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:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... agency serving communities in the greater Dallas, Miami, and Raleigh regions, is organizing ... fighting to overcome a rare and deadly chromosome abnormality. , After struggling since ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The International ... promote standards of excellence for the field of eating disorders, announces the opening ... 25, 2018 in Orlando, Florida at the Omni Resort at ChampionsGate. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Many families have long-term insurance that covers care for a family ... for care if the client has a cognitive impairment diagnosis. , “What this ... often waived, so the benefits from their insurance start immediately,” said Mechell Vieira, owner ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... giving viewers the lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," ... on current events and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... CitiDent and San Francisco dentists, ... cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as 18 million Americans are estimated to ... breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant relief to about 75 percent of people ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... --  West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE: WST), a ... today shared the results of a study highlighting the ... administration of polio vaccines. The study results were presented ... by Dr. Ondrej Mach , Clinical Trials and ... and recently published in the journal Vaccine. i ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... SEOUL, South Korea , Oct. 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... launched its next-generation CPR training aide "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. ... of chest compression during cardiac arrests with better efficiency ... patient-mannequins. It also offers real-time feedback on efficacy of ... The crowdfunding campaign has a goal to raise ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2, 2017 Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: ... and Consulting, LLC , and named its founder as ... in Tennessee , will operate under ... EnvoyHealth,s service offerings for health care partners to include ... "In an interoperable world, technology delivers ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: