Advances in Animal Biosciences
Introduction Farm assessment has been developed in the UK to ensure the safety, quality and traceability of food and welfare of livestock to consumers. The standards of assessment may focus on resource, such as housing conditions and husbandry practices and the outcome of those resource on animals, such as the physical condition (Burkholder, 2000; Roche et al., 2009) or behaviour of animals. An approach of assessing outcomes is, however, thought to better measure animal welfare and help scheme
... o identify potential husbandry problems (Main, Whay, Lee, & Webster, 2007). The aim of this study was to examine the use of outcome-based observations within the assessment reports. Material and methods This study focused on the Assured Dairy Farm (ADF) standards set by the Assured Food Standard (AFS) organization, known as Red Tractor and compared with Soil Association (SA) organic standards and DEFRA Cross Compliance Scheme (CC) animal welfare reports. The data of this study came from ADF reports, collected from three major certification bodies which carry out inspections, Soil Association (SA) inspection reports, which were conducted by the SA assessors against the Organic standards and reports from the DEFRA Cross Compliance legal requirements. The evidence that the assessors provided in comment boxes in reports which supporting their decisions were defined as outcome-based comments, for example: physical condition of cows, or resource-based comments, for example: housing condition, by key words. Results Amongst the 449 ADF reports, there were 49718 comment boxes in total, and 30240 (60.82%) comments were made. Of the 30240 comments, 29189 (96.52%) were resource-based comments, 850 (2.81%) were outcome-based and 202 (0.67%) were not very clear to be labelled either as outcome-based or resource-based comments. Within the 37 SA inspection reports, a total of 1228 comments were made. 883 (71.91%) comments were resource-based comments, 334 (27.2%) were outcome-based comments and 11 (0.9%) were unclear comments. There were a total 364 comment boxes in the 26 CC reports, only 60 comments were made (16.5%) to support the answers and the scores. 41 (68.3%) of all the comments were resource-based comments, 18 (30%) were outcome-based comments, and in just one case (1.7%) was unclear. Out of the 850, 334, 18 outcome-based comments from the ADF, SA, CC reports respectively; a total of 15, 9 and 9 comments, respectively, were relevant to non-compliance and the rest were related to compliance of the standards. Introduction Lameness is a common cause of lost productivity for the pig industry worldwide and a significant threat to animal welfare. Lameness may arise from poor conformation, lesions in the hoof or integument and other disorders in the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Common diagnostic methods require assessors with accurate diagnostic abilities and time for individual assessment, raising questions about the reliability of visual gait assessment. The objective of this study was to investigate movement changes in juvenile female pigs with advanced lameness compared to those with clinically sound locomotion based on a biomechanical method, to develop an additional tool in the selection of superior breeding animals. Material and methods A total of 84 female pigs were enrolled in a longitudinal gait study in a period from January to July 2012. The experimental population grew gradually, increasing by typically five animals every three weeks, reflecting the three-week batch rotation system used for gilt/sow management on the Newcastle University pig unit. The youngest gilts were 39kg (SD 3.8) and the oldest 146kg (SD 13) at point of entry to the study; the oldest animals underwent just one data collection before they entered the commercial breeding herd. A multiple camera-based motion capture was applied at regular intervals to the pre-breeding gilts, during which 3D coordinate data of reflective skin markers attached to head, neck, trunk and leg anatomical landmarks were collected. 15% of the gilts developed spontaneous lameness at some point during the enrolment period and before they entered the breeding herd at 220±10days. Animal movement was captured on scheduled motion capture dates when there was willingness to follow a human along a walkway with an apple reward. Lameness was clinically diagnosed on the day of capture using a subjective scale from 0 to 3 (where 0=normal, 1=stiffness, 2=lameness detected, 3=minimal weight bearing on affected limb (adapted from Main et al., 2000). Head, neck and trunk marker trajectories, elbow (front leg) and knee (hind leg) joint angles, hoof lift and the step-to-stride length ratio of 5 lame pigs (lameness score 3, 114kg BW SD 20) were compared against the same movement parameters of 5 normal pigs (lameness score 0, 124kg BW SD 2). Depending on whether the data were normally distributed or not, Mann-Whitney tests and t-tests were applied (Minitab v.16, USA) to compare key intervals (differences between local maxima and minima (amplitudes)) on displacement curves over time for normal pigs and pigs with front and hind limb lameness. Results The frequency of irregular steps was increased (P<0.001front lame, P=0.0015 hind lame) in both front and hind legs for lame pigs. However, lameness generally induced more irregularity in the front legs (P<0.001). Front lame pigs had more front leg step irregularity (P<0.001) compared to pigs with lameness in hind legs, whereas pigs with hind lameness had increased hind step irregularity (P=0.038) compared to pigs with front lameness. The amplitudes of the vertical head, neck and spine displacement over time were different in normal pigs compared to pigs with front or hind lameness. Pigs with front limb lameness had greater head (P=0.003), neck (P=0.003)) and spine (P=0.024) displacement (Table 1) , but decreased frequency of vertical head (P=0.008) and neck (P=0.019) movement within a gait cycle (stride). Hind hoof clearance (lift) during the swing phase was less (P=0.008) in pigs with hind leg lameness compared to normal pigs. Total range of motion at the elbow joint was decreased for pigs lame in a hind leg (P=0.043), while the total range of motion for the knee was unaffected by lameness in either hind or front legs. Introduction Amongst other factors, ruminal pH is affected by the amount of time a cow spends ruminating. Measuring rumination activity can be costly, time consuming and labour intensive. The development of automated equipment to record rumination is necessary. Among these devices is the HR Tag (Lely, SCR Engineers), a rumination monitoring system. The HR Tags have been validated under controlled circumstances (observation pen) (Schirmann et al., 2009) . Therefore the aim of the present study was to validate the system in less controlled circumstances, using cubicle housed dairy cows in a commercial farm setting, by comparing the measures obtained with the HR Tags with data obtained from video recordings. Material and methods Fourteen multiparous cows (mean ± SEM body weight 689.3 ± 62 kg, parity 4.43 calvings ± 1.22 and days in milk 103.93 days ± 12.3) were allocated to two groups of seven cows each. Cows were given two weeks to adapt to the facilities and diets, and all measurements were recorded in the third week. Cows were offered a total mixed ration diet (TMR = 47% grass silage, 19% wheat, 14% concentrate, 9% water, 7% crimped maize and 4% molasses) with concentrate fed to yield in the milking parlour. Water was supplied ad libitum, and the cows were milked twice daily. A HR Tag to record rumination activity was fitted to each cow. Cow behaviour was recorded using sixteen video cameras positioned in the shed so that all cows were easily viewed. The animals were video recorded for 24 hours each day during the measurement week (except for milking when the cows left the shed). Behaviours were recorded by one observer, using The Observer® software. During the measurement week, 12 two hour blocks per cow were analysed to record rumination time (min/2hrs), with these periods exactly matching the periods reported by the HR Tags. To determine observer reliability, the observer scored rumination time twice on 20% of the total observed 2hr blocks and the correlation coefficient was calculated (Minitab 16). The relationship between the time recorded by video analysis and the time reported by the HR Tags were assessed using correlation coefficient and linear regression. All procedures related to animals were approved by the Animal Ethical Review Committee (VERC 2011-88) of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, the University of Edinburgh. Results The two observer recorded rumination times were highly correlated: r = 0.99 (P<0.001). A high correlation between the time recorded by video analysis and the time reported by the HR Tags was obtained r= 0.87 P = 0.001 and R 2 = 76.4 (P<0.001) (Figure 1 ). Introduction The intake of solid creep feed by suckling piglets can promote both behavioural and physiological adaptation to the abrupt change in diet which occurs at weaning. Creep feed intakes have been reported to be very low during lactation (Kuller et al., 2010), hence the need to study ways of stimulating the exploratory behaviour and acceptance of creep feeds by suckling piglets. It is known that exploratory behaviour can be stimulated by novelty. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of increasing creep feed variety by use of different sequential flavours on solid food intake of piglets before weaning in two housing systems with different degrees of complexity and freedom for the sow, and the consequences for intake and pig health and performance after weaning. Material and methods Thirty six sows (Large White and Landrace crossbred) were used in a 2x2 factorial design. At 5 days before farrowing, the sows were randomly allocated to either a farrowing crate or a loose farrowing pen (PigSAFE). On day 10 of lactation, litters in each system were further divided into two groups, matched for litter size and mean piglet weight, and allocated to a flavour variety regime or consistent flavour regime of creep feeding. In the flavour variety regime, the control creep feed was treated by addition of 5 different flavourings (toffee, apricot, red fruit, butterscotch, apple) which were given sequentially on a daily basis. The flavours were added at the rate of 500g/t, according to manufacturer's advice, by mixing the appropriate amount (0.5g) to treat 1kg of feed with 30g of water and spraying this onto the creep feed, after which it was air dried before feeding. Control creep feed was sprayed with water alone to correct for any effects of wetting and drying. Creep feed intake was monitored daily and piglet weight monitored weekly during lactation. Piglets were weaned in the fourth week (approx 28d of age) and moved as litter groups to weaner accommodation with fully-slatted flooring in all-in all-out, controlled environment rooms. A sequence of standard commercial creep feeds was offered ad libitum according to the normal farm routine and the feed intake and growth of each litter monitored for the first 2 weeks after weaning. The health of the litter was also monitored. The data collected were, after checking for normality, subjected to a two-way analysis of variance using the general linear model (GLM) procedure in MINITAB v 16.0. Results There was no effect of the lactation housing system on piglet feed intake and performance before or after weaning, and no interaction between housing and creep feeding regime. There was a significant increase (P<0.05) in the amount of creep feed consumed by the piglets fed flavoured feeds during lactation. Weight gain in the two weeks after weaning was also significantly higher (P<0.05) in piglets previously fed flavoured creep (Table 1) .