Navigation Links
The mark of the beast: tradition or stress?
Date:9/28/2011

For a variety of reasons it is important to be able to identify farm animals, horses and small companion animals. Farm animals have generally been marked by branding with hot irons or by ear-tagging, while more recently dogs and cats are being uniquely identified by the implant of a microchip transponder. Horses have traditionally been branded but many countries are now moving towards the use of microchips. Branding is still permitted in Austria and Germany, although the German parliament is currently discussing following the lead of Denmark, which banned the practice in 2009. Similar discussions are taking place in the USA and Australia. The underlying belief is that the use of microchips is more humane but is this really the case? The group of Christine Aurich at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna) has now shown that the short-term differences are far less dramatic than animal rights activists may have us believe but that hot-iron branding has prolonged effects that may negatively affect the welfare of the foals.

Previous work had suggested that branding was significantly more stressful than implanting a microchip but the studies were carried out in adult horses and no investigations had been undertaken in foals, although horses are generally marked as foals. In collaboration with other scientists at the Vetmeduni Vienna, Regina Erber in Aurich's group therefore examined the levels of stress hormones in the saliva of foals when they were branded or when a microchip was implanted in their necks. She also monitored the behaviour, the body temperature and the heart rates of the foals while they were marked and afterwards (changes in heart beat are associated with stress). The results showed that both methods were associated with similar acute levels of stress to the animals: cortisol concentrations in the saliva increased similarly and in each case there was a similar transient increase in heart rate and in aversive behaviour. It seems, then, that the immediate behavioural and physiological changes caused by both methods are extremely similar. Furthermore, they appear at least in part to be caused by handling and fixation of the foals and not by the actual marking procedures.

Not surprisingly, branding caused a skin burn that lasted for about a week. However, branding was also found to be accompanied by a generalized increase in skin temperature that lasted for several days. This is comparable to the response of humans to severe burn injuries. These changes were not found in foals that were not branded but instead marked by means of a microchip. The new results thus show that tissue damage caused by branding in foals is far more pronounced than expected.

Unlike adult horses, then, foals suffer very similar levels of stress immediately after they are branded or have a microchip implanted. However, branding induces more prolonged alterations in foals than implantation of a microchip. As Aurich points out, "branding but not microchip implantation causes a necrotizing burn wound and a generalized increase in superficial body temperature, which together are indicative of significant tissue damage." Studies that focus solely on the acute stress response thus underestimate the effect of branding on the welfare of the animals.


'/>"/>

Contact: Professor Christine Aurich
christine.aurich@vetmeduni.ac.at
43-664-602-576-400
University of Veterinary Medicine -- Vienna
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Maryland poll: Traditional media and internet more trusted than social media for research news
2. Solving a traditional Chinese medicine mystery
3. Calls Go Out to Revive the Traditional Physical
4. Friends, family detect early Alzheimers signs better than traditional tests
5. Asian Restaurant in Tempe, Yupha's Thai Kitchen, Offers Traditional Asian-inspired Cuisine
6. Traditional neurologic exams inadequate for predicting survival of cardiac arrest patients
7. My1Stop.com Launches Plastic Table Talkers -- Innovative Table Top Signs That Ship Flat and Outlast Traditional Acrylic Holders
8. Ablation proved as effective as traditional surgery in treating kidney cancer
9. Traditional Marketing is Dead! GLM Creates a Sales Spike in Under 60 Days Stops Business Failure; Provides Startup Funding
10. HD Telepresence Gets More Affordable for SMBs: XVD Espresso HD Delivers Higher Performance at Lower Costs than Traditional Solutions
11. Robby Wash High Efficiency Laundry Detergent Offers 25% off Coupon – Replaces 75 lbs. of Traditional Laundry Detergent Saving $100 Annually
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... In the midst of making plans ... most important arrangement — planning a safe way of getting home after the festivities. ... Unfortunately, these celebrations often lead to drunk drivers on the roads who become involved ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... , ... May 05, 2016 , ... Is the part ... Mother’s Day just a few days away, it’s a good opportunity to raise awareness ... to the American Academy of Dermatology, 40% of women experience hair loss or ‘thinning’ ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... ... for blood and service orders. Blood suppliers and their hospitals use BloodHub ... “BloodHub serves 13,000 active users across 2,100 hospitals who use our platform to ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... Wisconsin (PRWEB) , ... May 05, 2016 , ... ... proud to announce that Dr. Julie Lombardo, PT, DPT, MA, OCS, WCS, has ... of the WPTA Private Practice Award. The WPTA Private Practice Award is awarded ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... The talus is the part ankle ... falls, or traffic accidents can cause the talus bone to be fractured, and a ... In a first-of-its-kind procedure using 3D printing technology, internationally renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2016)... CITY, Mo. , May 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Kansas Medical Center,s Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation ... and commercialize new drugs, diagnostics and medical devices. ... provides BioNovus Innovations with rights to license, develop ... "This partnership represents ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... 2016  Axiogenesis has acquired a major investment from Sino-German High-Tech Fund to further expand product development, strengthen its ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160503/362921 ... ... ... ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... 2016 ACME Markets, ... Delaware County Councilman Dave White ... all ACME pharmacies across Delaware ... and Prevention (CDC), naloxone has saved 26,463 lives nationwide over the ... Delaware County were authorized to administer naloxone to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: