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A welfare issue for horses fitted with tight nosebands has been highlighted by new research from the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Veterinary Science.
‘The Effect of Noseband Tightening on Horses’ Behaviour, Eye Temperature, and Cardiac Responses’ was published in PLOS ONE journal in early May, and finds that horses experience physiological stress responses when prevented from moving their jaws.
The study reveals instances of horses’ resting heart rates rising from 34bpm to 100bpm following noseband tightening.
The use of restrictive nosebands to bind the jaws of sport horses is a common practice according to the study’s lead author, horse trainer Kate Fenner. Continue reading Noseband nastiness highlighted by USyd research
Osteochondrosis (OC) is the most prevalent developmental orthopaedic disease in the horse. It is a complex disorder because of the interplay of factors that influence the formation of lesions and the ensuing natural healing process, the end result of which determines clinical outcome. The early pathogenetic mechanism of OC has long remained elusive, but recent research . . . → Read More: Abstracts: Pathogenesis of osteochondrosis dissecans: How does this translate to management of the clinical case?
In his book Animal Welfare: A Cool Eye Towards Eden, the well-known welfare scientist John Webster criticises the contribution of moral philosophy to the question of the treatment of animals and their welfare. Webster writes:
“The moral philosophy approach to animal welfare – i.e. based upon our thoughts and values, not theirs – tends to generate broad, bold (and careless) conclusions such as ‘Man has no right to cause any animal to suffer’”.
He gives just two examples of such “moral philosophy”: A book by Andrew Lindsay, a Christian author who has attempted to interpret the meaning of “Man’s Dominion” in a way favourable to animal rights; and the famous book Animal Liberation by Peter Singer. While admitting that he admires and shares a passion for animal welfare with these authors, and is also well disposed towards aspects of Singer’s utilitarian philosophy, Webster claims that their work is not really helpful. In fact, their work is all too easily debased into empty or wrong-headed slogans. Webster holds a view that “Man” rightly and necessarily has “Dominion” over the animals. He broadly favours traditional forms of animal use, like animal agriculture, so long as they treat animals humanely and fairly. Continue reading Vet Ethics: Man’s dominion and the worth of animals
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has welcomed the conclusion of court proceedings against actress Amber Heard.
Heard was charged with violating biosecurity laws after bringing two Yorkshire terriers into the country by private jet last year while her husband Johnny Depp was shooting a film.
She was given one month good behaviour bond and no conviction, though she and Depp shot 42 second video expressing regret at the situation.
“I appreciate Ms Heard’s willingness to take responsibility for her actions last year and her acknowledgement that she broke our national biosecurity laws,” Joyce said.
“These legal proceedings reinforce the clear message I sent internationally last year that we will not tolerate disregard for our biosecurity laws, no matter who you are.”
Joyce used Facebook to share the widely mocked apology clip, which some in the media compared to a hostage video. Continue reading A tale of two terriers comes to an end
Since most animal species have been recognised as sentient beings, emotional state may be a good indicator of welfare in animals. The goal of this study was to manipulate the environment of nine beagle research dogs to highlight physiological responses indicative of different emotional experiences. Stimuli were selected to be a more or a less positive food (meatball or food pellet) or social reward (familiar person or less familiar person). That all the stimuli were positive and of different reward value was confirmed in a runway motivation test. Dogs were tested individually while standing facing a display theatre where the different stimuli could be shown by lifting a shutter. Continue reading Abstracts: Assessing positive emotional states in dogs using heart rate and heart rate variability