Browsing by Subject "DAIRY-CATTLE"

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  • Väärikkälä, Sofia Susanna; Hänninen, Laura Talvikki; Nevas, Mari Anne (2019)
    Simple Summary Official on-farm inspections are carried out throughout the European Union every year to ensure farm compliance with animal welfare standards. The aim of this study was to analyze Finnish inspection data in order to find out how well cattle and pig farms comply with animal welfare standards, to reveal the most common non-compliances and to identify possible farm risk factors. About every fourth inspected Finnish cattle and pig farm did not comply with the animal welfare standards. Examples of factors that increased the risk of non-compliance were small herd size, tie-stall housing and outdoor rearing. Inadequate lying area in cattle farms and a lack of enrichment material in pig farms were the most common non-compliances. The regional differences found may indicate differences in inspectors' interpretations or ways in conducting inspections. As the official inspection reports contain valuable information about the welfare problems on farms, the reports should be better utilized in risk analysis, in targeting farmer education, and in making the inspections more uniform. Abstract The competent authorities of the Member States of the European Union are required to perform animal welfare inspections on livestock farms. The data obtained from these official inspections performed in Finnish cattle and pig farms in 2010-2015 were used with the aim of estimating the prevalence of the most common non-compliances and identifying underlying risk factors. The prevalence of non-compliant cattle and pig farms was 24.2% and 27.9%, respectively. In cattle, the most common problem was an inadequate lying area followed by deficient housing conditions for calves; in pigs, it was a lack of enrichment material. The non-compliances concerning cattle were most frequently detected in autumn and in farms with small herd size, with tie-stall housing and outdoor rearing year-round. The pig farms with a farrow-to-finish unit had a higher prevalence of non-compliances than other production types. The prevalence of the non-compliant farms differed notably between the regions. It can be concluded that the cattle welfare inspections should be performed with a focus on the cold and rainy seasons and at small farms, whereas the pig welfare inspections should mainly focus on farrow-to-finish units. The data received from official inspections should be efficiently utilized in the development of animal welfare inspection system, with the aim of risk-based, consistent and uniform inspections. In addition, the data should be utilized in targeting information for farmers.
  • Hewetson, Michael; Venner, Monica; Volquardsen, Jan; Sykes, Ben William; Hallowell, Gayle Davina; Vervuert, Ingrid; Fosgate, Geoffrey Theodore; Tulamo, Riitta-Mari (2018)
    Background: Equine gastric ulcer syndrome is an important cause of morbidity in weanling foals. Many foals are asymptomatic, and the development of an inexpensive screening test to ensure an early diagnosis is desirable. The objective of this study was to determine the diagnostic accuracy of blood sucrose for diagnosis of EGUS in weanling foals. Results: 45 foals were studied 7 days before and 14 days after weaning. The diagnostic accuracy of blood sucrose for diagnosis of gastric lesions (GL); glandular lesions (GDL); squamous lesions (SQL) and clinically significant gastric lesions (CSL) at 45 and 90 min after administration of 1 g/kg of sucrose via nasogastric intubation was assessed using ROC curves and calculating the AUC. For each lesion type, sucrose concentration in blood was compared to gastroscopy; and sensitivities (Se) and specificities (Sp) were calculated across a range of sucrose concentrations. Cut- off values were selected manually to optimize Se. Because of concerns over the validity of the gold standard, additional Se, Sp, and lesion prevalence data were subsequently estimated and compared using Bayesian latent class analysis. Using the frequentist approach, the prevalence of GL; GDL; SQL and CSL before weaning was 21; 9; 7 and 8% respectively; and increased to 98; 59; 97 and 82% respectively after weaning. At the selected cut- off, Se ranged from 84 to 95% and Sp ranged from 47 to 71%, depending upon the lesion type and time of sampling. In comparison, estimates of Se and Sp were consistently higher when using a Bayesian approach, with Se ranging from 81 to 97%; and Sp ranging from 77 to 97%, depending upon the lesion type and time of sampling. Conclusions: Blood sucrose is a sensitive test for detecting EGUS in weanling foals. Due to its poor specificity, it is not expected that the sucrose blood test will replace gastroscopy, however it may represent a clinically useful screening test to identify foals that may benefit from gastroscopy. Bayesian latent class analysis represents an alternative method to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of the blood sucrose test in an attempt to avoid bias associated with the assumption that gastroscopy is a perfect test.
  • Martikainen, K.; Tyrisevä, A. M.; Matilainen, K.; Pösö, J.; Uimari, P. (2017)
    Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data enable the estimation of inbreeding at the genome level. In this study, we estimated inbreeding levels for 19,075 Finnish Ayrshire cows genotyped with a low-density SNP panel (8K). The genotypes were imputed to 50K density, and after quality control, 39,144 SNPs remained for the analysis. Inbreeding coefficients were estimated for each animal based on the percentage of homozygous SNPs (F-PH), runs of homozygosity (F-ROH) and pedigree (F-PED). Phenotypic records were available for 13,712 animals including non-return rate (NRR), number of inseminations (AIS) and interval from first to last insemination (IFL) for heifers and up to three parities for cows, as well as interval from calving to first insemination (ICF) for cows. Average F-PED was 0.02, F-ROH 0.06 and F-PH 0.63. A correlation of 0.71 was found between F-PED and F-ROH, 0.66 between F-PED and F-PH and 0.94 between F-ROH and F-PH. Pedigree-based inbreeding coefficients did not show inbreeding depression in any of the traits. However, when F-ROH or F-PH was used as a covariate, significant inbreeding depression was observed; a 10% increase in F-ROH was associated with 5days longer IFL0 and IFL1, 2weeks longer IFL3 and 3days longer ICF2 compared to non-inbred cows.
  • Rosato, Giuliana; Ruiz Subira, Andres; Al-Saadi, Mohammed; Michalopoulou, Eleni; Verin, Ranieri; Dettwiler, Martina; Nordgren, Heli; Chiers, Koen; Grossmann, Ernst; Köhler, Kernt; Suntz, Michael; Stewart, James P.; Kipar, Anja (2021)
    The genus Macavirus, subfamily Gammaherpesvirinae, comprises ungulate viruses that infect domestic and wild ruminants and swine. They cause asymptomatic latent infections in reservoir hosts and malignant catarrhal fever in susceptible species. Lung, spleen, bronchial lymph node, and tongue were collected from 448 cattle (348 necropsied, 100 slaughtered) in Switzerland, United Kingdom, Finland, Belgium, and Germany to determine their infection with bovine herpesvirus-6 (BoHV-6) and gammaherpesviruses of other ruminants, i.e., ovine herpesvirus-1 and -2, caprine herpesvirus-2, and bison lymphotropic herpesvirus, using quantitative PCR. Only BoHV-6 was detected, with an overall frequency of 32%, ranging between 22% and 42% in the different countries. Infection was detected across all ages, from one day after birth, and was positively correlated with age. There was no evidence of an association with specific disease processes. In positive animals, BoHV-6 was detected in all organs with high frequency, consistently in the lungs or spleen. Viral loads varied substantially. In BoHV-6-positive gravid cows, organs of fetuses tested negative for infection, indicating that the virus is not vertically transmitted. Our results confirm previous data indicating that BoHV-6 is a commensal of domestic cattle not associated with disease processes and confirm that infections with other macaviruses are rare and sporadic.
  • Hietala, P.; Juga, J. (2017)
    Improving feed efficiency in dairy cattle could result in more profitable and environmentally sustainable dairy production through lowering feed costs and emissions from dairy farming. In addition, beef production based on dairy herds generates fewer greenhouse gas emissions per unit of meat output than beef production from suckler cow systems. Different scenarios were used to assess the profitability of adding traits, excluded from the current selection index for Finnish Ayrshire, to the breeding goal for combined dairy and beef production systems. The additional breeding goal traits were growth traits (average daily gain of animals in the fattening and rearing periods), carcass traits (fat covering, fleshiness and dressing percentage), mature live weight (LW) of cows and residual feed intake (RFI) traits. A breeding scheme was modeled for Finnish Ayrshire under the current market situation in Finland using the deterministic simulation software ZPLAN+. With the economic values derived for the current production system, the inclusion of growth and carcass traits, while preventing LW increase generated the highest improvement in the discounted profit of the breeding program (3.7%), followed by the scenario where all additional traits were included simultaneously (5.1%). The use of a selection index that included growth and carcass traits excluding LW, increased the profit (0.8%), but reduced the benefits resulted from breeding for beef traits together with LW. A moderate decrease in the profit of the breeding program was obtained when adding only LW to the breeding goal (-3.1%), whereas, adding only RFI traits to the breeding goal resulted in a minor increase in the profit (1.4%). Including beef traits with LW in the breeding goal showed to be the most potential option to improve the profitability of the combined dairy and beef production systems and would also enable a higher rate of self-sufficiency in beef. When considering feed efficiency related traits, the inclusion of LW traits in the breeding goal that includes growth and carcass traits could be more profitable than the inclusion of RFI, because the marginal costs of measuring LW can be expected to be lower than for RFI and it is readily available for selection. In addition, before RFI can be implemented as a breeding objective, the genetic correlations between RFI and other breeding goal traits estimated for the studied population as well as information on the most suitable indicator traits for RFI are needed to assess more carefully the consequences of selecting for RFI.
  • Fouz, Ramiro; Vilar, Maria J.; Yus, Eduardo; Sanjuan, Maria-Luisa; Dieguez, Francisco J. (2016)
    The objective of this study was to investigate the variability in cow's milk somatic cell counts (SCC) depending on the type of milk meter used by dairy farms for official milk recording The study was performed in 2011 and 2012 in the major cattle area of Spain. In total, 137,846 lactations of Holstein-Friesian cows were analysed at 1,912 farms. A generalised least squares regression model was used for data analysis. The model showed that the milk meter had a substantial effect on the SCC for individual milk samples obtained for official milk recording. The results suggested an overestimation of the SCC in milk samples from farms that had electronic devices in comparison with farms that used portable devices and underestimation when volumetric meters are used. A weak positive correlation was observed between the SCC and the percentage of fat in individual milk samples. The results underline the importance of considering this variable when using SCC data from milk recording in the dairy herd improvement program or in quality milk programs.
  • Fitak, Robert R.; Mohandesan, Elmira; Corander, Jukka; Burger, Pamela A. (2016)
    The single-humped dromedary (Camelus dromedarius) is the most numerous and widespread of domestic camel species and is a significant source of meat, milk, wool, transportation and sport for millions of people. Dromedaries are particularly well adapted to hot, desert conditions and harbour a variety of biological and physiological characteristics with evolutionary, economic and medical importance. To understand the genetic basis of these traits, an extensive resource of genomic variation is required. In this study, we assembled at 653 coverage, a 2.06 Gb draft genome of a female dromedary whose ancestry can be traced to an isolated population from the Canary Islands. We annotated 21 167 protein-coding genes and estimated similar to 33.7% of the genome to be repetitive. A comparison with the recently published draft genome of an Arabian dromedary resulted in 1.91 Gb of aligned sequence with a divergence of 0.095%. An evaluation of our genome with the reference revealed that our assembly contains more error-free bases (91.2%) and fewer scaffolding errors. We identified similar to 1.4 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms with a mean density of 0.71 x 10(-3) per base. An analysis of demographic history indicated that changes in effective population size corresponded with recent glacial epochs. Our de novo assembly provides a useful resource of genomic variation for future studies of the camel's adaptations to arid environments and economically important traits. Furthermore, these results suggest that draft genome assemblies constructed with only two differently sized sequencing libraries can be comparable to those sequenced using additional library sizes, highlighting that additional resources might be better placed in technologies alternative to short-read sequencing to physically anchor scaffolds to genome maps.
  • EFSA Panel Anim Hlth Welf AHAW; Nielsen, Soren Saxmose; Winckler, Christoph (2020)
    The killing of cattle for human consumption (slaughtering) can take place in a slaughterhouse or on farm. The processes of slaughtering that were assessed for welfare, from the arrival of cattle until their death (including slaughtering without stunning), were grouped into three main phases: pre-stunning (including arrival, unloading from the truck, lairage, handling and moving of cattle); stunning (including restraint); and bleeding. Stunning methods were grouped into two categories: mechanical and electrical. Twelve welfare consequences that cattle may be exposed to during slaughter were identified: heat stress, cold stress, fatigue, prolonged thirst, prolonged hunger, impeded movement, restriction of movements, resting problems (inability to rest or discomfort during resting), social stress, pain, fear and distress. Welfare consequences and their relevant animal-based measures are described. In total, 40 welfare hazards that could occur during slaughter were identified and characterised, most of them related to stunning and bleeding. Staff were identified as the origin of 39 hazards, which were attributed to the lack of appropriate skill sets needed to perform tasks or to fatigue. Measures to prevent and correct hazards were identified, and structural and managerial measures were identified as those with a crucial role in prevention. Outcome tables linking hazards, welfare consequences, animal-based measures, origin of hazards, and preventive and corrective measures were developed for each process. Mitigation measures to minimise welfare consequences are proposed. (C) 2020 European Food Safety Authority. EFSA Journal published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd on behalf of European Food Safety Authority.