ResearchPad - meat https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Brazilian vegetarians diet quality markers and comparison with the general population: A nationwide cross-sectional study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7851 Vegetarianism is an increasingly common practice worldwide. Despite good evidence from other countries regarding vegetarians’ diet quality, data from the Brazilian population is still scarce.ObjectiveTo characterize the vegetarian Brazilian population and evaluate their diet quality compared to the general Brazilian population.MethodsWe performed a nationwide cross-sectional study using an online self-administered questionnaire, previously validated for the Brazilian population, to evaluate diet quality markers of vegetarians. The invitation to participate in the survey was spread nationwide, aimed at vegetarian communities. Individuals who considered themselves vegetarians and were at least 18 years old were eligible to participate. The results on regular intake and intake adequacy were compared among vegetarians and between genders using the Pearson’s chi-square test. The body mass index (BMI) were analyzed by the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) followed by Tukey post-hoc test. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov test verified normality. All analyses considered bilateral hypotheses and a significance level of 5% (p <0.05).ResultsBrazilian vegetarians presented better diet quality markers, such as higher regular weekly intake and adequate daily intake of fruits and vegetables, and lower regular intake of soft drinks when compared to the general Brazilian population. Vegetarians also presented a proportionally higher consumption of natural foods and lower consumption of processed foods. Among vegetarians, a higher proportion of vegans showed positive results regarding diet markers analysis, when compared to vegetarians, pesco-vegetarians, and semi-vegetarians.ConclusionsVegetarians showed better results of diet adequacy when compared to the general population in Brazil, and vegans fared better when compared with other vegetarians. Despite the good results found, a large proportion of the participants still did not achieve the fruits and vegetables daily intake, according to the World Health Organization recommendations. ]]> <![CDATA[Do parents counter-balance the carbon emissions of their children?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nea582d41-f072-4a93-882b-8bb6cca64243

It is well understood that adding to the population increases CO2 emissions. At the same time, having children is a transformative experience, such that it might profoundly change adult (i.e., parents’) preferences and consumption. How it might change is, however, unknown. Depending on if becoming a parent makes a person “greener” or “browner,” parents may either balance or exacerbate the added CO2 emissions from their children. Parents might think more about the future, compared to childless adults, including risks posed to their children from environmental events like climate change. But parenthood also adds needs and more intensive competition on your scarce time. Carbon-intensive goods can add convenience and help save time, e.g., driving may facilitate being in more places in one day, compared to public transportation or biking. Pre-prepared food that contain red meat may save time and satisfy more household preferences, relative to vegetarian food. We provide the first rigorous test of whether parents are greener or browner than other adults. We create a unique dataset by combining detailed micro data on household expenditures of all expenditure groups particularly important for CO2 emissions (transportation, food, and heating/electricity) with CO2 emissions, and compare emissions from Swedish adults with and without children. We find that parents emit more CO2 than childless adults. Only a small fraction of adults permanently choose not to have children, which means any meaningful self-selection into parenthood based on green preferences is unlikely. Our findings suggest that having children might increase CO2 emissions both by adding to the population and by increasing CO2 emissions from those choosing to have children.

]]>
<![CDATA[Acute Toxoplasmosis among Canadian Deer Hunters Associated with Consumption of Undercooked Deer Meat Hunted in the United States]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Naf73745d-2528-477b-a50b-550b3cac0f7e

Health professionals should be aware that such outbreaks might be more common in the future

]]>
<![CDATA[MLST-based genetic relatedness of Campylobacter jejuni isolated from chickens and humans in Poland]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N2eb0d267-f054-40f4-b445-0c8d9725ee43

Campylobacter jejuni infection is one of the most frequently reported foodborne bacterial diseases worldwide. The main transmission route of these microorganisms to humans is consumption of contaminated food, especially of chicken origin. The aim of this study was to analyze the genetic relatedness of C. jejuni from chicken sources (feces, carcasses, and meat) and from humans with diarrhea as well as to subtype the isolates to gain better insight into their population structure present in Poland. C. jejuni were genotyped using multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and sequence types (STs) were assigned in the MLST database. Among 602 isolates tested, a total of 121 different STs, including 70 (57.9%) unique to the isolates' origin, and 32 STs that were not present in the MLST database were identified. The most prevalent STs were ST464 and ST257, with 58 (9.6%) and 52 (8.6%) C. jejuni isolates, respectively. Isolates with some STs (464, 6411, 257, 50) were shown to be common in chickens, whereas others (e.g. ST21 and ST572) were more often identified among human C. jejuni. It was shown that of 47 human sequence types, 26 STs (106 isolates), 23 STs (102 isolates), and 29 STs (100 isolates) were also identified in chicken feces, meat, and carcasses, respectively. These results, together with the high and similar proportional similarity indexes (PSI) calculated for C. jejuni isolated from patients and chickens, may suggest that human campylobacteriosis was associated with contaminated chicken meat or meat products or other kinds of food cross-contaminated with campylobacters of chicken origin. The frequency of various sequence types identified in the present study generally reflects of the prevalence of STs in other countries which may suggest that C. jejuni with some STs have a global distribution, while other genotypes may be more restricted to certain countries.

]]>
<![CDATA[Socioeconomic vulnerability associated to Toxoplasma gondii exposure in southern Brazil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f14bed5eed0c48467a799

Human toxoplasmosis, a protozoonosis caused by Toxoplasma gondii, has been described as a worldwide foodborne disease with important public health impact. Despite infection has reportedly varied due to differences in alimentary, cultural and hygienic habits and geographic region, social vulnerability influence on toxoplasmosis distribution remains to be fully established. Accordingly, the present study has aimed to assess T. gondii seroprevalence and factors associated to social vulnerability for infection in households of Ivaiporã, southern Brazil, with 33.6% population making half minimum wage or less, ranked 1,055th in population (31,816 habitants), 1,406th in per capita income (U$ 211.80 per month) and 1,021st in HDI (0.764) out of 5,570 Brazilian cities. Serum samples and epidemiological questionnaires were obtained from citizen volunteers with official City Secretary of Health assistance in 2015 and 2016. In overall, serosurvey has revealed 526/715 (73.57%) positive samples for anti-T. gondii antibodies by Indirect Fluorescent Antibody Test. Logistic regression has shown a significant increase associated to adults (p = 0.021) and elderly (p = 0.014) people, illiterates (p = 0.025), unemployment (p <0.001) and lack of household water tank (p = 0.039). On the other hand, sex (male or female), living area (urban or rural), yard hygiene, meat ingestion, sand or land contact, owning pets (dog, cat or both) were not significant variables of positivity for anti-T. gondii antibodies in the surveyed population. Although no significant spatial cluster was found, high intensity areas of seropositive individuals were located in the Kernel map where the suburban neighborhoods are located. In conclusion, socioeconomic vulnerability determinants may be associated to Toxoplasma gondii exposure. The increased risk due to illiteracy, adult or elderly age, unemployment and lack of household water tank were confirmed by multivariate analysis and the influence of low family income for seropositivity by the spatial analysis.

]]>
<![CDATA[Effects of increased space allowance on animal welfare, meat and ham quality of heavy pigs slaughtered at 160Kg]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c706779d5eed0c4847c70a2

Sixty barrows (Body Weight–BW- range: 23.9–160 kg) were allotted to two experimental groups (6 pens of 5 pigs each): the control group was kept at a space allowance of 1m2/head; the second group was kept at 1.3m2/head. Behaviour, growth parameters, carcass and meat quality were assessed, as well as fat and cured ham quality. Results showed that pigs raised at 1.3m2/head spent more time laying (particularly in lateral recumbency, P<0.01 and P<0.001, respectively) compared to pigs kept at lower space allowance. They also reduced the aimless exploration of the slatted pen floor (P<0.001) and increased overall expression of other, mainly active, behaviors (e.g., drinking, walking and standing, P<0.01). Pigs raised at 1.3m2/head showed higher final BW (P = 0.02), more favourable Average Daily Gain (ADG) and gain-to-Feed ratio (G:F) both during the last period of the trial (P<0.05 for both parameters) and over the entire trial (P = 0.01 for both parameters). No significant difference was observed between groups for carcass traits and the main meat quality attributes. Subcutaneous fat from green hams had higher α-linolenic acid content (P<0.01) in the group reared at greater space allowance. Green hams from this group lost less weight at trimming (P<0.01) and the resulting cured hams received better sensory evaluations (P<0.05). No difference was observed in fatty acid composition and unsaturation levels of the subcutaneous fat from cured hams. Our data suggest that heavy pigs intended for Parma ham would benefit from the adoption of higher individual floor space allowances, both in terms of animal welfare (increased possibility to rest) and of productive parameters, without having any detrimental effect on the suitability of the thighs for dry-curing or on the quality of the final product.

]]>
<![CDATA[Variance components for bovine tuberculosis infection and multi-breed genome-wide association analysis using imputed whole genome sequence data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f1539d5eed0c48467af0c

Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is an infectious disease of cattle generally caused by Mycobacterium bovis, a bacterium that can elicit disease humans. Since the 1950s, the objective of the national bTB eradication program in Republic of Ireland was the biological extinction of bTB; that purpose has yet to be achieved. Objectives of the present study were to develop the statistical methodology and variance components to undertake routine genetic evaluations for resistance to bTB; also of interest was the detection of regions of the bovine genome putatively associated with bTB infection in dairy and beef breeds. The novelty of the present study, in terms of research on bTB infection, was the use of beef breeds in the genome-wide association and the utilization of imputed whole genome sequence data. Phenotypic bTB data on 781,270 animals together with imputed whole genome sequence data on 7,346 of these animals’ sires were available. Linear mixed models were used to quantify variance components for bTB and EBVs were validated. Within-breed and multi-breed genome-wide associations were undertaken using a single-SNP regression approach. The estimated genetic standard deviation (0.09), heritability (0.12), and repeatability (0.30) substantiate that genetic selection help to eradicate bTB. The multi-breed genome-wide association analysis identified 38 SNPs and 64 QTL regions associated with bTB infection; two QTL regions (both on BTA23) identified in the multi-breed analysis overlapped with the within-breed analyses of Charolais, Limousin, and Holstein-Friesian. Results from the association analysis, coupled with previous studies, suggest bTB is controlled by an infinitely large number of loci, each having a small effect. The methodology and results from the present study will be used to develop national genetic evaluations for bTB in the Republic of Ireland. In addition, results can also be used to help uncover the biological architecture underlying resistance to bTB infection in cattle.

]]>
<![CDATA[The continuing evolution of ownership]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c7577d5eed0c4843cfddd

The evolution in animals of a first possession convention, in which individuals retain what they are the first to acquire, has often been taken as a foundation for the evolution of human ownership institutions. However, among humans, individuals actually only seldom retain an item they have acquired from the environment, instead typically transferring what they possess to other members of the community, to those in command, or to those who hold a contractual title. This paper presents a novel game-theoretic model of the evolution of ownership institutions as rules governing resource transfers. Integrating existing findings, the model contributes a new perspective on the emergence of communal transfers among hominin large game hunters around 200,000 years ago, of command ownership among sedentary humans in the millennia prior to the transition to agriculture, and of titled property ownership around 5,500 years ago. Since today’s property institutions motivate transfers through the promise of future returns, the analysis presented here suggests that these institutions may be placed under considerable pressure should resources become significantly constrained.

]]>
<![CDATA[Soybean isoflavones improve the health benefits, flavour quality indicators and physical properties of grass carp (Ctenopharygodon idella)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b5246d5eed0c4842bc5d5

Health benefits, flavour quality indicators and physical properties were analysed after feeding grass carp graded concentrations of soybean isoflavones (SIF) (0, 25, 50, 75, 100 and 125 mg/kg) for 60 days. The results demonstrated that optimal dietary SIF supplementation improved the protein and total PUFA content, especially healthcare n-3 PUFA (C18: 3n-3, EPA and DHA), and increased the flavour-related free amino acid [especially umami amino acid] and 5'-inosine monophosphate content, improving the health benefits and flavour quality indicators in the muscle of grass carp. In addition, optimal dietary SIF supplementation (25 or 50 mg SIF/kg diet) enhanced some physical properties [water-holding capacity and tenderness] and increased the collagen content; however, it reduced cathepsin activity and apoptosis. SIF supplementation enhanced the glutathione content and the activity of antioxidant enzymes (except CuZnSOD) by regulating their gene expression. The gene expression could be regulated by NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) signalling in the muscle of grass carp. We demonstrated that optimal dietary SIF supplementation elevated the health benefits, flavour quality indicators and physical properties of fish muscle.

]]>
<![CDATA[Sensory evaluation of poultry meat: A comparative survey of results from normal sighted and blind people]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52add5eed0c4842bce23

Visual assessment is one of the key criteria in the sensory evaluation of foods. The appearance of food products may affect their perception by other senses, sometimes giving a false picture of their quality. A true assessment of such sensory attributes as aroma, taste, tenderness, and juiciness, which are components of the overall liking of food, without the use of instrumental methods is feasible only by blind people. We have advanced a hypothesis that blindness may modify the impressions perceived through other senses used in food evaluation. To confirm this hypothesis, a sensory testing of cooked breast and leg meat from various poultry species was conducted by normal sighted and blind panelists aged from 18 to 26 years. It has been demonstrated that the lack of sight is compensated by other senses, the intensified perception of which enables a more precise sensory evaluation of food in terms of such parameters as the aroma, tenderness and juiciness. Thus, blind people can be recommended as panelists evaluating the sensory profile of food products. Scores given by the sensory panel allowed the conclusion that the most desirable poultry meat was BM of broiler chicken and capon, followed by Guinea fowl. Lower scores were given by the panelists to meat of water fowl (goose, duck), whereas the lowest ones were assigned to cooked ostrich meat.

]]>
<![CDATA[Estimating the association between being seropositive for cysticercosis and the prevalence of epilepsy and severe chronic headaches in 60 villages of rural Burkina Faso]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536bf0d5eed0c484a495b9

Background

Individuals diagnosed with neurocysticercosis often present with epilepsy and sometimes with progressively worsening severe chronic headaches (WSCH). While cross-sectional associations between seropositivity to cysticercal antigens and epilepsy have been reported, few large scale studies have been conducted in West Africa and none have measured the association between seropositivity to cysticercal antigens and headaches. This study aimed at filling these knowledge gaps by estimating the strength of the cross-sectional association between seropositivity to cysticercal antigens and the prevalence of epilepsy and WSCH in 60 villages of Burkina Faso, West Africa.

Methodology/Principal findings

Baseline data from a cluster randomized controlled trial collected from January 2011 to February 2012 in 60 villages across three provinces in Burkina Faso were used. Between 78 and 80 individuals were screened for epilepsy and WSCH in each village, and those screened positive were confirmed by a physician. Seventy-five percent of all participants were asked to provide a blood sample to test for Taenia solium cysticercus circulating antigens. Hierarchical multivariable logistic models were used to measure the association between seropositivity to cysticercal antigens and epilepsy (lifetime and active) as well as WSCH. Among 3696 individuals who provided a blood sample, 145 were found to have epilepsy only, 140 WSCH only and 19 both. There were positive associations between seropositivity to cysticercal antigens and active epilepsy (prevalence odds ratio (POR): 2.40 (95%CI: 1.15–5.00)) and WSCH (POR: 2.59 (1.34–4.99)).

Conclusions/Significance

Our study is the first to demonstrate a cross-sectional association between seropositivity to cysticercal antigens and WSCH in a large community-based study conducted in West Africa. The measured cross-sectional association had a strength similar to the ones previously observed between seropositivity to cysticercal antigens and lifetime or active epilepsy. As a result, preventing new cysticercosis cases in communities may reduce the prevalence of these two important neurological disorders.

]]>
<![CDATA[Comparison of two bovine serum pregnancy tests in detection of artificial insemination pregnancies and pregnancy loss in beef cattle]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5217cbd5eed0c4847945d9

Blood tests for early detection of pregnancy in cattle based on pregnancy-associated glycoproteins (PAGs) are commercially available. The objective of these studies were to compare the accuracy of blood tests to transrectal ultrasonography in detecting AI pregnancies, and to compare the accuracy of blood tests in predicting pregnancy loss. Beef cattle from 6 herds were synchronized using a recommended CIDR based protocol (Study 1: n = 460; Study 2: n = 472). Pregnancy status was determined by transrectal ultrasonography between days 28–40 following AI, blood samples were collected at this time. In study 2 a final pregnancy determination was performed at the end of the breeding season to determine pregnancy loss. Each serum sample was examined for PAG concentrations using a microtiter plate reader and/or scored by two technicians blind to pregnancy status and pregnancy loss. For study 1 Cohen’s kappa statistics were calculated to assess the agreement between each test and transrectal ultrasonography. For study 2 data was analyzed using the GLIMMIX procedure of SAS with herd as a random effect, and loss, age, and their interaction included in the model. Agreement was good to very good for each test. There was no difference (P = 0.79) in sensitivity, but a difference (P<0.01) in specificity of the assays (88%, 64%, 87%, 90%) and in the overall percent correct (93%, 84%, 93%, 93%). There was an effect of pregnancy loss (P = 0.04), age (P = 0.0002), and their interaction (P = 0.06) on PAG concentrations. In conclusion both pregnancy tests were accurate at detecting AI pregnancies, and were in very good agreement with transrectal ultrasonography. Both tests detected differences in PAGs among females that maintained and lost pregnancy; however, prediction proved to be difficult as most females were above the threshold and would have been considered pregnant on the day of testing.

]]>
<![CDATA[Inappropriate usage of selected antimicrobials: Comparative residue proportions in rural and urban beef in Uganda]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f7dcd5eed0c484386b13

Introduction

In most developing countries like Uganda, antimicrobials including β-lactams and tetracyclines are used indiscriminately in livestock. When livestock get sick and treatment is necessary, some producers and veterinarians use these drugs with minimal controls to prevent residues from occurring in the beef sent to markets. This study was done to determine the presence of drug residues above acceptable limits of two commonly used antimicrobials in Uganda’s rural and urban beef.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted of 134 cattle carcasses from eight different slaughter slabs over twelve weeks. This study entailed 81 samples of rural and 53 samples of urban origin. To enable detailed analysis these samples were categorized according to age (maturity), breed, and sex. For each of the 134 carcasses, three samples of liver, kidney and muscle were taken and homogeneously mixed into one sample, which was tested for β-lactam and tetracycline drug residues.

Results

The results were statistically significant for β-lactam levels (χ2 = 22.10, df = 10, p = 0.0146) with average concentration (μg/kg) of 2.93:29.3 (rural: urban), though not for tetracycline levels (χ2 = 3.594, df = 10, P = 0.9638) with average concentration (μg/kg) of 5.028:12.83 (rural: urban). Age (maturity) had significant effect at all values of antibiotic level (F(1, 68) = 5.06, p = 0.0278). Age effect was extremely significant (F(1, 68) = 15.51, p = 0.0002).

Conclusion

A significant difference existed in drug residue proportions of β-lactam and tetracycline antimicrobials among Uganda’s rural and urban beef. A significant difference also occured in drug residue proportions of these two commonly used antimicrobials related to age (maturity), but neither breed, nor sex, of Uganda’s rural and urban beef.

]]>
<![CDATA[A computer-based incentivized food basket choice tool: Presentation and evaluation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f766d5eed0c48438606d

Objective

To develop and evaluate a low-cost computer-based tool to elicit dietary choices in an incentive compatible manner, which can be used on-line or as part of a laboratory study.

Methods

The study was conducted with around 255 adults. Respondents were asked to allocate a fixed monetary budget across a choice of around a hundred grocery items with the prospect of receiving these items with some probability delivered to their home by a real supermarket. The tool covers a broad range of food items, allows inference of macro-nutrients and calories, and allows the researcher to fix the choice set participants can choose from. We compare the information derived from our incentivized tool, and compare it to alternative low-cost ways of measuring dietary intake, namely the food frequency questionnaire and a one-shot version of the 24-hour dietary recall, which are both based on self-reports. We compare the calorie intake indicators derived from each tool with a number of biometric measures for each subject, namely weight, body-mass-index (BMI) and waist size.

Results

The results show that the dietary information collected is only weakly correlated across the three methods. We find that only the calorie intake measure from our incentivized tool is positively and significantly related to each of the biometric indicators. Specifically, a 10% increase in calorie intake is associated with a 1.5% increase in BMI. By contrast, we find no significant correlations for either of the two measures based on self-reports.

Conclusion

The computer-based tool is a promising new, low-cost measure of dietary choices, particularly in one-shot situations where such behaviours are only observed once, whereas other tools like 24-hour dietary recalls and food frequency questionnaires may be more suited when they are administered repeatedly. The tool may be useful for research conducted with limited time and budget.

]]>
<![CDATA[Imbalance of the redox system and quality of tilapia fillets subjected to pre-slaughter stress]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478c72d5eed0c484bd2600

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of oxidative stress on the instrumental and sensory quality of Nile tilapia fillets. The experiment was conducted in a 2x2 factorial arrangement, evaluating densities (60 and 300 kg m-3) and depuration times (1 and 24 hours) in a total of four treatments. The serum levels of cortisol and gene expression levels of catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and 70 kDa heat shock protein (HSP70) as well as the pH, color, tenderness, water-holding capacity and sensory analysis of the fillets were evaluated. High density (300 kg m-3) resulted in higher mean cortisol levels, lower expression of CAT and GPx enzymes as well as higher expression of HSP70. Fish under this treatment also exhibited fillets with greater tenderness, higher lightness, lower redness and lower sensory acceptance. The longer depuration time (24 hours) resulted in lower expression of the CAT and GPx enzymes and fillets with higher lightness. The water-holding capacity was not affected by the different treatments. Therefore, low density and longer depuration times are recommended for decreased stress and improved quality of fillets.

]]>
<![CDATA[Effect of ZFN-edited myostatin loss-of-function mutation on gut microbiota in Meishan pigs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478c68d5eed0c484bd2230

Intestine contains the body's second largest genetic information, so a relatively stable microbiota ecosystems and interactions between intestinal micro-organisms play a pivotal role in the normal growth and development in animals. The establishment of intestinal microflora is affected by a variety of factors such as species, environmental factors, developmental stage, organizational structure and physiological characteristics of various parts of the digestive tract. Gene editing technology such as ZFN has recently been used as a new approach to replace the traditional transgenic technology and to make genetic modifications in animals. However, it is not known if genetic modification by gene editing technology will have any impact on gut microbiota. In this study, by sequencing 16S rRNA collected from rectum, we investigated the effects of ZFN-mediated myostatin (MSTN) loss-of-function mutation (MSTN-/-) on gut microbiota in Meishan pigs. Our results showed that the fecal microbial composition is very similar between MSTN-/- Meishan pigs and wild type Meishan pigs. Although significant differences in certain individual strains were observed, all the dominant microorganism species are basically the same between MSTN-/- and wild type pigs. However, these differences do not adversely affect MSTN-/- Meishan pigs. Thus, it is concluded that ZFN-mediated MSTN loss-of-function mutation did not have any adverse effect on the gut microbiota in Meishan pigs.

]]>
<![CDATA[Plant-based (vegan) diets for pets: A survey of pet owner attitudes and feeding practices]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478ca4d5eed0c484bd39b0

People who avoid eating animals tend to share their homes with animal companions, and moral dilemma may arise when they are faced with feeding animal products to their omnivorous dogs and carnivorous cats. One option to alleviate this conflict is to feed pets a diet devoid of animal ingredients—a ‘plant-based’ or ‘vegan’ diet. The number of pet owners who avoid animal products, either in their own or in their pets’ diet, is not currently known. The objective of this study was to estimate the number of meat-avoiding pet owners, identify concerns regarding conventional animal- and plant-based pet food, and estimate the number of pets fed a plant-based diet. A questionnaire was disseminated online to English-speaking pet owners (n = 3,673) to collect data regarding pet owner demographics, diet, pet type, pet diet, and concerns regarding pet foods. Results found that pet owners were more likely to be vegetarian (6.2%; 229/3,673) or vegan (5.8%; 212/3,673) than previously reported for members of the general population. With the exception of one dog owned by a vegetarian, vegans were the only pet owners who fed plant-based diets to their pets (1.6%; 59/3,673). Of the pet owners who did not currently feed plant-based diets but expressed interest in doing so, a large proportion (45%; 269/599) desired more information demonstrating the nutritional adequacy of plant-based diets. Amongst all pet owners, the concern most commonly reported regarding meat-based pet foods was for the welfare of farm animals (39%; 1,275/3,231). The most common concern regarding strictly plant-based pet foods was regarding the nutritional completeness of the diet (74%; 2,439/3,318). Amongst vegans, factors which predicted the feeding of plant-based diets to their pets were concern regarding the cost of plant-based diets, a lack of concern regarding plant-based diets being unnatural, and reporting no concern at all regarding plant-based diets for pets. Given these findings, further research is warranted to investigate plant-based nutrition for domestic dogs and cats.

]]>
<![CDATA[Correlations between growth and wool quality traits of genetically divergent Australian lambs in response to canola or flaxseed oil supplementation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c37b7c4d5eed0c484490c47

The correlations between growth and wool traits in response to canola and flaxseed oil supplementation were evaluated in Australian prime lambs. Sixty dual-purpose prime lambs including purebred Merino and crossbred lambs were allocated to one of five treatments of lucerne hay basal diet supplemented with isocaloric and isonitrogenous wheat-based pellets. Treatments were: no oil inclusion (Control); 2.5% canola oil; 5% canola oil; 2.5% flaxseed oil and 5% flaxseed oil, with lamb groups balanced by breed and gender. Each lamb was daily supplemented with 1kg of pellets and had free access to lucerne hay and water throughout the 7-week feeding trial, after a 3-week adaptation. Individual animal basal and supplementary pellet feed intakes were recorded daily, while body conformation traits, body condition scores and liveweights were measured on days 0, 21, 35 and 49. The lambs were dye-banded on the mid-side and shorn before commencing the feeding trial and mid-side wool samples were collected from the same dye-banded area of each lamb at the end of the experiment. Correlations between wool quality traits and lamb performance were non-significant (P>0.05). Oil supplementation had no detrimental effect on lamb growth and wool quality traits (P > 0.05). Gender significantly affected wither height gain and fibre diameter. There were significant interactions between oil supplementation and lamb breed on chest girth. The correlations between clean fleece yield (CFY) and other wool quality traits were moderate ranging from 0.29 to 0.55. Moderate to high correlations between fibre diameter (FD) and other wool quality traits were detected (0.46–0.99) with the strongest relationship between FD and wool spinning fineness (SF). The relationship between CFY and wool comfort factor (CF) were positive, while negative relationships between CFY and the others were observed. A combination of 5% oil supplementation and genetics is an effective and strategic management tool for enhancing feed efficiency and growth performance without negative effects on wool quality in dual-purpose lamb production. This is a good outcome for dual-purpose sheep farmers. It essentially means the absorbed nutrients in supplemented lambs yielded good growth performance without any detrimental impact on wool quality; a win-win case of nutrient partitioning into the synthesis of muscle and wool without compromising either traits.

]]>
<![CDATA[Distinguishing protest responses in contingent valuation: A conceptualization of motivations and attitudes behind them]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3e4f65d5eed0c484d74dbe

The percentage of protesters in contingent valuation surveys is substantial–about 20% across many studies. This paper seeks to clarify the motivations behind protest responses. In addition, the question whether the estimation of willingness to pay (WTP) is more biased by the exclusion or inclusion of protest bids is yet undecided. Methodological improvements are difficult for three reasons: motivations behind protest responses are largely unclear, definitions of protest differ between studies and often only participants who state a zero WTP are asked for their reasons. Our survey on farm animal welfare (n = 1335) provides detailed motivations, two definitions and includes debriefing of all participants for their WTP. We find that protest bids are not a refusal to answer, they are neither irrational nor driven by lack of understanding. Quite the contrary, a large part of participants is directly motivated by moral reasons. Furthermore, protest responses are not coupled to a zero WTP. In our sample, only 8% out of 32% protesting participants had a zero WTP. Only a small fraction of zero bids (0.4%) are true WTP-statements, i.e. respondents were satisfied with the status quo. This finding has important implications for existing WTP-estimates which might be biased. Finally, we provide detailed estimates of the WTP for animal welfare issues by including and excluding different types of protesters and outliers.

]]>
<![CDATA[Using physical contact heterogeneity and frequency to characterize dynamics of human exposure to nonhuman primate bodily fluids in central Africa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c2e7fd9d5eed0c48451bb6f

Emerging infectious diseases of zoonotic origin constitute a recurrent threat to global health. Nonhuman primates (NHPs) occupy an important place in zoonotic spillovers (pathogenic transmissions from animals to humans), serving as reservoirs or amplifiers of multiple neglected tropical diseases, including viral hemorrhagic fevers and arboviruses, parasites and bacteria, as well as retroviruses (simian foamy virus, PTLV) that are pathogenic in human beings. Hunting and butchering studies in Africa characterize at-risk human social groups, but overlook critical factors of contact heterogeneity and frequency, NHP species differences, and meat processing practices. In southeastern Cameroon, a region with a history of zoonotic emergence and high risk of future spillovers, we conducted a novel mixed-method field study of human physical exposure to multiple NHP species, incorporating participant-based and ecological methodologies, and qualitative interviews (n = 25). We find frequent physical contact across adult human populations, greater physical contact with monkeys than apes, especially for meat handling practices, and positive correlation of human exposure with NHP species abundance and proximity to human settlement. These fine-grained results encourage reconsideration of the likely dynamics of human-NHP contact in past and future NTD emergence events. Multidisciplinary social science and ecological approaches should be mobilized to generate more effective human and animal surveillance and risk communications around neglected tropical diseases. At a moment when the WHO has included “Disease X”, a presumably zoonotic pathogen with pandemic potential, on its list of blueprint priority diseases as, new field-based tools for investigating zoonotic disease emergence, both known and unknown, are of critical importance.

]]>