Provision of shelter for horses kept on summer pasture is rarely considered in welfare guidelines, perhaps because the benefits of shelter in warm conditions are poorly documented scientifically. For cattle, shade is a valued resource during summer and can mitigate the adverse effects of warm weather on well-being and performance. We found in a previous study that horses utilized shelters frequently in summer. A shelter with a roof and closed on three sides (shelter A) was preferred and can reduce insect pressure whereas a shelter with roof and open on three sides was not utilized. However, shelter A restricts the all-round view of a horse, which may be important for horses as flight animals. Therefore, we studied whether a shelter with roof, where only the upper half of the rear wall was closed (shelter B), would be utilized while maintaining insect protection properties and satisfying the horses' sense for security. A third shelter was offered with walls but no roof (shelter C) to evaluate whether the roof itself is an important feature from the horse's perspective. Eight Warmblood horses were tested each for 2?days, kept individually for 24?h in two paddocks with access to shelters A and B, or shelters A and C, respectively. Shelter use was recorded continuously during the night (1800-2400?h, 0200-0600?h) and the following day (0900-1600?h), and insect defensive behaviour (e.g., tail swish) in instantaneous scan samples at 5-min intervals during daytime.
Seven horses used both shelters A and B, but when given the choice between shelters A and C, shelter C was scarcely visited. There was no difference in duration of shelter use between night (105.8???53.6?min) and day (100.8???53.8, P?=?0.829). Daytime shelter use had a significant effect on insect defensive behaviours (P?=?0.027). The probability of performing these behaviours was lowest when horses used shelter A compared to being outside (P?=?0.038).
Horses only utilized shelters with a roof whilst a shelter with roof and closed on three sides had the best potential to lower insect disturbance during daytime in summer.
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It was shown that activation of dopaminergic (Daergic) system induced an increase of the immune responsiveness independent of the CBA mice behaviour typeanimals without experience of victories and defeats (control), with aggression and submission. Administration of SKF-38393, a selective agonist of DA D1-receptors, resulted in enhanced immune response as tested by plaque-forming cells and rosette-forming cells number. Similar immunostimulation was observed after injection of p-chlorophenylalanine realizing its influence on the immune response through DA D2-receptors as shown by us elsewhere. It was suggested that activation of Da-ergic system produces a new neurochemical pattern (Daergic neurochemical set) which are responsible for character and intensity changes of the immune response in mice with alternative form of social behaviour.
The activity of the pituitary-gonadal axis (PG axis) in pre-migratory and homing chum salmon was examined because endocrine mechanisms underlying the onset of spawning migration remain unknown. Pre-migratory fish were caught in the central Bering Sea in June, July and September 2001, 2002 and 2003, and in the Gulf of Alaska in February 2006. They were classified into immature and maturing adults on the basis of gonadal development. The maturing adults commenced spawning migration to coastal areas by the end of summer, because almost all fish in the Bering Sea were immature in September. In the pituitaries of maturing adults, the copy numbers of FSHbeta mRNA and the FSH content were 2.5- to 100-fold those of the immature fish. Similarly, the amounts of LHbeta mRNA and LH content in the maturing adults were 100- to 1000-fold those of immature fish. The plasma levels of testosterone, 11-ketotestosterone and estradiol were higher than 10 nmol l(-1) in maturing adults, but lower than 1.0 nmol l(-1) in immature fish. The increase in the activity of the PG-axis components had already initiated in the maturing adults while they were still in the Gulf of Alaska in winter. In the homing adults, the pituitary contents and the plasma levels of gonadotropins and plasma sex steroid hormones peaked during upstream migration from the coast to the natal hatchery. The present results thus indicate that the seasonal increase in the activity of the PG axis is an important endocrine event that is inseparable from initiation of spawning migration of chum salmon.
Oral rabies vaccination of wildlife has effectively reduced the incidence of rabies in wildlife and has led to the elimination of rabies in large areas of Europe. The safety of oral rabies vaccines has been assessed in both target (red fox and raccoon dog) and several non-target species.
Since 2011, the competent authority in Finland has received a few reports of dogs experiencing adverse reactions that have been assumed to be caused by the consumption of baits containing oral rabies vaccine. The dogs usually exhibited gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting, inappetence, constipation or diarrhoea) or behavioral symptoms (restlessness, listlessness and unwillingness to continue hunting).
Nevertheless, these adverse reactions are transient and non-life threatening. Even though the adverse reactions are unpleasant to individual dogs and their owners, the benefits of oral rabies vaccination clearly outweigh the risks.
The goal of these experiments was to test the hypothesis that day length influences anxious- and depressive-like behaviors in reproductively photoperiodic rodents. Male and female Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) were exposed to long (16 h light/day; LD) or short (8 h light/day; SD) photoperiods beginning at the time of weaning (day 18). Two weeks later hamsters were subjected to a series of behavioral tests to quantify anxiety-and depressive-like behaviors. In an elevated plus maze, SD males exhibited longer latencies to enter an open arm, entered fewer open arms, and spent less time exploring open arms relative to LD hamsters. SD males were likewise slower to enter either of the distal arms of a completely enclosed T-maze, and in a hunger-motivated exploratory paradigm SD males were slower to enter an open arena for food as compared to LD males. In a forced-swimming model of behavioral despair, SD males exhibited immobility sooner, more often, and for a greater total amount of time relative to LD males. Total activity levels, aversiveness to light, olfactory function, and limb strength were unaffected by SD, suggesting that the behavioral changes consequent to SD are not attributable to sensory or motor deficits, but rather may arise from changes in general affective state. The anxiogenic and depressive effects of SD were largely absent in female hamsters. Together the results indicate that adaptation to short photoperiods is associated with increased expression of anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors relative to those observed under LD photoperiod conditions.
In experiments in white Wistar rats of three-age groups (immature, mature and old rats) content of glial fibrous acidic protein (GFAP) was investigated in cerebral cortex, hippocampus, thalamus and brain stem after the carrying out of laparotomy. The correlation between emotional activity and the level of GFAP has been found in the given structures of a brain. In immature animals, the activation of emotional component of behaviour was accompanied by decrease in polypeptide's soluble and insoluble fractions in brain stem by 16% and 18%, respectively (p
In the current experiment we conducted a multi-level analysis of age-related characteristics in the hippocampus of young adult (3 months), middle-aged (12 months), and old (24 months) Fisher 344xBrown Norway hybrid (FBNF1) rats. We examined the relationships between aging, hippocampus, and memory using a combination of behavioral, non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy, and postmortem neuroanatomical measures in the same rats. Aging was associated with functional deficits on hippocampus-dependent memory tasks, accompanied by structural alterations observed both in vivo (magnetic resonance imaging-hippocampal volume) and postmortem (dentate gyrus neuronal density and neurogenesis). Neuronal metabolic integrity, assessed by levels of N-acetylaspartate with magnetic resonance spectroscopy, was however, preserved. Further, our results suggest that neurogenesis (doublecortin) seems to be related to both performance deficits on hippocampus-dependent tasks and hippocampal volume reduction. The observed pattern of age-related alterations closely resembles that previously reported in humans and suggests FBNF1 rats to be a useful model of normal human aging.
1. Leakage of fertilizers from farmland has affected levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in many coastal areas, reducing limitation of primary productivity with consequences for timing and magnitude of the annual peak in phytoplankton and zooplankton. Such changes in nutrient availability may have affected temporal patterns of abundance of marine invertebrates and vertebrates that are the main prey of seabirds. 2. We investigated the extent to which changes in the use of fertilizers by farmers affected timing of breeding, clutch size, recruitment and longevity of a coastal seabird, the Arctic tern Sterna paradisaea Pont., in Denmark. 3. Timing of breeding advanced with the increase in use of fertilizers, with an effect as a consequence of a phenotypic response of individuals exposed to different levels of fertilizers. 4. Annual mean clutch size increased with the amount of fertilizer. While individual Arctic terns increased their clutch size with fertilizer level, there was no evidence of individual Arctic terns in different years changing their clutch size in response to changes in fertilizer use. 5. Annual recruitment rate, estimated as the proportion of young that were subsequently recovered as adults, was related to fertilizer use. 6. Mean longevity, estimated as the maximum age of adult individuals, decreased in response to fertilizer use. 7. These findings provide evidence of fertilizer use in agriculture having significant indirect effects on timing of reproduction, clutch size, recruitment and longevity of a seabird.
Aldehyde dehydrogenase activity (KF 18.104.22.168) of cytosol fractions of brain structures (hypothalamus, midbrain and new cortex) as well as dophamine content in these structures were studied in comparative aspect in rats preferring and rejection ethanol. It has been shown that there were two isoforms of aldehyde dehydrogenases (aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 and aldehyde dehydrogenase 2) in cytosol fractions of all investigated brain structures of animals preferring ethanol while only aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 has been found in the new cotex of rats rejecting ethanol. Thus, aldehyde-dehydrogenase activity is higher in the animals preferring ethanol than in those ones rejecting ethanol. Content of dophamine in the rats preferring ethanol is higher than in those ones rejecting ethanol both in the hypothalamus and new cortex. Differences between the studied groups of animals can underlie the pathologic attraction to alcohol.
Detecting lame cows is important in improving animal welfare. Automated tools are potentially useful to enable identification and monitoring of lame cows. The goals of this study were to evaluate the suitability of various physiological and behavioral parameters to automatically detect lameness in dairy cows housed in a cubicle barn. Lame cows suffering from a claw horn lesion (sole ulcer or white line disease) of one claw of the same hind limb (n=32; group L) and 10 nonlame healthy cows (group C) were included in this study. Lying and standing behavior at night by tridimensional accelerometers, weight distribution between hind limbs by the 4-scale weighing platform, feeding behavior at night by the nose band sensor, and heart activity by the Polar device (Polar Electro Oy, Kempele, Finland) were assessed. Either the entire data set or parts of the data collected over a 48-h period were used for statistical analysis, depending upon the parameter in question. The standing time at night over 12 h and the limb weight ratio (LWR) were significantly higher in group C as compared with group L, whereas the lying time at night over 12 h, the mean limb difference (?weight), and the standard deviation (SD) of the weight applied on the limb taking less weight were significantly lower in group C as compared with group L. No significant difference was noted between the groups for the parameters of heart activity and feeding behavior at night. The locomotion score of cows in group L was positively correlated with the lying time and ?weight, whereas it was negatively correlated with LWR and SD. The highest sensitivity (0.97) for lameness detection was found for the parameter SD [specificity of 0.80 and an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.84]. The highest specificity (0.90) for lameness detection was present for ?weight (sensitivity=0.78; AUC=0.88) and LWR (sensitivity=0.81; AUC=0.87). The model considering the data of SD together with lying time at night was the best predictor of cows being lame, accounting for 40% of the variation in the likelihood of a cow being lame (sensitivity=0.94; specificity=0.80; AUC=0.86). In conclusion, the data derived from the 4-scale-weighing platform, either alone or combined with the lying time at night over 12 h, represent the most valuable parameters for automated identification of lame cows suffering from a claw horn lesion of one individual hind limb.