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On-farm monitoring of animal welfare is an important, present-day objective in animal welfare science. Scientists tend to focus exclusively on animal-based parameters, possibly because using environment-based parameters could be begging the question why welfare has been affected and because animal-based parameters would be better indicators of welfare. However, selection of even the best animal-based parameters that have conventionally been used in experiments could have unacceptable consequences. Systems that are generally considered to be poor welfare systems may generate unacceptably high welfare scores. The monitoring systems could fail to match basic intuitions in society and the scientific community. In order to avoid this problem, available knowledge, eg about animal motivation derived from consumer demand studies and knowledge about the natural behaviour of the animals, should be used explicitly in welfare assessment. This requires making welfare inferences from knowledge about the relationships between environment-based and animal-based parameters using standard operating procedures. The on-farm measurement of animal-based parameters may be regarded as the measurement of critical control points, which must be compared and reconciled with predictions based on available scientific knowledge. For this purpose the formalisation of welfare assessment should be developed further.
The aim of this article is to report on the expert opinion regarding the provision of environmental enrichment for pigs. A questionnaire was sent to 53 pig welfare scientists who were asked to specify which enrichment materials they considered sufficient to ensure pig welfare; 68% responded. 89% stated that providing a chain was not sufficient, while 84% stated that the provision of straw could be sufficient. ‘Sustained animal-material interactions’, ‘rootability’, ‘manipulability’ and ‘chewability’ were the main material properties referred to as being required for enriching pig pens. Areas of further research suggested by the respondents encompassed both fundamental and applied research, including preference tests and demand studies, deprivation studies and quantitative studies to determine cut-off points. A case is made for modelling the available knowledge to help close the gap between what is known in science and what is decided in society regarding animal welfare and environmental enrichment for pigs.
A computer-based model was constructed to assess enrichment materials (EMats) for intensively-farmed weaned, growing and fattening pigs on a scale from 0 to 10. This model, called RICHPIG, was constructed in order to support the further implementation of EC Directive 2001/93/EC, which states that “pigs must have permanent access to a sufficient quantity of material to enable proper investigation and manipulation activities”. This paper describes the underlying conceptual framework for assessing EMats and explains the concepts, procedures and calculation rules used for semantic modelling. A (parsimonious) weighted average calculation rule was used to calculate enrichment scores from assessment criteria scores (which specify welfare relevant material properties of EMats) and weighting factors (WFs, which specify the relative importance of the assessment criteria). In total, 30 assessment criteria were identified and classified as object design criteria (eg novelty and accessibility), behavioural elements (eg nose, root, chew), biological functions (explore and forage), manipulations (ie object-directed behaviours), other (non-manipulative) consequences (eg aggression and stress) and object performance criteria (eg changeability/destructibility and hygiene). WFs were calculated from a systematic analysis of 573 scientific statements collected in the database, using 11 so-called weighting categories (Wcat, ie scientific paradigms to assess welfare such as the study of natural behaviour, consumer demand studies and stress-physiology) to assign Wcat level scores (which indicate the intensity, duration and incidence of a welfare impact) to the assessment criteria. The main advantages of the RICHPIG model are that it is based explicitly on available scientific information, that it has an explicitly formulated conceptual framework, is transparent, disputable, upgradeable, robust and reasonably in accordance with expert opinion. Major scope for improvements exist in the form of the need for further upgrading with new knowledge, empirical validation and (further) implementation in political decision-making processes.
Welfare is multidimensional, comprising good health, comfort, expression of behaviour, and so on. Its overall assessment therefore requires a multicriteria evaluation. The set of criteria shall be exhaustive (no missing item), minimal (only necessary items), agreed by stakeholders, and legible (a limited number of criteria). Furthermore, the interpretation from one criterion shall not depend on that from another. We propose a set of 12 subcriteria grouped into four criteria: feeding, housing, health and optimised emotional states. This work will assist in developing measures to be used on-farm to form a European standard for overall assessment of animal welfare.
An online training package providing a concise synthesis of the scientific data underpinning EU legislation on enrichment and tail-docking of pigs was produced in seven languages, with the aim of improving consistency of professional judgements regarding legislation compliance on farms. In total, 158 participants who were official inspectors, certification scheme assessors and advisors from 16 EU countries completed an initial test and an online training package. Control group participants completed a second identical test before, and Training group participants after, viewing the training. In Section 1 of the test participants rated the importance of modifying environmental enrichment defined in nine scenarios from 1 (not important) to 10 (very important). Training significantly increased participants’ overall perception of the need for change. Participants then rated nine risk factors for tail-biting from 1 (no risk) to 10 (high risk). After training scores were better correlated with risk rankings already described by scientists. Scenarios relating to tail-docking and management were then described. Training significantly increased the proportion of respondents correctly identifying that a farm without tail lesions should stop tail-docking. Finally, participants rated the importance of modifying enrichment in three further scenarios. Training increased ratings in all three. The pattern of results indicated that participants’ roles influenced scores but overall the training improved: i) recognition of enrichments that, by virtue of their type or use by pigs, may be insufficient to achieve legislation compliance; ii) knowledge on risk factors for tail-biting; and iii) recognition of when routine tail-docking was occurring.
The killing of animals is the subject of societal and political debate. Wild geese are caught and killed on a regular basis for fauna conservation and damage control. Killing geese with carbon dioxide (CO2) is commonly practiced, but not listed in legislation on the protection of flora and fauna, and societal concerns have been raised against this method. In this study, an experiment was carried out killing 30 wild-caught geese using either CO2 or a mixture of CO2 and argon (Ar). Brain function (EEG) and heart function (ECG) were measured to determine loss of consciousness and onset of death. The stage of unconsciousness was reached on average within one minute in both treatments (56 s for CO2 and 50 s for CO2 and Ar). States of minimal brain activity and ineffective heart beat were reached more quickly using CO2 compared to CO2 and Ar (112 versus 178 s for minimal brain activity and 312 versus 394 s for ineffective heart beat for CO2 and the mixture of CO2 and Ar, respectively). The mixture of carbon dioxide and argon did not significantly reduce time to loss of consciousness or death. Further studies on behaviour and stress physiology are needed to determine conclusively whether CO2 alone is a satisfactory agent to kill wild-caught geese as the lower CO2 concentration in the CO2-Ar treatment may act as a sedative and reduce the aversiveness of the animals during exposure to lethal gas concentrations.
The present study investigated the operational feasibility of the recently developed Salmon Welfare Index Model (SWIM 1.0) designed for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L) in production cages. Ten salmon farms containing spring smolts were visited twice, first between May and June the first year in sea cages, and secondly 2-3 months later. On each farm the SWIM 1.0 assessments were carried out for the two cages assumed by the farmer to represent the best and worst welfare status. The applied welfare indicators (WIs) were water temperature, salinity, stocking density, lighting, disturbance, daily mortality rate, appetite, sea lice infestation ratio, condition factor, emaciation state, vertebral deformation, maturation stage, smoltification state, fin condition and skin condition. The effective time to carry out the welfare evaluation was about 1.5 h per farm. The results showed some marked differences between visits; relatively larger proportions of emaciated fish were sampled during the first compared to the second visit, and more homogeneous scores of skin and fin damage were found on the second visit. The overall welfare index scores were generally in accordance with the farmers’ ranking of the ‘best’ and the ‘worst’ sea cage during the first visit. Together, the findings of this study suggest that the SWIM model may be employed for documentation of animal welfare over the salmon marine production cycle. The results call attention towards re-assessment of some of the welfare indicators, improved sampling methods, and a more user-friendly interface. All-in-all, the current SWIM model is regarded as a promising candidate tool towards welfare assessment of farmed salmon.
Animals have various behavioural and physiological needs that are important for welfare. Fulfilment of these needs depends on the quality of housing, management and animal characteristics. The objective of this study was to develop a model to assign welfare scores to husbandry systems for dairy cattle, based on scientific results, and thereby supporting the design of new, welfare-friendly systems. COWEL is a computer-based decision support system that contains attributes regarding housing and management conditions. These attributes are technical specifications that contain various technical units called levels. These levels are ranked from best-to-worst regarding welfare, based on scientific information about animal-based parameters. This information, inserted in the model as statements, was weighted depending on the impact it has on welfare by using weighting categories. Thereafter, a weighting factor was calculated for each attribute which determines how important an attribute is for welfare. The COWEL model contains 2,343 statements on dairy cattle welfare from 476 sources found during a literature survey. The model was applied to four husbandry systems, namely a tie-stall, cubicle housing, a straw yard and a pasture-based system. The welfare scores, calculated by COWEL for these husbandry systems, correspond with the general opinion about these systems. A tie-stall receives a low and a pasture-based system a high welfare score: 211 and 271, respectively. A husbandry system can receive a maximum of 313 on the welfare scale of COWEL. We conclude that COWEL can be used to rank husbandry systems on a welfare scale, and may be a useful tool to develop new, sustainable and welfare-friendly systems for dairy cattle.
Tail biting is a most serious welfare problem in pigs raised for slaughter. In instances of an outbreak of tail biting, scientists have recommended that farmers take measures such as removal of affected animals, provision of enrichment materials and application of repellents to the pigs’ tails. However, no scientific study has ever confirmed the efficacy of any of these suggestions in counteracting an ongoing outbreak. Here, the efficacy of two repellent ointments, Dippel's oil and Stockholm tar, were examined in a tail-chew test. For this, a novel piece of nylon rope was used as a tail model to measure biting behaviour semi-automatically in 24 single-sex groups of growing pigs (total 264 pigs). Repeated measures analysis showed no effect of time, gender or unit (12 pens per unit), but a highly significant effect of treatment, in that both Stockholm tar and Dippel's oil significantly reduced rope manipulation compared to controls. These results suggest that Stockholm tar and Dippel's oil may be effective in reducing tail biting. The approach taken may be valuable in further testing of strategies to reduce tail biting and improving pig welfare.
Most modern production systems, especially in temperate climates, do not offer wallowing facilities to pigs and, to date, this has neither generated much concern in welfare science nor public debate on pig welfare. Nevertheless, wallowing is a natural behaviour of pigs which may be important to them. This paper systematically examines the overall importance of wallowing for pig welfare using principles developed in semantic modelling. As a first step, relevant citations were collected from the scientific literature. Secondly, since the importance of the attribute (‘wallowing’) is dependent upon the discrepancy between its best and worst levels, these levels were specified in relation to the status quo in pig husbandry, ie no pool (even during periods of overheating) and the ideal mud pool, respectively. Criteria for an ideal mud pool were formulated in terms of pool location and size, substrate, thermal conditions, body care and hygiene. Thirdly, available scientific information about wallowing was systematically described in relation to ten so-called weighting categories identified in semantic modelling (pain and illness, survival/heat stress, fitness, stress, aggression, abnormal behaviour, frustration, natural behaviour, preferences and demand). Fourthly, the welfare importance of wallowing was assessed by tentatively comparing it to several other welfare attributes, such as food, foraging substrate, social contact and non-castration. This leads to the suggestion that wallowing is important for pig welfare because of its multifaceted nature. It may even be very important when other forms of thermoregulation are sub-optimal. This paper, finally, discusses the ‘ethical room for manoeuvre’ concerning the (non-) implementation of mud pools in practice. An integrated approach is suggested to address related scientific, technological and ethical issues, because stakeholders are faced not only with scientific and technological gaps in knowledge but also with economical, ecological, food-safety and psychological barriers. As an important element of natural behaviour and positive welfare, the subject may provide an opportunity for pig farming. This should be recognised more explicitly in transition processes towards fully sustainable pig production systems.
Trait dissociation has not been examined from a structural human brain mapping perspective in healthy adults or children. Non-pathological dissociation shares some features with daydreaming and mind-wandering, but also involves subtle disruptions in affect and autobiographical memory.
To identify neurostructural biomarkers of trait dissociation in healthy children.
Typically developing 9- to 15-year-olds (n = 180) without psychological or behavioural disorders were enrolled in the Developmental Chronnecto-Genomics (DevCoG) study of healthy brain development and completed psychological assessments of trauma exposure and dissociation, along with a structural T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. We conducted univariate ANCOVA generalised linear models for each region of the default mode network examining the effects of trait dissociation, including scanner site, age, gender and trauma as covariates and correcting for multiple comparison.
We found that the precuneus was significantly larger in children with higher levels of trait dissociation but this was not related to trauma exposure. The inferior parietal volume was smaller in children with higher levels of trauma but was not related to dissociation. No other regions of interest, including frontal and limbic structures, were significantly related to trait dissociation even before multiple comparison correction.
Trait dissociation reflects subtle cognitive disruptions worthy of study in healthy people and warrants study as a potential risk factor for psychopathology. This neurostructural study of trait dissociation in healthy children identified the precuneus as an essential brain region to consider in future dissociation research.
This article argues that the Mongol empire's famous religious tolerance cannot be explained solely through its adoption of Inner Asian imperial political traditions of ruling over ethnically and religiously diverse subjects. Instead, this pluralism can be ascribed to a wider religious pattern of the Mongols. The first part argues that the analytical category of immanentist religions explains not only the inter-cultic transparency exhibited by the Mongol courts, but also the few explicit instances where the Chinggisid rulers reacted with ‘religious’ violence. The article further explores the strategies employed by the religious vectors, mainly Buddhists and Muslims, to address, accommodate, and subvert the Chinggisids’ patterns of religiosity and primarily their pluralism, and the Mongols’ deified mode of sacralizing kingship. Focusing on the Mongol-Ilkhanid court in Iran, the article examines how religious representatives used conceptual affinities and equivalences between the Mongol traditions and certain principles of their own religious frameworks to gain influence and favour, and persuade the khans to convert or retain their earlier commitment to the new religious affiliation. Employing this assimilative approach, they manoeuvred within the religious, immanentist paradigm of their nomadic patrons while moulding and manipulating it to their own religious, transcendentalist ends. The article further demonstrates how this ‘translation’ process of Chinggisid patterns became an arena of Buddhist–Muslim rivalry and competition, but also cross-cultural fertilization.
During 20 years, the European astrobiologists collaborated within EANA, the European Astrobiology Network Association, to help European researchers developing astrobiology programmes to share their knowledge, to foster their cooperation, to attract young scientists to this quickly evolving interactive field of research, and to explain astrobiology to the public at large. The experiment of Stanley Miller in 1953 launched the ambitious hope that chemists would be able to shed light on the origins of life by recreating a simple life form in a test tube. However, the dream has not yet been accomplished, despite the great volume of effort and innovation put forward by the scientific community.
This chapter engages with questions around the possibilities and limitations of the novel and narrative in the Anthropocene. It addresses these challenges by drawing on and extending work in econarratology, and applying it to three novels in which floods depict the impact of climate change. In navigating the spatial, temporal and representational challenges of imagining climate crisis, these novels achieve a switching back and forth between the reader's actual world and the textual world. It is this back and forth, and the realisation that results from it, that is central to the role that the novel as a genre might play in depicting the Anthropocene.
Glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes are increasing worldwide. Current scientific evidence tends to demonstrate that people with an Asian phenotype have a lower glucose tolerance compared to Caucasian phenotype. In addition, in Caucasian population, consumption of products with a high content of Slowly Digestible Starch (SDS) significantly decreases postprandial glycemic and insulinemic responses compared to products with a low-SDS content. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of consuming products with varying levels of SDS on postprandial glycemic and insulinemic responses, both in Asian and Caucasian populations.
Materials and methods
Five products with varying starch digestibility profiles (determined by the SDS method developed by Englyst) and one glucose solution were tested. A randomized cross-over controlled study was set up in the University of Sydney to study the products’ Glycemic and Insulinemic Indexes (GI and II) and postprandial responses over 2 hours. 12 Caucasian and 12 Asian participants were recruited and consumed 50 g of available carbohydrates from each product (norm ISO-26642(2010)).
Asian participants were 28.0 ± 2.6 yo with a body mass index (BMI) of 21.4 ± 0.3 kg/m2 and Caucasians were 26.0 ± 1.1 yo with a BMI of 22.4 ± 0.5 kg/m2 (no difference between groups). Among the products tested, 3 had a high-SDS content (26 to 28 g SDS / 100g) and 2 had a low-SDS content (0 to 2 g SDS / 100g). GI values for Asian participants ranged between 44 and 54 for high-SDS products (low GI) and were medium (64) or high (90) for low-SDS products. GI values for Caucasian participants ranged between 40 and 48 for high-SDS products (low GI) and between 60 and 79 for low-SDS products. In a statistical model including product effect, ethnicity effect, session effect, and the interaction term product*ethnicity, the product effect was the only significant parameter and products were split according to their SDS content. Furthermore, products with a high-SDS content decrease the glycemic peak value by about 1 mM, both in Asian and Caucasian participants. Consumption of high-SDS products also decreases the insulin demand by 29% and 32% in Asians and Caucasians respectively compared to low-SDS products.
Our study demonstrates that consumption of products with a high-SDS content similarly decreases the glycemic and insulinemic responses in both Asian and Caucasian participants. This decrease may be beneficial in the long term to prevent metabolic diseases.
Looking at the way different linguistic communities speak about a universally shared domain of experience raises questions that are central to the language sciences. How can we compare meaning across languages? What is the interaction between language, thought, and perception? Does linguistic diversity entail linguistic relativism? The literature on the naming systems of the body across languages have addressed these questions with little consensus. In the present study, we contribute to this debate with a comparison of body part terms in French, Indonesian, and Japanese. Using an updated version of the body coloring task, we observed both diversity and cross-linguistically shared patterns. Importantly, we also observed that speakers of languages which violate the wrist/ankle joint boundary rule do not collapse the distinction in thought. This key finding goes against the conflation of language and thought and leads us to conclude that linguistic diversity does not entail linguistic relativism. Methodologically, we advocate for the use of a culturally neutral etic space as a necessary tool in semantic typology. Theoretically, we propose that language is a multilevel phenomenon, which results from the interaction of non-linguistic and cross-culturally shared embodied motivations, context-specific situated language use, and culturally specific sedimented linguistic conventions.
Brain tumors (BT) sometimes present with psychiatric symptoms, with or without neurological ones, and BT patients with psychiatric symptoms are sometimes mistakenly oriented towards psychiatric/psychological care. Case studies concluded that atypical psychiatric symptoms should lead to neurological investigation, but no description of such atypical symptoms has been provided.
The present study aims to quantify the prevalence and further describe psychiatric symptoms occurring before a BT diagnosis.
We aim to sensitize physicians to consider more systematically neurological options, and to provide them with a description of atypical pattern of psychiatric symptoms occurring in patients with BT.
Fifty patients with a first diagnosis of BT (21 males and 29 females, aged 25-81 years) completed an anamnestic interview, the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview, and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), in order to investigate and describe current and past psychiatric symptoms. A neuropsychological evaluation was also conducted.
Most patients (45/50) reported at least one psychiatric symptom during the months before the BT diagnosis. About half of them presented anxious or depressive symptoms according to the clinical interviews and the BDI-II. Interestingly, somatic symptoms of depression (tiredness, slower reactions, appetite changes…) were often reported, in contrast to cognitive ones (guilt, self-criticalness…). The influence of the BT characteristics and the neuropsychological profile will be discussed.
The results confirm the frequent occurrence of psychiatric symptoms before a BT diagnosis and provide a first description of these symptoms, as the basis of future recommendations for physicians.
The article presents an in-depth analysis of the struggle for gender equality in hiring, as well as campaigns for parental leave and demands for improved work conditions, by female workers in manufacturing industry in 1970s–80s Italy. The case study is focused on Fiat in Turin, a highly significant site given its economic role in Italy and Europe, and its history of social conflict and radical workforce. Against the backdrop of dramatic changes in gender relations since the 1960s, ongoing industrial unrest since 1968 and the introduction of new gender-equality legislation, fatefully coinciding with the onset of deindustrialisation and the rise of unemployment in manufacturing, trade union feminism presented an original and, viewed in hindsight, highly significant agenda. The events in Fiat demonstrate the extent to which new demands and ideas regarding the value of women's work became acceptable in the workers’ movement and in society at large, but also reveal the obstacles which the feminist politics of work encountered, and the persistence of gender-based prejudice in understandings of the value of work in all its forms. The analysis is based on archive material, press and original interviews.