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Wagyu bulls are known to have a highly exacerbated libido, as shown by the intense sexual interest of young calves. Therefore we believe that Wagyu male animals have specialized Sertoli and Leydig cells that are directly involved with the sexual precocity in this breed as mature bulls have a small scrotal circumference. This study aimed to evaluate whether there were differences in the hormone and sperm characteristics of Wagyu bulls compared with the same characteristics of subspecies Bos indicus and Bos taurus sires. Frozen–thawed semen from Wagyu, Nellore, and Angus sires were analyzed for sperm kinetics (computer-assisted sperm analysis), plasma membrane integrity, chromatin integrity, acrosome status, mitochondrial activity, lipid peroxidation and hormone [luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone] serum concentration. The results showed that Wagyu had lower total motility and an increased number of sperm with no motility when compared with Nellore and Angus bulls. Wagyu breed did not differ from those breeds when considering plasma and acrosome membranes integrity, mitochondrial potential, chromatin resistance, sperm lipid peroxidation or hormone (LH and testosterone) concentrations. We concluded that Wagyu sires had lower total motility when compared with Nellore and Angus bulls. Wagyu breed did not differ from these breeds when considering plasma and acrosome membranes integrity, mitochondrial potential, chromatin resistance, sperm lipid peroxidation, or hormone (LH and testosterone) concentrations.
Globally, veterinarians and professionals in animal-related industries are faced with growing public concern for the welfare of animals, particularly those in production. To prepare professionals, courses in animal welfare should be created to provide consistent education on a global scale in an efficient and cost-effective manner. However, a creative approach to welfare education is needed to reduce the disparity between supply and demand for instruction in animal welfare. Michigan State University (MSU) is piloting a graduate-level, online interactive course in animal welfare assessment to provide students with high-quality science-based education from renowned international animal welfare experts at numerous institutions. Innovative use of technology enables students to interact with material, each other and instructors. Students actively apply their accumulated skills to hypothetical scenarios, enhancing learning effectiveness. Student performance and opinion were examined to determine whether the course meets the stated objectives. Twenty-three students from four institutions enrolled in the pilot course. In the first month, the majority of students found the online course easy to use and material appropriate for a graduate-level course. The students agreed that scenarios helped them integrate lecture material. The MSU course will serve as a model for collaboration in content assembly and course delivery, using technology to leverage global expertise to create educational equity.
Bovine brucellosis is a worldwide zoonotic disease that still burdens several countries in the Mediterranean, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Although the disease is present in Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands seem to be free from the disease based on a survey conducted in 1997 where all tested animals showed negative results. This study aimed at estimating the probability of freedom from brucellosis in this Ecuadorian province in 2014. A survey was implemented on the three main cattle-producing islands of the province: Santa Cruz, Isabela and San Cristóbal. Thirty-three cattle farms and 410 cattle were tested for brucellosis using the Rose Bengal test and indirect ELISA. All animals showed negative results for both tests. Probability of freedom was estimated at 98%, 91% and 88% for Santa Cruz, Isabela and San Cristóbal, respectively, considering a herd-level design seroprevalence of 20% and animal-level design seroprevalence of 15%, and assuming a perfect specificity of the survey. The negative results found in 1997 and present surveys suggest that the Galapagos Islands are free from bovine brucellosis.