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Plasma B-endorphin and Cortisol concentrations in lambs after handling, transport and slaughter

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 November 2017

D.P. Fordham
Affiliation:
Department of Animal Physiology & Nutrition, University of Leeds
R.G. Rodway
Affiliation:
Department of Animal Physiology & Nutrition, University of Leeds
G.A. Lincoln
Affiliation:
Department of Animal Physiology & Nutrition, University of Leeds, MRC Reproductive Biology Unit, Edinburgh
K. Ssewannyana
Affiliation:
Department of Animal Physiology & Nutrition, University of Leeds, MRC Reproductive Biology Unit, Edinburgh
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Extract

There is considerable interest at present in reducing the amount of stress imposed upon farm animals. However, before this objective can be achieved it is first necessary to obtain some measurement of the stress response of the animal. Changes in plasma hormone and metabolite concentrations have been used in the past as Indicators of stress. Plasma cortisol concentrations increase after stress in all species studied. For example, after transport in calves (Kent and Ewbank, 1986), after tethering in pigs (Barnett, Winfield, Cronin, Hemsworth and Dewar, 1985) and after electrical stunning in sheep (Pearson, Kilgour, de Langen and Payne, 1977). In a recent study in the sheep B-endorphin and cortisol were released together in response to shearing and electroimmobilisation (Jephcott, McMillen, Rushen and Thorburn, 1987).

The aim of the present study was to examine the release of B-endorphin and cortisol in lambs after routine stressful stimuli such as handling, transport and slaughter at a commercial abattoir.

Type
Sheep
Copyright
Copyright © British Society of Animal Production 1989

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References

Barnett, J.L., Winfield, C.G., Cronin, G.M., Hemsworth, P.H. and Dewar, A.M. (1985) Applied Animal Behaviour Science 14, 149161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jephcott, E.H., McMillen, I.C., Rushen, J. and Thorburn, G.D. (1987) Research in Veterinary Science 43, 97100.Google Scholar
Kent, J.E. & Ewbank, R. (1986) British Veterinary Journal 142, 326335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pearson, A.J., Kilgour, R., de Langen, H. & Payne, E. (1977) Proceedings for the New Zealand Society for Animal Production 37, 243248.Google Scholar

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