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Kristjansson T.,Agricultural University of Iceland | Bjornsdottir S.,Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority | Albertsdottir E.,Agricultural University of Iceland | Sigurdsson A.,Agricultural University of Iceland | And 5 more authors.
Livestock Science | Year: 2016

The official breeding goal for the Icelandic horse promotes five-gaited horses with a functional and aesthetic conformation. The objectives of the present study were to assess the phenotypic and genetic relationship between standard conformational measurements and scores for riding ability. Further, to investigate if more detailed (3-D) morphometric measurements could discriminate between high-class and low-class horses based on scores for each gait. The data comprised records from standard conformational measurements and scores for the different gaits and the total score for riding ability of all assessed breeding horses in Iceland in 2000-2013 (10,091 horses). Further, records from a subpopulation of 98 haphazardly selected breeding horses that were subject to detailed quantification of the conformation in 3-D and genotyped with respect to DMRT3 genotype, were included in the study. Most of the standard measurements had a significant and curvilinear relationship with the studied riding ability traits. They had generally high estimated heritability but weak or moderate genetic correlation with the total score of riding ability. Proportions in the top line of the horse describing the height of the horse at front compared to hind were found to be most important for the riding ability, revealing the advantage of an uphill conformation. Their estimated heritability and genetic correlation with total score for riding ability designate them as important indicators for performance. Certain lengths, proportions and angles between bones in the fore- and hind limbs also had a significant effect on scores for some gaits. These results can improve the assessment of the conformation and consequently the riding ability of the Icelandic horse. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.


Kristjansson T.,Agricultural University of Iceland | Bjornsdottir S.,Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority | Sigurdsson A.,Agricultural University of Iceland | Crevier-Denoix N.,National Veterinary School of Alfort | And 4 more authors.
Livestock Science | Year: 2013

The official breeding goal for the Icelandic horse describes an ideal conformation that should facilitate multi-gaiting riding ability. The objective of the present study was to describe and evaluate the use of a three dimensional morphometric method to objectively quantify the conformation of the Icelandic horse and to determine the distribution of conformational parameters and their intercorrelations. Selected material of 72 potential breeding horses attending breeding field tests in Iceland in the years 2008-2010 were recorded while walking in a space which was defined in three dimensions. Four video cameras were used to provide images that allow the determination of 3-D co-ordinates of anatomical landmarks by manual tracking from two or more 2-D views. A set of four video frames was chosen for each horse for two reference images (forelimb/hind limb). The measurements consisted of heights of the anatomical landmarks, segments lengths, joint angles and inclines. Their repeatability was assessed by different repeatability tests. The study described the conformation of the Icelandic horse in terms of the selected anatomical landmarks. The 3D method provided objective, repeatable data and is suitable for further studies of the correlation between the conformation and other traits as riding qualities and soundness. The method can be applied in other horse breeds. It was confirmed that the Icelandic horse has grown taller in recent years and changed from a rectangular body format to a square one. Measurements of the joint angles of the limbs revealed carpal and tarsal valgus and fetlock valgus to be frequent findings in the breed. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Kristjansson T.,Agricultural University of Iceland | Bjornsdottir S.,Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority | Sigurdsson A.,Agricultural University of Iceland | Andersson L.S.,Capilet Genetics AB | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics | Year: 2014

A nonsense mutation in DMRT3 ('Gait keeper' mutation) has a predominant effect on gaiting ability in horses, being permissive for the ability to perform lateral gaits and having a favourable effect on speed capacity in trot. The DMRT3 mutant allele (A) has been found in high frequency in gaited breeds and breeds bred for harness racing, while other horse breeds were homozygous for the wild-type allele (C). The aim of this study was to evaluate further the effect of the DMRT3 nonsense mutation on the gait quality and speed capacity in the multigaited Icelandic horse and demonstrate how the frequencies of the A- and C- alleles have changed in the Icelandic horse population in recent decades. It was confirmed that homozygosity for the DMRT3 nonsense mutation relates to the ability to pace. It further had a favourable effect on scores in breeding field tests for the lateral gait tölt, demonstrated by better beat quality, speed capacity and suppleness. Horses with the CA genotype had on the other hand significantly higher scores for walk, trot, canter and gallop, and they performed better beat and suspension in trot and gallop. These results indicate that the AA genotype reinforces the coordination of ipsilateral legs, with the subsequent negative effect on the synchronized movement of diagonal legs compared with the CA genotype. The frequency of the A-allele has increased in recent decades with a corresponding decrease in the frequency of the C-allele. The estimated frequency of the A-allele in the Icelandic horse population in 2012 was 0.94. Selective breeding for lateral gaits in the Icelandic horse population has apparently altered the frequency of DMRT3 genotypes with a predicted loss of the C-allele in relatively few years. The results have practical implications for breeding and training of Icelandic horses and other gaited horse breeds. © 2014 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


Thormar H.,University of Iceland | Hilmarsson H.,University of Iceland | Thrainsson J.H.,University of Iceland | Georgsson F.,Icelandic Food Research | And 2 more authors.
British Poultry Science | Year: 2011

1. A previous study has shown that emulsions of monocaprin in citrate lactate buffer at pH 4·1-4·3 are highly active in killing Campylobacter in water, where they reduce viable bacterial counts by more than 6 log10 colony forming units (cfu) in 1 min at a concentration of 1·25 mM (0.03%). 2. The present study was carried out to evaluate whether monocaprin emulsions could be used to kill Campylobacter on raw poultry. 3. It was shown that immersion of naturally contaminated chicken legs in 20 mM (0.5%) monocaprin emulsion at pH 4·1 for 1 min at 20°C reduced the number of Campylobacter by 2·0 to 2·7 log10 cfu. Pre-chill dipping of whole carcases into 20mM monocaprin emulsion in the slaughterhouse also caused a significant reduction in Campylobacter contamination. 4. Immersion in monocaprin emulsions at pH 4·1 was also assessed as a means to reduce the number of psychrotrophic spoilage bacteria. There were lower psychrotrophic bacteria counts on treated chicken parts than on untreated controls after storage at 3°C for up to 14 d. 5. Immersion in emulsions of monocaprin, which is a natural lipid classified as GRAS, may be a feasible method to reduce the number of Campylobacter and spoilage bacteria on raw poultry. This method could reduce the risk of human exposure to Campylobacter, and at the same time increase the shelf-life of poultry products. © 2011 British Poultry Science Ltd.


Paisley L.G.,Technical University of Denmark | Ariel E.,Technical University of Denmark | Lyngstad T.,National Veterinary Institute | Jonsson G.,Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority | And 3 more authors.
Journal of the World Aquaculture Society | Year: 2010

The goal of this review was to describe in some detail the Nordic aquaculture industries in order to illuminate the similarities and differences. Information that was gathered for each country includes aquaculture history, aquaculture acts and regulations, production and production systems, environmental concerns, organic aquaculture and outlook for the future. The information will be useful for risk assessments, design of risk-based surveillance programs and for construction of comparative risk profiles for endemic and exotic diseases affecting aquaculture in the Nordic countries. Aquaculture in the Nordic countries has a long history; beginning in the 1850s when hatcheries for restocking of salmon and trout were established in Norway. Nowadays, Atlantic salmon is the dominant cultured species in Norway and the Faroe Islands, whereas rainbow trout dominate in Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. Arctic char and cod are most important in Iceland. Other important cultured species include eel and blue mussels. There is much diversity in Nordic aquaculture industries in terms of production, farmed species, and production systems. Although the vast majority of the Nordic aquaculture production is for human consumption, significant numbers of fish are grown for restocking of rivers, lakes, or other bodies of freshwater or seawater. © Copyright by the World Aquaculture Society 2010.


Hultgren J.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Algers B.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Atkinson S.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Ellingsen K.,Norwegian Institute of Public Health | And 5 more authors.
Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica | Year: 2016

Background: During the pre-slaughter period, animals experience novel environment and procedures which may cause reduced welfare and suffering. Over the last decades, the slaughter industry has restructured into fewer and larger abattoirs, implying potential risks of transport stress, injuries, and impaired animal welfare. Since recently, however, there is growing interest in small-scale slaughter to supply locally or regionally produced meat. Risk managers at all levels thus need to assess animal welfare risks also at small-scale operations. This study aimed to assess risks of poor animal welfare at small-scale lamb slaughter (≤5000 sheep/year and ≤70 sheep/day) in Norway, Iceland, Sweden and Finland, and to compare these risks to large-scale industrial slaughter. Assessment was done applying an individual expert opinion approach during a 2-day workshop. Nine experts in lamb slaughter procedures, behaviour, physiology, health, scoring schemes and/or risk assessment provided estimates of exposure, likelihood of negative consequences following exposure, and intensity and duration of negative consequences for 71 hazards. The methods applied mainly adhered to the risk assessment guidelines of the European Food Safety Authority. The list of hazards was modified from an earlier study and distributed to the experts before the assessment. No other literature was reviewed specifically for the purpose of the assessment. Results: The highest risks to animal welfare identified in both small- and large-scale slaughter were related to inadequate conditions during overnight lairage at the slaughter plant. For most hazards, risk estimates were lower in small-scale slaughter. The reverse was true for splitting of groups and separation of one sheep from the group. Conclusions: Small-scale slaughter has a potential for improved sheep welfare in comparison with large-scale industrial slaughter. Keeping the animals overnight at the slaughterhouse and prolonged fasting before slaughter should be avoided. Solutions include continuing education and training of stockpersons and, especially in large-scale slaughter, application of existing techniques for efficient transport logistics that minimise stress. © 2016 Hultgren et al.


Ley C.J.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Ekman S.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Hansson K.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Bjornsdottir S.,Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority | Boyde A.,Queen Mary, University of London
European Cells and Materials | Year: 2014

Osteochondral lesions in the joints of the distal tarsal region of young Icelandic horses provide a natural model for the early stages of osteoarthritis (OA) in low-motion joints. We describe and characterise mineralised and non-mineralised osteochondral lesions in left distal tarsal region joint specimens from twenty-two 30 ±1 month-old Icelandic horses. Combinations of confocal scanning light microscopy, backscattered electron scanning electron microscopy (including, importantly, iodine staining) and three-dimensional microcomputed tomography were used on specimens obtained with guidance from clinical imaging. Lesion-types were described and classified into groups according to morphological features. Their locations in the hyaline articular cartilage (HAC), articular calcified cartilage (ACC), subchondral bone (SCB) and the joint margin tissues were identified and their frequency in the joints recorded. Associations and correlations between lesion-types were investigated for centrodistal joints only. In centrodistal joints the lesion-types HAC chondrocyte loss, HAC fibrillation, HAC central chondrocyte clusters, ACC arrest and ACC advance had significant associations and strong correlations. These lesion-types had moderate to high frequency in centrodistal joints but low frequencies in tarsometatarsal and talocalcaneal-centroquartal joints. Joint margin lesion-types had no significant associations with other lesion-types in the centrodistal joints but high frequency in both the centrodistal and tarsometatarsal joints. The frequency of SCB lesion-types in all joints was low. Hypermineralised infill phase lesion-types were detected. Our results emphasise close associations between HAC and ACC lesions in equine centrodistal joints and the importance of ACC lesions in the development of OA in low-motion compression-loaded equine joints.


PubMed | University of Turku, Vallnasvagen 3, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Acta veterinaria Scandinavica | Year: 2016

During the pre-slaughter period, animals experience novel environment and procedures which may cause reduced welfare and suffering. Over the last decades, the slaughter industry has restructured into fewer and larger abattoirs, implying potential risks of transport stress, injuries, and impaired animal welfare. Since recently, however, there is growing interest in small-scale slaughter to supply locally or regionally produced meat. Risk managers at all levels thus need to assess animal welfare risks also at small-scale operations. This study aimed to assess risks of poor animal welfare at small-scale lamb slaughter (5000 sheep/year and70 sheep/day) in Norway, Iceland, Sweden and Finland, and to compare these risks to large-scale industrial slaughter. Assessment was done applying an individual expert opinion approach during a 2-day workshop. Nine experts in lamb slaughter procedures, behaviour, physiology, health, scoring schemes and/or risk assessment provided estimates of exposure, likelihood of negative consequences following exposure, and intensity and duration of negative consequences for 71 hazards. The methods applied mainly adhered to the risk assessment guidelines of the European Food Safety Authority. The list of hazards was modified from an earlier study and distributed to the experts before the assessment. No other literature was reviewed specifically for the purpose of the assessment.The highest risks to animal welfare identified in both small- and large-scale slaughter were related to inadequate conditions during overnight lairage at the slaughter plant. For most hazards, risk estimates were lower in small-scale slaughter. The reverse was true for splitting of groups and separation of one sheep from the group.Small-scale slaughter has a potential for improved sheep welfare in comparison with large-scale industrial slaughter. Keeping the animals overnight at the slaughterhouse and prolonged fasting before slaughter should be avoided. Solutions include continuing education and training of stockpersons and, especially in large-scale slaughter, application of existing techniques for efficient transport logistics that minimise stress.

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