The first Nordic Countries Meeting on the Zebrafish as a Model for Development and Disease took place at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, November 21-23, 2012. The meeting gathered 130 scientists, students, and company representatives from Iceland, Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, as well as invited guests and keynote speakers from England, Scotland, Germany, Poland, The Netherlands, Singapore, Japan, and the United States. Presentations covered a wide range of topics, including developmental biology, genetics, evolutionary biology, toxicology, behavioral studies, and disease mechanisms. The need for formal guidance and training in zebrafish housing, husbandry, and health monitoring was recognized, and the meeting expressed its support for the joint working group of the FELASA/COST action BM0804 EuFishBioMed. The decision was made to turn the Nordic meeting into an annual event and create a Nordic network of zebrafish researchers.
Reducing the number of laboratory animals used and refining experimental procedures to enhance animal welfare are fundamental questions to be considered in connection with animal experimentation. Here, we explored the use of cardinal ethical weights for clinical signs and symptoms in rodents by conducting trade-off interviews with members of Swedish Animal Ethics Committees in order to derive such weights for nine typical clinical signs of toxicity. The participants interviewed represent researchers, politically nominated political nominees and representatives of animal welfare organizations. We observed no statistically significant differences between these groups with respect to the magnitude of the ethical weights assigned, though the political nominees tended to assign lower weights. Overall, hunched posture was considered the most severe clinical sign and body weight loss the least severe. The ethical weights assigned varied considerably between individuals, from zero to infinite value, indicating discrepancies in prioritization of reduction and refinement. Cardinal ethical weights may be utilized to include both animal welfare refinement and reduction of animal use in designing as well as in retrospective assessment of animal experiments. Such weights may also be used to estimate ethical costs of animal experiments.
In behalf of the practitioner a short survey is given about nutrition of fish and shrimps. Interrelations between fish development and influences by their water ecosystem concerning temperature, mineral and gas levels, waterflow et cetera together with the supply of food are mentioned. Further comments are given about common nutritional needs of different species in connection with growth, bodyweight et cetera and purpose of fishkeeping for instance for consumption, reproduction or ornamentally in different systems from aquarium to lagoon. More specifically feed formulation from raw materials to complete diets and nutritional analyses in respect to allowances for maintenance and growth are discussed. Data about fresh- and saltwater species from tropical to arctic circumstances mentioning trout, salmon, catfish, carp, sea bass, shrimp et cetera are given. Some remarks about manufacturing, and application of complete compound feeds are added to the survey. In behalf of further study or for enhancement of knowledge a number of books are recommended in a list of references.
The heavy losses of reindeer calves in the Angeså forest herd and their seasonal occurrence are discussed on basis of the results obtained from the tables. The management, productivity and breeding conditions of this herd are estimated to be, for the most part the same as in other forest herds. The calf losses in the Angeså herd are high, during some years very high, while the reproductivity rate is comparable to that of the caribou. The extensive form of management makes it impossible to clarify most of the causes for the losses and their interrelationships. Preobrazhenskii (1961) emphasizes the importance of an intensive form of management and of counting the herd at least four times annually in order to control and prevent different kinds of losses. Skjenneberg & Slagsvold (1968) point out that the extensive form of management hinders progress in reindeer breeding, especially in the areas of selection and disease control. These statements seem to be highly relevant to Swedish reindeer breeding as well. The results from the tables clearly indicate the high total losses, the high losses during certain summers and the importance of accessible winter fodder for calf production and post-natal survival. It is important to investigate whether supplementary feeding with commercially available fodder, hay, and minerals would result in better economy in reindeer breeding. It is also desirable to investigate improved methods for supplementary feeding. During certain years calf losses are very high during the summer, but the relationships between different causes (such as stress, bloodsucking diphtera, parasites, keratitis etc.) are not clear. Surveillance of the animals during the calving season, marking of the calves before the fly season and summer heat, and developing a higher degree of domestication will probably result in smaller losses during spring and summer. If the practice of marking the calves in summer is to be continued, steps must be taken to protect the health of the animals. Such steps include making available sun shades, smoke fires against bloodsucking insects, running water, and salt and mineral feedings. Due to the extensive management form, it has not been possible to determine the extent of the real winter losses. For similar reasons the extent of the losses caused by parasites remains unclear. A continuous pathological examination of dead animals seems to offer the only possible method for clarifying the causal connections of the losses. As a consequence of the extensive form of management, the carcasses of animals that die during spring and summer are destroyed by heat and scavengers. One way of obtaining material useful for pathological examination would be a telemetric method, in which a radio signal is transmitted when the animals is dead or dying (Moell & Rehbinder 1975).