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The pig industry faces many animal welfare issues. Among these, biting behaviour has a high incidence. It is indicative of an existing problem in biters and is a source of physical damage and psychological stress for the victims. We categorize this behaviour into aggressive and non-aggressive biting, the latter often being directed towards the tail. This review focusses specifically on predisposing factors in early life, comprising the prenatal and postnatal periods up to weaning, for the expression of aggressive and non-aggressive biting later in life. The influence of personality and coping style has been examined in a few studies. It varies according to these studies and, thus, further evaluation is needed. Regarding the effect of environmental factors, the number of scientific papers is low (less than five papers for most factors). No clear influence of prenatal factors has been identified to date. Aggressive biting is reduced by undernutrition, cross-fostering and socialization before weaning. Non-aggressive biting is increased by undernutrition, social stress due to competition and cross-fostering. These latter three factors are highly dependent on litter size at birth. The use of familiar odours may contribute to reducing biting when pigs are moved from one environment to another by alleviating the level of stress associated with novelty. Even though the current environment in which pigs are expressing biting behaviours is of major importance, the pre-weaning environment should be optimized to reduce the likelihood of this problem.
Different diagnostic interviews are used as reference standards for major depression classification in research. Semi-structured interviews involve clinical judgement, whereas fully structured interviews are completely scripted. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), a brief fully structured interview, is also sometimes used. It is not known whether interview method is associated with probability of major depression classification.
To evaluate the association between interview method and odds of major depression classification, controlling for depressive symptom scores and participant characteristics.
Data collected for an individual participant data meta-analysis of Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) diagnostic accuracy were analysed and binomial generalised linear mixed models were fit.
A total of 17 158 participants (2287 with major depression) from 57 primary studies were analysed. Among fully structured interviews, odds of major depression were higher for the MINI compared with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) (odds ratio (OR) = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.15–3.87). Compared with semi-structured interviews, fully structured interviews (MINI excluded) were non-significantly more likely to classify participants with low-level depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≤6) as having major depression (OR = 3.13; 95% CI = 0.98–10.00), similarly likely for moderate-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores 7–15) (OR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.56–1.66) and significantly less likely for high-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≥16) (OR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.26–0.97).
The MINI may identify more people as depressed than the CIDI, and semi-structured and fully structured interviews may not be interchangeable methods, but these results should be replicated.
Declaration of interest
Drs Jetté and Patten declare that they received a grant, outside the submitted work, from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, which was jointly funded by the Institute and Pfizer. Pfizer was the original sponsor of the development of the PHQ-9, which is now in the public domain. Dr Chan is a steering committee member or consultant of Astra Zeneca, Bayer, Lilly, MSD and Pfizer. She has received sponsorships and honorarium for giving lectures and providing consultancy and her affiliated institution has received research grants from these companies. Dr Hegerl declares that within the past 3 years, he was an advisory board member for Lundbeck, Servier and Otsuka Pharma; a consultant for Bayer Pharma; and a speaker for Medice Arzneimittel, Novartis, and Roche Pharma, all outside the submitted work. Dr Inagaki declares that he has received grants from Novartis Pharma, lecture fees from Pfizer, Mochida, Shionogi, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, Daiichi-Sankyo, Meiji Seika and Takeda, and royalties from Nippon Hyoron Sha, Nanzando, Seiwa Shoten, Igaku-shoin and Technomics, all outside of the submitted work. Dr Yamada reports personal fees from Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd., MSD K.K., Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation, Seishin Shobo, Seiwa Shoten Co., Ltd., Igaku-shoin Ltd., Chugai Igakusha and Sentan Igakusha, all outside the submitted work. All other authors declare no competing interests. No funder had any role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data; preparation, review or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
In beef cattle, feeding behaviour and activity are associated with feed efficiency and methane (CH4) emissions. This study aimed to understand the underlying traits responsible for the contribution of cattle behaviour to individual differences in feed efficiency, performance and CH4 emissions. A total of 84 steers (530±114 kg BW) of two different breeds (crossbreed Charolais and Luing) were used. The experiment was a 2×2×3 factorial design with breed, basal diets (concentrate v. mixed) and dietary treatments (no additive, calcium nitrate or rapeseed cake) as the main factors. The individual dry matter intake (DMI; kg) was recorded daily and the BW was measured weekly over a 56-day period. Ultrasound fat depth was measured on day 56. Based on the previous data, the indexes average daily gain, food conversion and residual feed intake (RFI) were calculated. The frequency of meals, the duration per visit and the time spent feeding per day were taken as feeding behaviour measures. Daily activity was measured using the number of steps, the number of standing bouts and the time standing per day. Agonistic interactions (including the number of contacts, aggressive interactions, and displacements per day) between steers at the feeders were assessed as indicators of dominance. Temperament was assessed using the crush score test (which measures restlessness when restrained) and the flight speed on release from restraint. Statistical analysis was performed using multivariate regression models. Steers that spent more time eating showed better feed efficiency (P=0.039), which can be due to greater secretion of saliva. Feeding time was longer with the mixed diet (P<0.001), Luings (P=0.009) and dominant steers (P=0.032). Higher activity (more steps) in the pen was associated with poorer RFI, possibly because of higher energy expenditure for muscle activity. Frequent meals contributed to a reduction in CH4 emissions per kg DMI. The meal frequency was higher with a mixed diet (P<0.001) and increased in more temperamental (P=0.003) and dominant (P=0.017) steers. In addition, feed intake was lower (P=0.032) in more temperamental steers. This study reveals that efficiency increases with a longer feeding time and CH4 emissions decrease with more frequent meals. As dominant steers eat more frequently and for longer, a reduction in competition at the feeder would improve both feed efficiency and CH4 emissions. Feed efficiency can also be improved through a reduction in activity. Selection for calmer cattle would reduce activity and increase feed intake, which may improve feed efficiency and promote growth, respectively.
The requirement for water of growing pigs in large groups has been neglected. Current MAFF recommendations suggest one nipple drinker per 10 pigs, while farmers have often used a ratio of 1 per 20 animals. Neither approach is based on empirical investigation. The relationship between group size and the number of drinking points can not be assumed to be linear. The aim was to assess group size and the two conflicting ratios of drinkers for their effect on welfare, as measured by production performance, drinking and social behaviour.
A total of 640 Large White x Landrace growing pigs (start weight 36kg) were housed in a fully slatted commercial grower house for five weeks. Four replicates were used and each animal was assigned to 1 of 4 treatments in a 2 x 2 factorial design of two group sizes (20 vs 60) and two ratios of nipple drinkers to pigs (1:10 vs 1:20). The groups of 20 comprised of pigs from 3 different pens, while 9 pens contributed to the groups of 60. The floor space per pig was maintained constant across treatments. Nine focal pigs (three each of heavy, medium and light weight) were selected from each pen.
The resource requirements, such as feeding space, of pigs housed in large groups are poorly understood. The feed intake requirement may be unaffected by group size, but the ability to gain access to the feeders may be influenced by the changed social environment. The observation of pigs feeding may stimulate others to feed also. In large groups, the number of pigs attempting to feed simultaneously could lead to increased competition for access to the feeders (Spoolder et al., 1999). Consequently, the suitability of two feeder space requirements, derived from UK recommendations, for pigs housed at different groups sizes was investigated.
Our understanding of the complex relationship between schizophrenia symptomatology and etiological factors can be improved by studying brain-based correlates of schizophrenia. Research showed that impairments in value processing and executive functioning, which have been associated with prefrontal brain areas [particularly the medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC)], are linked to negative symptoms. Here we tested the hypothesis that MOFC thickness is associated with negative symptom severity.
This study included 1985 individuals with schizophrenia from 17 research groups around the world contributing to the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Cortical thickness values were obtained from T1-weighted structural brain scans using FreeSurfer. A meta-analysis across sites was conducted over effect sizes from a model predicting cortical thickness by negative symptom score (harmonized Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores).
Meta-analytical results showed that left, but not right, MOFC thickness was significantly associated with negative symptom severity (βstd = −0.075; p = 0.019) after accounting for age, gender, and site. This effect remained significant (p = 0.036) in a model including overall illness severity. Covarying for duration of illness, age of onset, antipsychotic medication or handedness weakened the association of negative symptoms with left MOFC thickness. As part of a secondary analysis including 10 other prefrontal regions further associations in the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and pars opercularis emerged.
Using an unusually large cohort and a meta-analytical approach, our findings point towards a link between prefrontal thinning and negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. This finding provides further insight into the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.
Introduction/Innovation Concept: Student Run Simulation Team (SRST) is an extracurricular medical student group that provided peers with opportunities to learn and teach principles of acute care medicine in a simulated environment. Early exposure to simulation has been identified as a way for medical students to engage in self-directed education. SRST operated through a peer-led model. Senior medical students designed and delivered didactic sessions, simulation scenarios, and debriefed the scenarios to emphasise targeted objectives. Methods: Informal interviews conducted by the SRST as part of a needs analysis identified barriers to an effective transition from pre-clerkship to clerkship. Specifically, principles of team dynamics including effective communication and role clarification in emergency situations were identified as areas where students lacked confidence. The curriculum focused on leadership and an effective team approach to common acute presentations. SRST members acquired simulation skills under the guidance of a simulation team at the University of Calgary. In the inaugural year, 8 second year students developed and delivered the curriculum to 16 first year students. Quality improvement surveys and participant feedback contributed to ongoing program review and refinement. Curriculum, Tool, or Material: Didactic lectures and task-trainer based skills sessions were created to assist the medical students in developing a foundational approach to a patient presenting to the emergency department. Three distinct simulations of increasing complexity were designed for students to build on their skills. SRST members worked with simulation consultants during 4 custom designed training sessions to develop simulation skills (design and debriefing). The distinguishing aspect of SRST is an emphasis on the non-technical skills of teamwork, leadership, and communication, rather than knowledge acquisition alone. The structure also included a succession plan for continued peer-led education where the student participants will form the next year’s team and will receive similar simulation education. Conclusion: SRST is the first student-run simulation initiative to be established in a Canadian medical school. This near-peer team allowed for early practice of non-technical skills in emergency settings. SRST facilitated opportunities for simulation education for both the junior students as participants, and the senior medical students as educators. This is an ongoing initiative, with plans to continue program development in future years.
This paper presents the results of a detailed experimental investigation into the effectiveness of sinusoidal leading edge serrations on aerofoils for the reduction of the noise generated by the interaction with turbulent flow. A detailed parametric study is performed to investigate the sensitivity of the noise reductions to the serration amplitude and wavelength. The study is primarily performed on flat plates in an idealized turbulent flow, which we demonstrate captures the same behaviour as when identical serrations are introduced onto three-dimensional aerofoils. The influence on the noise reduction of the turbulence integral length scale is also studied. An optimum serration wavelength is identified whereby maximum noise reductions are obtained, corresponding to when the transverse integral length scale is approximately one-fourth the serration wavelength. This paper proves that, at the optimum serration wavelength, adjacent valley sources are excited incoherently. One of the most important findings of this paper is that, at the optimum serration wavelength, the sound power radiation from the serrated aerofoil varies inversely proportional to the Strouhal number
are frequency, serration amplitude and flow speed, respectively. A simple model is proposed to explain this behaviour. Noise reductions are observed to generally increase with increasing frequency until the frequency at which aerofoil self-noise dominates the interaction noise. Leading edge serrations are also shown to reduce aerofoil self-noise. The mechanism for this phenomenon is explored through particle image velocimetry measurements. Finally, the lift and drag of the serrated aerofoil are obtained through direct measurement and compared against the straight edge baseline aerofoil. It is shown that aerodynamic performance is not substantially degraded by the introduction of the leading edge serrations on the aerofoil.
We describe the performance of the Boolardy Engineering Test Array, the prototype for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. Boolardy Engineering Test Array is the first aperture synthesis radio telescope to use phased array feed technology, giving it the ability to electronically form up to nine dual-polarisation beams. We report the methods developed for forming and measuring the beams, and the adaptations that have been made to the traditional calibration and imaging procedures in order to allow BETA to function as a multi-beam aperture synthesis telescope. We describe the commissioning of the instrument and present details of Boolardy Engineering Test Array’s performance: sensitivity, beam characteristics, polarimetric properties, and image quality. We summarise the astronomical science that it has produced and draw lessons from operating Boolardy Engineering Test Array that will be relevant to the commissioning and operation of the final Australian Square Kilometre Array Path telescope.
Livestock production is a major contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, so will play a significant role in the mitigation effort. Recent literature highlights different strategies to mitigate GHG emissions in the livestock sector. Animal welfare is a criterion of sustainability and any strategy designed to reduce the carbon footprint of livestock production should consider animal welfare amongst other sustainability metrics. We discuss and tabulate the likely relationships and trade-offs between the GHG mitigation potential of mitigation strategies and their welfare consequences, focusing on ruminant species and on cattle in particular. The major livestock GHG mitigation strategies were classified according to their mitigation approach as reducing total emissions (inhibiting methane production in the rumen), or reducing emissions intensity (Ei; reducing CH4 per output unit without directly targeting methanogenesis). Strategies classified as antimethanogenic included chemical inhibitors, electron acceptors (i.e. nitrates), ionophores (i.e. Monensin) and dietary lipids. Increasing diet digestibility, intensive housing, improving health and welfare, increasing reproductive efficiency and breeding for higher productivity were categorized as strategies that reduce Ei. Strategies that increase productivity are very promising ways to reduce the livestock carbon footprint, though in intensive systems this is likely to be achieved at the cost of welfare. Other strategies can effectively reduce GHG emissions whilst simultaneously improving animal welfare (e.g. feed supplementation or improving health). These win–win strategies should be strongly supported as they address both environmental and ethical sustainability. In order to identify the most cost-effective measures for improving environmental sustainability of livestock production, the consequences of current and future strategies for animal welfare must be scrutinized and contrasted against their effectiveness in mitigating climate change.
Blazar OJ 287 is one of the best observed extragalactic objects. It's historical light curve goes back to 1890′s. Based on the historical behaviour Sillanpää et al. (1988) showed that OJ 287 displays large periodic outbursts, with a period of 11.7 years. We have monitored OJ 287 intensively for two years, during the OJ-94 project. This project was created for monitoring OJ 287 during its predicted new outburst in 1994. In the data archive we have over 7000 observations on OJ 287, in the radio, infrared and optical bands. This data archive contains the best ever obtained light curves for any extragalactic object. The optical light curve shows continuous variability down to time scales of tens of minutes. The variability observed in OJ 287 can be broken down to (at least) four different categories:
Aggression at regrouping is a common issue in pig farming. Skin lesions are genetically and phenotypically correlated with aggression and have been shown to have a significant heritable component. This study predicts the magnitude of reduction in complex aggressive behavioural traits when using lesion numbers on different body regions at two different time points as selection criteria, to identify the optimum skin lesion trait for selection purposes. In total, 1146 pigs were mixed into new social groups, and skin lesions were counted 24 h (SL24h) and 3 weeks (SL3wk) post-mixing, on the anterior, centre and posterior regions of the body. An animal model was used to estimate genetic parameters for skin lesion traits and 14 aggressive behavioural traits. Estimated breeding values (EBVs) and phenotypic values were scaled and standardised to allow direct comparison across multiple traits. Individuals with SL24h and SL3wk EBVs in the least aggressive 10% of the population were compared with the population mean to predict the expected genetic and phenotypic response in aggressive behaviour to selection. At mixing, selection for low anterior lesions was predicted to affect substantially more behavioural traits of aggressiveness than lesions obtained on other body parts, with EBVs between −0.21 and −1.17 SD below the population mean. Individuals with low central SL24h EBVs also had low EBVs for aggressive traits (−0.33 to −0.55). Individuals with high SL3wk EBVs had low EBVs for aggression at mixing (between −0.24 and −0.53 SD below the population mean), although this was predicted to affect fewer traits than selection against SL24h. These results suggest that selection against anterior SL24h would result in the greatest genetic and phenotypic reduction in aggressive behaviour recorded at mixing. Selection for increased SL3wk was predicted to reduce aggression at mixing; however, current understanding about aggressive behaviour under stable social conditions is insufficient to recommend using this trait for selection purposes.
To determine whether the use of tissue spears to remove otorrhoea from Aboriginal children's ear canals improves hearing in the affected ear.
Case series study with controls.
The study comprised 61 Aboriginal children from communities in the remote arid zone of South Australia who had otorrhoea obscuring the tympanic membrane in 1 or both ears. Eighty ears were treated with tissue spears, and hearing was assessed before and after treatment.
Forty-two children had unilateral and 19 had bilateral active disease. An additional 13 ears without otorrhoea served as controls. Improvement by 5 dB HL or greater in a four-frequency pure tone average occurred in 41.3 per cent of treated ears. Subsequently, blinded audiologists made qualitative judgements that a functional improvement in hearing had occurred after tissue spear use in 28.4 per cent of ears.
Tissue spears can improve hearing thresholds in a significant proportion of children with otorrhoea. However, the duration of the effect is unknown.
To limit tail biting incidence, most pig producers in Europe tail dock their piglets. This is despite EU Council Directive 2008/120/EC banning routine tail docking and allowing it only as a last resort. The paper aims to understand what it takes to fulfil the intentions of the Directive by examining economic results of four management and housing scenarios, and by discussing their consequences for animal welfare in the light of legal and ethical considerations. The four scenarios compared are: ‘Standard Docked’, a conventional housing scenario with tail docking meeting the recommendations for Danish production (0.7 m2/pig); ‘Standard Undocked’, which is the same as ‘Standard Docked’ but with no tail docking, ‘Efficient Undocked’ and ‘Enhanced Undocked’, which have increased solid floor area (0.9 and 1.0 m2/pig, respectively) provision of loose manipulable materials (100 and 200 g/straw per pig per day) and no tail docking. A decision tree model based on data from Danish and Finnish pig production suggests that Standard Docked provides the highest economic gross margin with the least tail biting. Given our assumptions, Enhanced Undocked is the least economic, although Efficient Undocked is better economically and both result in a lower incidence of tail biting than Standard Undocked but higher than Standard Docked. For a pig, being bitten is worse for welfare (repeated pain, risk of infections) than being docked, but to compare welfare consequences at a farm level means considering the number of affected pigs. Because of the high levels of biting in Standard Undocked, it has on average inferior welfare to Standard Docked, whereas the comparison of Standard Docked and Enhanced (or Efficient) Undocked is more difficult. In Enhanced (or Efficient) Undocked, more pigs than in Standard Docked suffer from being tail bitten, whereas all the pigs avoid the acute pain of docking endured by the pigs in Standard Docked. We illustrate and discuss this ethical balance using numbers derived from the above-mentioned data. We discuss our results in the light of the EU Directive and its adoption and enforcement by Member States. Widespread use of tail docking seems to be accepted, mainly because the alternative steps that producers are required to take before resorting to it are not specified in detail. By tail docking, producers are acting in their own best interests. We suggest that for the practice of tail docking to be terminated in a way that benefits animal welfare, changes in the way pigs are housed and managed may first be required.
It is well known that web-based interventions can be effective treatments for depression. However, dropout rates in web-based interventions are typically high, especially in self-guided web-based interventions. Rigorous empirical evidence regarding factors influencing dropout in self-guided web-based interventions is lacking due to small study sample sizes. In this paper we examined predictors of dropout in an individual patient data meta-analysis to gain a better understanding of who may benefit from these interventions.
A comprehensive literature search for all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of psychotherapy for adults with depression from 2006 to January 2013 was conducted. Next, we approached authors to collect the primary data of the selected studies. Predictors of dropout, such as socio-demographic, clinical, and intervention characteristics were examined.
Data from 2705 participants across ten RCTs of self-guided web-based interventions for depression were analysed. The multivariate analysis indicated that male gender [relative risk (RR) 1.08], lower educational level (primary education, RR 1.26) and co-morbid anxiety symptoms (RR 1.18) significantly increased the risk of dropping out, while for every additional 4 years of age, the risk of dropping out significantly decreased (RR 0.94).
Dropout can be predicted by several variables and is not randomly distributed. This knowledge may inform tailoring of online self-help interventions to prevent dropout in identified groups at risk.