued for six consecutive weeks, from 40 to 82 days of age. During the experimental period, growth performance variables including body weight (BW), feed consumption, BW gain, and feed conversion ratio were recorded weekly. At the end of the treatment, at 82 days of age, blood samples and intestinal and cecal samples were individually collected from six randomly selected rabbits. Also, in vitro gastrointestinal system simulation was used to test the survival of the yeast cells through the gastrointestinal tract. Results revealed that the encapsulation process significantly improved yeast survival against gastric and intestinal digestion. Compared to the control, NCS and LCS treatments, the HCS treatment increased the number of intestinal and cecal yeast cells (p < 0.05) and lactobacillus bacteria (p = 0.062) and decreased the number of salmonella (p < 0.05) and coliform (p = 0.08) bacteria. Rabbits treated with HCS had the highest (p < 0.05) phagocytic activity, lysosomal activity, and lowest serum concentrations of immunoglobulin E and malondialdehyde compared to the control, NCS and LCS treatments. The HCS treatment significantly improved body weight gain and feed conversion ratio compared to control treatment, while the NCS and LCS treatments showed intermediate values. In conclusion, the encapsulation process improved the efficiency of the innovative synbiotic. The high dose of encapsulated synbiotic adjusted gut microflora constitutes and boosted the immunity and growth performance of rabbits during the fattening period. These positive effects on immunity and growth performance are mostly related to the prevalence of beneficial intestinal and cecal microorganisms, indicating the opportunity of using synbiotics, specifically in an encapsulated form, as antibiotic alternatives. These findings pave the way towards more sustainable animal production, ensuring the maintenance of adequate animal health while excluding the hazards of antibiotics use and their related risks to the health of humans and animals. Full article
137 KiB  
Abstract
Metabolic Adaptations to Dynamic Energy Requirements during Lactation and Pregnancy in Dairy Cows with Varying Proportions of Holstein and Simmental Breed
Proceedings 2021, 73(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECA2020-08833 - 02 Dec 2020
Viewed by 388
Abstract
Depending on the breed or crossbreed line, cows have to cope with a more or less severe negative energy balance during the period of high milk yields in early lactation, which can be detected by beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA) and non-esterified fatty acids (NEFAs) in [...] Read more.
Depending on the breed or crossbreed line, cows have to cope with a more or less severe negative energy balance during the period of high milk yields in early lactation, which can be detected by beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA) and non-esterified fatty acids (NEFAs) in blood. Preventing cows from undergoing a severe negative energy balance by breeding and/or feeding measures is likely to be supported by the public and may help to improve the sustainability of milk production. The aim was to compare BHBA and NEFA concentrations in the blood of Holstein and Simmental cows and their crosses during the prepartum period until the end of lactation. In total, 164 cows formed five genetic groups according to their theoretic proportion of Holstein and Simmental genes as follows: Holstein (100% Holstein; n = 9), R1-Hol (51–99% Holstein; n = 30), F1 crossbreds (50% Holstein, 50% Simmental; n = 17), R1-Sim (1–49% Holstein; n = 81) and Simmental (100% Simmental; n = 27). NEFA and BHBA were evaluated once a week between April 2018 and August 2019. A mixed model analysis with fixed effects breed, week (relative to calving), the interaction of breed and week, parity, calving year, calving season, milking season, and the repeated measure effect on cows was used. Holstein cows had higher NEFAs (0.196 ± 0.013 mmol/L), and Simmental cows had the lowest NEFA concentrations (0.147 ± 0.008 mmol/L, p = 0.03). R1-Sim, F1 and R1-Hol cows had intermediate values (0.166 ± 0.005, 0.165 ± 0.010, 0.162 ± 0.008 mmol/L; respectively). The highest NEFA value was found in the first week after calving (0.49 ± 0.013 mmol/L). BHBA did not differ among genetic groups (p = 0.1007). There was, however, an interaction between the genetic group and week (p = 0.03). While Simmental, R1-Sim and F1 cows had the highest BHBA value, the second week after calving (0.92 ± 0.07 and 1.05 ± 0.04, and 1.10 ± 0.10 mmol/L, respectively), R1-Hol and Holstein cows showed the BHBA peak at the fourth week after calving (1.16 ± 0.07 and 1.36 ± 0.12 mmol/L, respectively). Unexpectedly, Holstein cows had a high BHBA peak again at week 34 after calving (1.68 ± 0.21 mmol/L). The genetic composition of the cows affects NEFA and BHBA. Simmental and R1-Sim cows mobilize fewer body reserves after calving. Therefore, dairy cows with higher degrees of Simmental origin might be more sustainable in comparison with Holstein genetics in the present study. Full article
151 KiB  
Abstract
Livestock Production: Climate and Sustainability Impacts
Proceedings 2021, 73(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECA2020-07787 - 10 Nov 2020
Viewed by 396
Abstract
Despite abundant evidence about the large contribution of livestock production to climate change and its serious negative impacts on sustainability, it has only recently started to come under scrutiny. Greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, biodiversity loss, the inefficient use of natural resources, and the [...] Read more.
Despite abundant evidence about the large contribution of livestock production to climate change and its serious negative impacts on sustainability, it has only recently started to come under scrutiny. Greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, biodiversity loss, the inefficient use of natural resources, and the application of antibiotics are some of the aspects associated with the current and increasing trends in the supply of livestock food products. With sustainability being an anthropocentric concept, there seems to be little concern about animal exploitation and limited discussion about the role of livestock in improving human quality of life. The presentation provides an overview of the climate and sustainability impacts of livestock production and argues that an increase in the adoption of plant-based options is a win-win situation for all the species on this planet. Full article
111 KiB  
Abstract
Demand for Animal-Based Food Products and Sustainability
Proceedings 2021, 73(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECA2020-08817 - 02 Dec 2020
Viewed by 540
Abstract
The demand for animal-based food products is growing across the world, and many are consciously consuming a protein-rich diet. However, the growing consumption of animal proteins contradicts the Earth’s ability to sustainably feed its population. Curbing emissions from agriculture, and especially from livestock [...] Read more.
The demand for animal-based food products is growing across the world, and many are consciously consuming a protein-rich diet. However, the growing consumption of animal proteins contradicts the Earth’s ability to sustainably feed its population. Curbing emissions from agriculture, and especially from livestock production, is essential to fulfilling the Paris Agreement and shifting to a different diet, including EAT-Lancet’s Planetary Health Diet, the flexitarian diet, and other ethically based dietary choices. Consuming modest or lower amounts of meat is viewed as one of the ways toward achieving sustainability. An increased focus on plant-based foods and other meat alternatives presents a strong potential for reducing agriculture-induced emissions and transitioning towards a more plant-based agricultural sector and underlines the need for worldwide national policies incentivizing this transition. The presentation explores whether consumers are ready to shift to a diet that is better for their health and that of the natural environment. Full article

Research

Jump to: Poster Session

427 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Perception of Animal Welfare in Laying Hens and Willingness-to-Pay of Eggs of Consumers in Santiago, Chile
Proceedings 2021, 73(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECA2020-08836 - 02 Dec 2020
Viewed by 706
Abstract
We investigated the current knowledge of animal welfare issues, the perception of current welfare of laying hens, and the willingness-to-pay in consumers in Santiago, the main city and capital of Chile. Most people were well educated in animal welfare concepts, and declared that [...] Read more.
We investigated the current knowledge of animal welfare issues, the perception of current welfare of laying hens, and the willingness-to-pay in consumers in Santiago, the main city and capital of Chile. Most people were well educated in animal welfare concepts, and declared that the welfare of laying hens is very important and should be protected, and were willing to pay between 5% and 10% of current value for eggs produced in welfare-friendly systems. Our results show a clear predisposition for choosing products derived from animal production systems that respect animal welfare, which should be considered for the sustainability of egg production in Chile. Full article
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375 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
A 20-Year Analysis of the Evolution of Automatic Milking Systems: Processes, Technologies and Livestock Environment
Proceedings 2021, 73(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECA2020-08825 - 02 Dec 2020
Viewed by 563
Abstract
Over the last 20 years, the dairy industry has implemented new technologies related to automatic milking systems (AMS). AMSs have the potential to maximize milk production and animals’ welfare thanks to voluntary milking access, as well as to increase the resource efficiency and [...] Read more.
Over the last 20 years, the dairy industry has implemented new technologies related to automatic milking systems (AMS). AMSs have the potential to maximize milk production and animals’ welfare thanks to voluntary milking access, as well as to increase the resource efficiency and environmental sustainability of dairy farms. In this study we assessed the state of the art of research on AMS through a systematic review of patent trends in the last two decades. Patents from the last 20 years were extracted from the EspaceNet database. Terms appearing in titles and abstracts of a total of 154 patents were processed using a text mining approach, ignoring low-frequency and meaningless words, and including stemming analysis to aggregate variant forms of the same word. Four clusters were identified: Components, Sensors, Process and Animal. The results showed that the highest number of patents was yielded in the early 2000s, thus indicating great interest in AMS in the initial period. The cluster trend pointed out that the focus on the animal and sensing technologies has been constant over time. In recent years, the priority of research has shifted towards process efficiency and components. Detailed analysis of clusters allowed us to appreciate an increasing interest in the animals’ health and body conditions over time (+249% and +391% from 2000 to 2019, respectively). The processes which showed increasing relevance were the ones related to the cleaning of facilities (+291%). The study of new sensing technologies has focused primarily on imaging, allowing researchers to develop new decision models (+348%). The results suggest that AMS patents are moving their attention towards more efficient and sustainable systems. This trend represents an important opportunity for a significant increase in the sustainability of the dairy sector, not only for animals but also for the farmers through the efficient use of the resources, thus enhancing the consumer’s perception of sustainability. Full article
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624 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Influence of Exercise Enrichment on Feedlot Cattle Behaviour and the Human–Animal Relationship
Proceedings 2021, 73(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECA2020-08824 - 02 Dec 2020
Viewed by 680
Abstract
Finding practicable and cost-effective enrichment for cattle in feedlots is challenging. While enrichment should not negatively impact productivity, it could assist in improving feedlot sustainability by addressing societal concern that cattle have restricted, unnatural lives. In a feedlot 250 km northeast of Perth, [...] Read more.
Finding practicable and cost-effective enrichment for cattle in feedlots is challenging. While enrichment should not negatively impact productivity, it could assist in improving feedlot sustainability by addressing societal concern that cattle have restricted, unnatural lives. In a feedlot 250 km northeast of Perth, 287 mixed-breed Bos taurus cattle were provided with two different exercise treatments (1 = exercised in pen, 2 = exercised in laneway) and a control pen. Cattle were exercised using low-stress stock handling 2–3 times/week for approximately 20 min between days 40–80 of a 120-day feeding program. Body weights, crush temperament and crush exit speeds were collected on days 40 and 80, while behavioural testing was conducted on days 41, 60 and 79 in home pens. Body weight was found to significantly increase for all pens, however, weight gains between treatments did not significantly differ (p < 0.05). However, a smaller and higher range of weight gains were found for exercised pens. The control pen had two animals lose weight, suggesting that while enrichment did not negatively impact productivity, there was a possible positive influence. Cattle exercised in the laneway were found to be less responsive and recovered quickly post exposure to a novel human. Cattle exercised in-pen were less reactive during avoidance and novel person tests, showing an improved human–animal relationship. This pilot study showed that exercise impacted cattle behaviour and the human–animal relationship, which could assist feedlot sustainability. Full article
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202 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Post-Mortem Energy Metabolites, Glycolytic Potential, and Meat Quality Attributes from of Dorper and Merino Lambs
Proceedings 2021, 73(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECA2020-08837 - 02 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 568
Abstract
This study was conducted to evaluate the susceptibility of the Dorper and Merino breeds to pre-slaughter condition stress at a commercial abattoir and how it affects the quality of the meat produced. The objective of this study was to investigate differences in post-mortem [...] Read more.
This study was conducted to evaluate the susceptibility of the Dorper and Merino breeds to pre-slaughter condition stress at a commercial abattoir and how it affects the quality of the meat produced. The objective of this study was to investigate differences in post-mortem energy metabolites, glycolytic potential and meat quality attributes from the longissimus thoracis et lumborum (LTL) between Dorper and Merino lambs slaughtered at a commercial abattoir. Meat samples (~50 g of LTL) harvested from 100 female eight-month old of the Dorper (n = 50) and Merino (n = 50) lambs were used in this study. For measuring post-mortem energy metabolites (glycogen, lactate, glucose-6-phosphate and glucose content), sampling was done on each carcass ~30 min post-slaughter and the samples were immediately frozen (−196 °C) in liquid nitrogen to prevent further glycolysis. The pH and temperature were measured 45 min, 6 and 24 h post-slaughter, and carcass measurements were taken. Color coordinates (lightness (L*), redness (a*), yellowness (b*)) were measured at 24 h after slaughter and hue angle (H*) and chroma (C*) were calculated. Furthermore, thawing loss (TL), cooking loss (CL) and Warner Braztler Shear Force (WBSF) were measured after 7 days post-slaughter storage (−20 °C). The Dorper had lower glycogen levels and thus produced meat with a high ultimate pH and tougher meat compared to the Merino breed. The relationships observed between post-mortem muscle metabolites, glycolytic potential and meat quality attributes indicate that meat quality is affected by glycogen levels at slaughter. The results indicate that the Dorper breed was more susceptible to pre-slaughter stress and thus produced meat with reduced quality compared to the Merino breed. Full article
300 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Keeping Dairy Cows for Longer: A Critical Literature Review on Dairy Cow Longevity in High Milk-Producing Countries
Proceedings 2021, 73(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECA2020-08827 - 02 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 895
Abstract
The ability of dairy farmers to keep their cows for longer could positively enhance the economic performance of farms, reduce the environmental footprint of the milk industry, and provide overall help in justifying a sustainable use of animals for food production. However, there [...] Read more.
The ability of dairy farmers to keep their cows for longer could positively enhance the economic performance of farms, reduce the environmental footprint of the milk industry, and provide overall help in justifying a sustainable use of animals for food production. However, there is little yet published on the current status of cow longevity and we hypothesized that a reason may be a lack of standardization and an over narrow focus of the longevity measure itself. The objectives of this critical literature review were: (1) to review the metrics used to measure dairy cow longevity in order to determine those most commonly employed; (2) to describe the status of longevity in high milk-producing countries. Current metrics are limited to either the length of time the animal remains in the herd or if it is alive at a given time. To overcome such a limitation, dairy cow longevity should be first defined as an animal having an early age at first calving and a long productive life spent in profitable milk production. Combining age at first calving, length of productive life, and margin overall costs would provide a more comprehensive evaluation of longevity by covering both early life conditions and the length of time the animal remains in the herd once it starts to contribute to the farm revenues, as well as overall animal health and quality of life. In addition, this review confirms that dairy cow longevity has decreased in most high milk-producing countries over time and its relationship with milk yield is not straight forward. Increasing cow longevity by reducing involuntary culling would cut health costs, increase cow lifetime profitability, improve animal welfare, and could contribute towards a more sustainable dairy industry while optimizing dairy farmers’ efficiency in the overall use of resources available. Full article
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206 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Is an Animal Welfare Label Enough? Role of Farm Animal Welfare Voluntary Labelling Schemes in the Development of Sustainable Livestock Production
Proceedings 2021, 73(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECA2020-08831 - 02 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1072
Abstract
Intensive livestock production devoid of elementary foundations for the welfare of farm animals is nowadays identified as one of the main factors contributing to the growing environmental and social threats. Public opinion associates the welfare of farm animals with values relating to health, [...] Read more.
Intensive livestock production devoid of elementary foundations for the welfare of farm animals is nowadays identified as one of the main factors contributing to the growing environmental and social threats. Public opinion associates the welfare of farm animals with values relating to health, food quality, ethical approach to animals and protection of the environment and climate. Accordingly, the social conceptualization of farm animal welfare plays an important role in guiding EU policy and developing animal welfare law. It also becomes a prerequisite for solving social and environmental problems resulting from intensive animal production. Farm animal welfare is an intangible and credence attribute of food and as such requires a means of informing consumers about it. The most preferred form of communication about the welfare level of farm animals among consumers are farm animal welfare labels. Both consumer preferences and their expectations of how farm animal welfare is communicated are reflected in the development of public and private food labelling systems in the European Union. Therefore, the main aim of the study was to analyse the selected farm animal welfare voluntary labelling schemes in terms of their potential for the development of sustainable animal production in the EU. The result of the study shows the differences and similarities in this respect between public and private systems, in relation to four criteria—values associated by consumers with the welfare of farm animals—health, food quality, ethics and environmental protection. We provide an overview of these systems and their role in increasing farm animal welfare standards. We conclude that it is particularly important to verify if the shift from production-related concern to social and consumer-related concern can constitute a sufficient and effective form for a systemic change transforming current animal production into production based on higher livestock welfare standards. Full article
226 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Is There a Wild Animal Welfare Emergency Facilitated by Negative Linguistic Framing in Wildlife Population Control Studies?
Proceedings 2021, 73(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECA2020-08828 - 02 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 651
Abstract
As the world’s human population continues grow in number and mobility, and the impacts of climate change take effect, the opportunities for problematic relationships with non-human animals multiply. There are escalating threats to health from wild vectors of zoonotic disease, and so-called “invasive” [...] Read more.
As the world’s human population continues grow in number and mobility, and the impacts of climate change take effect, the opportunities for problematic relationships with non-human animals multiply. There are escalating threats to health from wild vectors of zoonotic disease, and so-called “invasive” species have been identified as a significant direct driver of an unprecedented period of global biodiversity loss. This brings a sense of genuine urgency to control problematic wild populations; in the UK alone, it is estimated that 38 million wild mammals and birds are killed as pests. However, the impact of these animals is not always objectively appraised. Control interventions are often ineffective, may be counterproductive and can cause severe suffering. Decisions about when, where and how to control animal populations can be affected by attitudes and philosophical perspectives, influenced by how language is used. A systematic review of wildlife population control studies was carried out to determine whether negative linguistic framing of animals was associated with poor welfare outcomes. Framework analysis of titles, abstracts and keywords was used, and assessments made of the welfare impacts of control methods. This analysis revealed language that framed target populations in terms of War, Threat, Place, Victim, Value, Sentience and Naturalness with a range of associated themes. There was a relationship between negative framing and methods with the most adverse welfare outcomes, but the effect was not consistent. It was clear that there are cultural conventions within the science that were reinforced or challenged depending on many factors including the status of the species and the context of the intervention. More work to explore and challenge cultural conventions in describing targeted animals, and robust reporting of the welfare impacts of control methods are needed to tackle this, often disregarded, animal welfare emergency. Full article
383 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Opportunities for Improving Feed Use Efficiency for Sustainable Dairy Production in Pakistan
Proceedings 2021, 73(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECA2020-08826 - 02 Dec 2020
Viewed by 947
Abstract
Buffalo and cattle are main dairy animals of Pakistan, making 30% of the total livestock. Out of total milk produced in the country, buffalo contributes about 68%, followed by cattle (27%), rest (5%) by sheep, goats, and camels. They are kept both in [...] Read more.
Buffalo and cattle are main dairy animals of Pakistan, making 30% of the total livestock. Out of total milk produced in the country, buffalo contributes about 68%, followed by cattle (27%), rest (5%) by sheep, goats, and camels. They are kept both in rural as well as peri-urban dairy production systems. These dairy animals mostly strive on low-quality feed stuffs including roughages and crop-residues with poor nutritive value resulting in poor production and reproduction performance. Recent investigations and published data show that there is also an issue of unjustified feeding without considering the production and physiological stages of dairy animals, resulting in overfeeding of non-productive and under-feeding of productive animals, leading to poor feed use efficiency. There is also no separate feeding system for different classes of dairy animals. Furthermore, in the prevailing dairy production scenario, there is absence of an efficient feeding system especially devised for growing heifers (kept as replacement herd) keeping in view their feeding requirements that could reduce their age at puberty with a significant reduction in the cost of feeding. Similarly, the introduction of milk replacer and early weaning of calves are very effective ways without any adverse effects on growth when given free access to good quality calf starter, and it could add to dairy economics. Fodder scarcity during the winter months (November to January) and summer (May–June) in Pakistan is another big constraint toward sustainable dairying. It is concluded that more efficient feed utilization in these dairy production systems could be achieved by developing innovative approaches and solutions (hay and silage making) to fight these scarcity periods and developments in dairy nutrition, like the establishment of nutrient requirements for dairy animals for local dairy breeds, adopting group feeding practices of dairy animals according to the stage of lactation and production status, and proper feeding systems for growing heifers and effective milk replacer feeding for calves. These practical and innovative steps could effectively lead to sustained dairy production in Pakistan. Full article
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209 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
The Intersection of Animals and Global Sustainability—A Critical Studies Terrain for Better Policies?
Proceedings 2021, 73(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECA2020-08895 - 04 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1291
Abstract
At the UN-level, it has only recently been acknowledged that the welfare of animals is not, but should be, part of the sustainable development agenda. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the interconnections between animal welfare and protection on the one hand, [...] Read more.
At the UN-level, it has only recently been acknowledged that the welfare of animals is not, but should be, part of the sustainable development agenda. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the interconnections between animal welfare and protection on the one hand, and on the other hand, ecosystem destruction, species extinction, the climate crisis, industrial animal agriculture and the emergence of zoonoses, have come to the fore. Arguments have also been made that sustainability and animal protection is something of an oxymoron with, in particular, farm animals being treated as vehicles to achieve sustainability rather than being agents who under a justice perspective should be beneficiaries of the sustainability transition. To address the un/sustainabilities in the nexus of animals and sustainability, critical theory perspectives draw out pathways for transformation. Critical Sustainability Studies is being formulated. Critical Animal Studies is already well established. Both converge in what could develop into a new field, Interspecies Sustainability Studies. Moreover, we are observing the birth of another new field, the Veterinary Humanities, with indications of a Critical Veterinary Humanities emerging. In this paper, it is discussed what critical theory perspectives bring to the intersection of animals and global sustainability. In conclusion, it is suggested that interspecies sustainability needs to be conceptualised as a critical theory to address the multiple sustainability crises and to protect animals, end their exploitation and facilitate their flourishing. Full article
4 pages, 170 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Identification and Validation of Operational Welfare Indicators Appropriate for Small-Scale Goat Farming in Chile
Proceedings 2021, 73(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECA2020-08829 - 02 Dec 2020
Viewed by 836
Abstract
Goat production in Chile is carried by small-scale farmers obtaining milk and cheese as the main products. The welfare of goats under these types of production systems is currently unknown and no appropriate validated operational welfare indicators are currently available. We took the [...] Read more.
Goat production in Chile is carried by small-scale farmers obtaining milk and cheese as the main products. The welfare of goats under these types of production systems is currently unknown and no appropriate validated operational welfare indicators are currently available. We took the tasks of identifying operational welfare indicators and validating them with all stakeholders. A total of 37 operational welfare indicators were obtained. The use of these validated indicators and the welfare score is appropriate to Chilean goat production systems and may successfully increase the sustainability of production and farmers in Chile. Full article
269 KiB  
Proceeding Paper
Enabling Behaviour Change in Laying Hen Farmers Using Motivational Interviewing
Proceedings 2021, 73(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/IECA2020-08830 - 02 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 948
Abstract
Laying hens with poor feather cover eat more feed, are less productive, and have higher levels of morbidity and mortality. This welfare and sustainability issue is complex, requiring a proactive, multi-pronged approach. The aim of this UK study was to test a support [...] Read more.
Laying hens with poor feather cover eat more feed, are less productive, and have higher levels of morbidity and mortality. This welfare and sustainability issue is complex, requiring a proactive, multi-pronged approach. The aim of this UK study was to test a support approach for commercial implementation and uptake of evidence-based strategies aimed at reducing injurious pecking (IP) in 29 flocks of free range (FR), aviary and enriched cages (EC). This was accomplished by using motivational interviewing (MI) to facilitate farmer ownership over maintaining feather cover by co-developing bespoke feather cover action plans (FCAP). Recruitment included farmers with a range of initial attitudes, from not regarding IP as a priority, to engaged first adopters. The MI approach resulted in 80% of farmers making changes to their management and resource provision, with 90% of farmers of FR and half of those using EC making changes. Up to nine actions were planned in their FCAP (average 3 on FR farms), and 67% of all planned changes had been achieved on average 9 months later. While some changes were inexpensive and durable, such as providing rope or plastic objects, others were capital investments like verandas, planting trees, renewing and strategically placing artificial shelters, frequently replenishing Lucerne, or removing capped litter, plus adding pecking rings in enriched cages. Reflecting on the value of their FCAP, farmers recognised that being part of the project not only raised their awareness of IP and the importance of maintaining good feather cover, but also motivated them to make changes. They recognised the value of the facilitator and noted that successful outcomes gave incentive to make further progress. Half the farmers felt their FCAP had been successful in reducing IP within their flocks. This approach therefore has potential to improve both the sustainability of egg production and hen welfare. Full article
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