Institute For Tierhygiene

Hannover, Germany

Institute For Tierhygiene

Hannover, Germany
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Kunzmann P.,Institute For Tierhygiene | Gerdts W.-R.,Gerdts Institute For Tierhygiene
Tierarztliche Umschau | Year: 2017

Human utilization of animals is being increasingly brought up for discussion by media and in society. There is an expanding focus of ethical considerations referring to 'companion animals'. Here, horses take an exceptional position: variable roles within diversified human-animal-relationships are assigned to them by their owners, e.g. as sports 'equipment', prestigious object, friend or family member, but also as livestock and food source. This diversity of motives forms the basis for some specific conflicts that require an analysis based on ethical consideration, which may affect the veterinarian as well as the owner. These conflicts add to those controversies which are well known to practitioners in general, e.g. how to deal with owners who are reluctant to pay for proper care. In case of horses this may easily get more acute due to the amounts of money needed. One classical issue is to find the right time to end the animals' life in a sensible way. Due to horses' roles as companion animals, but also as livestock, special moral tensions arise. Being exposed to these tensions, and having to deal with them the practicing veterinarian has to be aware of the limits of his responsibilities. But at once, he also has to be aware of the prospects and potentials for animal protection and animal welfare, accruing from his role-responsibility as a veterinarian.


Springorum A.C.,Thiinen Institute For Agrartechnologie | Clauss M.,Thiinen Institute For Agrartechnologie | Rieger M.A.,University of Tübingen | Hinz T.,Thiinen Institute For Agrartechnologie | Hartung J.,Institute For Tierhygiene
Gefahrstoffe Reinhaltung der Luft | Year: 2015

Micro-organisms in the air of poultry enterprises may pose a risk to the respiratory health of the employees. The concentrations can vary widely depending on animal age or housing system. In this study, the differences between a floor-keeping system, an aviary, a free-range system and a small colony system (German Kleingruppenhaltung) are to be shown with respect to the concentrations of selected groups of airborne micro-organisms. Over a period of 27 months, particularly high concentrations could be found in seasons with low air exchange rate and in systems with integrated scratching-area, as well as in systems with manure pit. The concentrations of staphylococci show a course similar to total bacteria, but the staphylococci shares of total bacteria seem to indicate differing spectra of bacteria among the housing systems.


The aim of our study was to analyze a new method of cognitive enrichment for suckling piglets and related opportunities to reduce aggressive behaviour after weaning. In the first part of our experiment, 10 complete litters with a total of 95 suckling piglets were trained from an age of 25 days to react on an electronic feeder. The piglets learned the link between a sound given by the electronic feeder and a feed reward in form of chocolate candies. There were 8 training sessions during 10 days showing an apparent learning success at the third day with 74,3% of the piglets standing close to the feeder 15 seconds after its activation. The second part of experiment was aimed to study the possibility to interrupt aggressive behaviour between 2 piglets after weaning using the behaviour learned in the farrowing pen. Therefore, 390 resident-intruder confrontations were studied. In 83,6% of cases, aggressive interaction could be stopped by the activation of the feeder and the related reaction of the piglets. In 90% of cases, only one piglet reacted first so that fighting stopped. In 59% of all stopped fights, the aggressor reacted to the feeder activation whereas the receiver reacted in 51% alone or together with the aggressor. Thus, the feeder could effectively distract the animals from aggressive behaviour. We conclude that a sound signal combined with an electronic feeder is suitable as cognitive enrichment for suckling piglets as well as to stop aggressive fights in a resident-intruder test. Hence, cognitive enrichment can be used for pigs in young age and may be useful in later production stages to reduce aggression and enhance animal welfare. © Verlage Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart.


Kern G.,University of Kiel | Traulsen I.,University of Kiel | Stamer E.,TiDa Tier und Daten GmbH | Kemper N.,Institute For Tierhygiene | Krieter J.,University of Kiel
Zuchtungskunde | Year: 2014

Aim of this investigation was to determine risk factors influencing longevity and animal healt in sheep. Therefore, records of 15,967 ewes were used for survival analysis, 1,228 milk-samples and 635 faecal samples were collected and additionally an assessment of animal health and body-condition (BCS) of 6,093 ewes housed on 20 organic farms was performed in the years 2010 and 2011. Blackheaded Mutton breed showed the lowest risk ratio (HR) with 0.77, while Texel had the highest hazard rate (HR = 1.00). The relative culling risk initially decreased from the first to the seventh lambing, and increased afterwards. The primary purpose was influencing the milk gross composition and the risk of being infected with endoparasites significantly. Sheep in extensive primary purpose showed the lowest somatic-cell-score (SCS = 3.14), whereas the ewes of the primary purpose meat had the highest SCS (4.83) and also the highest risk of having a positive indication of bacteria isolates in milk (OR = 1.00). Additionally, the risk of being infected with gastrointestinal nematodes was highest in meat sheep (OR = 2.60) compared ewes in extensive (1.00) and dairy (1.07) primary purpose. The OR of being infected with Eimeria spp. was more than two times higher in dairy sheep systems than in extensively kept sheep. The primary purpose was influencing the BCS and the assessed animal health status significantly, too. The results provide the basis for the development of an easy and compact management information system which optimises the overview of the herd and contributes an adequate animal health and increasing longevity. © Verlag Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart.


Fels M.,Institute For Tierhygiene | Sonoda L.T.,Institute For Tierhygiene | Rauterberg S.,Institute For Tierhygiene | Hartung J.,Institute For Tierhygiene | Kemper N.,Institute For Tierhygiene
Praktische Tierarzt | Year: 2014

Regardless of age, mixing of pigs requires the establishment of a social hierarchy determined by aggressive interactions. The common method to sort piglets after weaning by weight and to mix them to new groups can lead to violent rank order fighting followed by injuries, general stress and reduced weight gain. Therefore, an optimal management is essential in this sensitive period. That raises, among others, the question of the right grouping strategy. However, in our own investigations, the influence of grouping strategy was limited. During an observation period of 72 hours, there were no differences in the number of aggressive interactions or in the lesion score between homogeneous and heterogeneous weight groups, between a combination of piglets from two or six origin litters, or between single sex groups related to a group size of twelve piglets. Only a comparison between groups of 6, 12, and 24 piglets revealed less aggressive interactions in groups of 6. Known measures to reduce aggressive behaviour after mixing usually lead only to a postponement of aggressive behaviour. Therefore, the objective of a further study was to develop a completely new approach to control aggressive interactions in weaned piglets. The system is based on the use of an electronic feeder giving tasty food after a special sound. The animals are trained as suckling piglets to react to that sound, and the learned behavioural responses can be used to interrupt undesired aggressive interactions. The results show that the behaviour of piglets after weaning can be influenced using the electronic feeder. From all aggressive interactions between two previously trained piglets in a resident-intruder test, 84 % could be stopped by activating the electronic feeder. Piglets were effectively distracted from aggressive behaviour by activation of the feeder. Thus, a behavioural response learned by suckling piglets could be used to reduce aggressive behaviour in later production stages and to enhance animal welfare.


Springorum A.C.,Institute For Tierhygiene
Berliner und Münchener tierärztliche Wochenschrift | Year: 2013

This article gives a review about the history of animal hygiene from its beginning thousands of years ago until the present time. Presumably primarily developed from a basic food hygiene it always found its way into religious and cultural traditions of the different ages all over the world, whereupon animal and public hygiene have always been closely related. Additionally animal hygiene contributed noticeably to the development of the veterinary system.


Hartung J.,Institute For Tierhygiene
Arbeitsmedizin Sozialmedizin Umweltmedizin | Year: 2014

The air in farm livestock buildings contains a variety of contaminants which contribute significantly to the development of respiratory diseases in the animals kept in the building and the people working there. The proportion of animal keepers who complain of respiratory symptoms related to working in farm animal buildings is 12-20%. The main components of the air contamination in farm animal buildings are odorous substances, gases, microorganisms and dust. Among the most important of the more than 136 gases are ammonia (NH3), hydrogen sulphide (H2S) and carbon dioxide (CO2). The concentrations of bacteria are generally between 100 and 1000CFU/I of the air in the building. The dust consists of up to 90% organic components and can reach concentrations of up to 10mg/m3 total dust. The dust particles carry bacteria, fungi, endotoxins and antibiotic residues. Because of its complex composition, the air contamination in the building is collectively referred to as bio-aerosols. These can have a mechanical, inflammatory, infectious and allergic/toxic effect on the respiratory tract, the eyes, and the skin. The highest bio-aerosol concentrations are found in laying hen houses (especially aviary systems). There, the MWC values (maximum workplace concentrations) are regularly exceeded for inhalable and respirable dust. Properly applied respirator masks offer some protection. In order to better assess the health risks from the air in farm animal buildings, a "contamination index" should be developed for animal building bio-aerosols. This could help to develop low-emission animal husbandry systems which are at the same time animalfriendly and conducive to working in. In the future, a forward-looking, sustainable animal husbandry must give greater consideration not only to animal welfare, environmental protection, consumer protection and a livestocksupporting economy, but also increased occupational safety.

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