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TheDairySite Newsletter - 7 February 2014

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TheDairySite
Friday 7th February 2014.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley
Editor


Measuring Stress In Cows: An Exact Science?

Measuring and quantifying discomfort in cows can be an exact science, US cattlemen have been told this week.

Furthermore, comprehensively monitoring animal welfare and stress can be realised in end product value.

Addressing the 2014 Cattle Industry Convention, Dr Karen Genswein told cattlemen that consumers are willing to pay 20 per cent more for labels denoting welfare conscious farming.

She emphasised market access as an economic benefit of reducing animal stress, stating: “Animals with increased stress shed more pathogens and this is not good for food safety.”

She outlined a range of physiological measures that act as signals for producers to tell them something in their management system is wrong or distressing.

Farmers were reminded of the hormone cortisol.

Cortisol samples taken from saliva and blood are good short term indicators, but hair samples can indicate stress days, weeks and months in the past, said Dr Genswein.

“Cortisol in hair gives us a longer term view - a more chronic measure,” she explained. “This is better for signalling the long term impact of weaning calves, transporting cattle and stress from vaccinations.”

She also described a pain indicator – ‘substance p’.

This neuropeptide is a biomarker of pain which Dr Genswein explained can be measured in the blood.

As well as the physiological signals of stress, the Canadian Beef Export Federation expert told producers that behavioural observation also had its place.

She said signals such as; vocalization, foot stomping, reduced feed intake; time spent lying and standing, walking strides, locomotion scores and drooling are useful indicators of stress in animals.

“Behaviour is very telling and we cannot discount it. I often get asked, ‘what is the silver bullet solution?’,” said Dr Genswein, adding that scientists often have contradictory messages from behaviour and physiology.

She stated that, when pushed, she would choose bevioural signals over physiological ones.

The importance of minimising stress with good management was stressed by Texas veterinarian Arn Anderson. He believes that good management is more important than the right vaccination plan.

He told farmers that stress leads to disease and when cattle are not ‘fit’ medical efforts lose efficacy.

“Vaccines do not replace management,” he said. “You can put all the vaccines you want into cattle, but if they are not fit animals, they will not respond to the vaccine administered.”

 


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This Week's Articles and Analysis

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Company News

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Market Reports

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Global Dairy Industry News

   Global

Improved Vaccines for Control of East Coast Fever in Cattle
FAO: Beef Prices up Marginally in January; Dairy Price Index Higher
Nutreco to Sell Spanish, Portuguese Meat and Feed Businesses
Study Establishes Positive Role of Specialty Feed Ingredients
Soybean Could Be The 'Exciting' Market This Year
Angola, Brazil and FAO Sign Cooperation Agreement
Feed Survey Reports Slight Increase in Global Feed Production in 2013
Feed Regulators and Industry Discuss Critical Issues

   Ireland

Irish Farmers Protest Against Factory Price Cuts
More Funding for Ireland's Johne’s Disease Programme

   United Kingdom

Veterinary Pharmaceutical Industry Event Planned for June
NFU: Lessons Must be Learned from Severe Flooding
HS2 Proposal 'Fails to Consider' Whether Farm Businesses Can Survive
ForFarmers Acquires HST Feeds
Places for Outlook Conference 2014 Going Fast
Increase Reported in 2013 Northern Ireland Farm Incomes
Biggest Ever Jersey Choice From Genomics Supplier
Forecast Shows Weather Still Impacting on Farming’s Bottom Line

   Australia

MLA: Weekly Cattle Summary
Farmers Battling Through Extreme Conditions

   France

How Much Does Organic Farming Rely on Conventional Agriculture?

   United States

Wyckoff's Weekly Cattle Outlook: Serious Chart Damage in Markets
Sanitary Practices for Transport of Food and Feed Proposed
A Kinder, Gentler EPA?
February Weather Outlook: Prepare for More of the Same
Senate Approves Nearly $1 Trillion 2014 US Farm Bill
McDonald's Sustainability VP Wants to Collaborate, Not Mandate
CME: Total Cattle Inventory on 1 January Smaller Than a Year Ago
Wyckoff's Closing Report: Cattle Closed Lower
April Cattle Closed Down on Monday
Manners Matter When Working With Cattle
Maryland House of Delegates Urged to Oppose Bill Legalsing Sale of Raw Milk
Oakhurst Acquired by Farmer Owned Cooperative
EPA Awards Almost $9 Million to Improve Water Quality
Bullish Outlook Complicated By Dairy Steers and Other 'Minor Irritations'
Dairy Reform Progress Welcomed By Producers
Different Perspectives on Cattle Basis
Daily Dairy Trading: Spot Market Reports Further Cheese Gains, Thursday
House Passes Farm Bill, Union Praises Efforts

   Italy

Seven New Bluetongue Outbreaks in Italy

   Malta

Maltese Cattle Numbers Down in 2013

   Turkey

5th Global Feed & Food Congress Announced

   Belize

Bovine Tuberculosis Hits Dairy Herd in Belize

   Mauritania

Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia Reported in Mauritania

   China

Fonterra Issues Renminbi Bond to Support Growth in China

   Denmark

Major Investment to Boost Arla’s Profitability

   Nicaragua

Growth in Nicaraguan Milk Production

   Panama

Central American Brucellosis Programme Underway

   Russian Federation

FMD Outbreak Affects Russian Livestock
FMD NEWS: FMD Outbreak Affects Russian Livestock

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