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Favreau A.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Baumont R.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Duncan A.J.,International Livestock Research Institute | Ginane C.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research
Journal of Animal Science | Year: 2010

Previous work has shown that herbivores successfully learn to associate food sensory characteristics with postingestive consequences when the conditioning procedure is simple, whereas this ability breaks down when the learning task is made more complex. We hypothesized that sensory characteristics could act as indicators of postingestive consequences and that the presence of preingestive cues would improve the food learning of sheep in situations varying in complexity. Sixteen sheep were subjected to a first conditioning phase to associate 2 flavors added to alfalfa hay with either a positive or a negative consequence, induced by intraruminal administration of starch (330 mg/g of DMI) or LiCl (5 mg/g of DMI). Sheep progressively decreased their choice of the flavored hay associated with the negative consequence (P < 0.05). This procedure provided sheep with experience with postingestive consequences associated with the different flavors. In a second conditioning phase, the experienced sheep and 16 naïve sheep were divided into groups of 8 and subjected to either a simple or a complex conditioning procedure [i.e., the 2 flavors were offered on separate days (simple conditioning) or simultaneously within a day (complex conditioning)]. The 2 flavors applied to grass hay were associated with either positive (starch, 330 mg/g of DMI) or negative (LiCl, 10 mg/g of DMI) consequences. As hypothesized, sheep in the simple conditioning group expressed a greater aversion to the flavored hay associated with the negative consequence than did those in the complex conditioning group (0.303 ± 0.035 vs. 0.474 ± 0.035 respectively; P < 0.01). Experienced sheep rejected the flavor associated with the negative consequence more strongly than did naïve sheep, regardless of the conditioning procedure (0.304 ± 0.029 vs. 0.470 ± 0.041 respectively; P < 0.05). The initial increased preference for aniseed (0.80 ± 0.04), however, greatly influenced food learning because sheep negatively conditioned on this flavor expressed less avoidance than those negatively conditioned on orange (0.53 ± 0.04 vs. 0.25 ± 0.03 respectively; P < 0.01). In conclusion, the simultaneous scenario was actually perceived as complex by all sheep, and experienced sheep were more efficient in food learning than naïve sheep in both the simple and complex learning contexts. The sheep were thus able to generalize the association between sensory cues and postingestive consequences, especially in a complex environment, and then to use these sensory cues as indicators of postingestive consequences. © 2010 American Society of Animal Science.


Atherstone C.,International Livestock Research Institute | Picozzi K.,University of Edinburgh | Kalema-Zikusoka G.,Conservation Through Public Health
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene | Year: 2014

Leptospirosis, caused by the spirochete bacterium Leptospira spp. is a zoonosis, distributed worldwide and classified as an emerging infectious disease. Fatal outcomes to leptospiral infection do occur and the disease can cause abortion and other reproductive problems in cattle, goats, and pigs. In humans the symptoms range from subclinical infection to acute febrile illness, pulmonary hemorrhage and renal failure. Leptospirosis has never been officially reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) or the World Animal Health Organization in animals or humans in Uganda. However, favorable ecological conditions and suitable animal hosts can be found within the country. A commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent (ELISA) kit was used to screen sera samples from domesticated cattle and African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) at two locations in southwestern Uganda, collected over a 4-year period. Positive samples were found in both cattle and African buffalo samples, from both locations and across the sampling period. Overall seroprevalence was 42.39% in African buffalo and 29.35% in cattle. Copyright © 2014 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.


The Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change is being launched today (Monday 14th Nov) at the COP22 climate talks taking place in Morocco. An international, multi-disciplinary research initiative, it brings together leading experts to track and analyse the impacts of climate change on public health. The Lancet Countdown will report annually in The Lancet. With input from 48 leading experts from across the world, some 16 institutions are academic partners of the initiative [1], including University College London, Tsinghua University and the Centre for Climate & Security among others. The Lancet Countdown is engaged in a special collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) to promote synergies, collaborate on data sources, and ensure strong engagement with Ministries of Health. With the aim of ensuring the case for action on health and climate change is more widely evidenced and understood, the Lancet Countdown will inform decision-making and drive an accelerated policy response to climate change. It will complement other initiatives, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and its achievements for climate science. Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said: "The health impacts of climate change are already being felt and effecting some of the most vulnerable on our planet. No one is immune or out of reach. Climate action, spearheaded by governments and supported by business, cities, investors and citizens - including health care professionals - goes hand-in-hand with delivering a better quality of life in its own right and as a key pillar of the Sustainable Development Goals." The interrelation of climate change and public health is becoming increasingly clear. The Lancet Countdown builds on the findings of the 2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change, which concluded that climate change posed both a "potentially catastrophic risk to human health", while conversely being "the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century" if the right steps are taken [2]. Dr Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet said: "One challenge of the ongoing global climate crisis is to convey the urgency of our collective predicament and the need for decisive action. The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change is being launched today to amass the evidence needed to hold policy makers accountable for their promises and commitments. The research community can make an important contribution to heightening political awareness and accelerating progress to a healthier, low-carbon world. These are the goals of our Countdown on Health and Climate Change." A broader evidence base on interrelated health and climate change trends will notably help demonstrate clear co-benefits of action. An estimated 18000 people die every day due to air pollution exposure, making it the world's largest single environmental health risk [3]. The World Bank in turn estimates it costs the global economy US$225 billion a year in related lost labour income [4]. CO2 and other green house gasses from road transport and fossil fuel energy generation responsible for the bulk of air pollution in the first place, are also a leading cause of climate change. Health and economic co-benefits from addressing climate change - be it mitigation or adaptation - only add to the impetus for action, given that changes to climate take longer to be felt. The Lancet Countdown is partnering with the Wellcome Trust, which is committed to stimulating research on health and climate change. Dr Sarah Molton, lead for 'Our Planet, Our Health' at Wellcome, said: "The Paris Agreement is a step in the right direction, but we must build on this momentum. The Lancet Countdown is an important opportunity to ensure that evidence gets to those audiences that can bring about the changes in policy and practice that we need to protect the health of both humans and the planet." The Lancet Countdown [5] comes at a crucial time for international cooperation and national action on climate change, following ratification of the Paris Agreement and the announcement of the 2030 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As part of this transition, healthcare professionals, governments and countries will have to shift from an understanding of climate change solely as a threat, to one which embraces the response to climate change as an opportunity for human health and wellbeing. The Lancet Countdown is aligned with the SGD process in working to ensure the health challenge posed by climate change is resolved by 2030. Dr Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, Head of the Health and Climate Change team at the World Health Organization, said: "The Paris Agreement was a landmark achievement - the challenge now is to meet the targets agreed by world leaders. The WHO is working directly with countries to provide evidence of the specific health risks that each of them faces, and the health opportunities of a resilient, low carbon future - as well as the support that they need to respond to this defining health issue of our time. "The WHO is working with The Lancet Countdown to track progress, and to mobilize support for more ambitious action. When it comes to climate change, when the world drags its feet, the health of our patients all around the globe suffer." The relationship between health and climate change, will be addressed by The Lancet Countdown through in-depth analysis across relevant themes in the context of global, regional, national, and city level trends. The scope of the research, analysis and basis for the creation of the initiative is outlined in detail in an accompanying paper published today in The Lancet. This provides more detail on the principle themes the Lancet Countdown will cover, namely: the health impacts of climate change; health resilience and adaptation; the health co-benefits of mitigation; finance and economics; and political and broader engagement. Academics and policy experts are invited to join the Lancet Countdown, as it undertakes a three month public consultation process on the scope and focus of the initiative, with events planned in London, Marrakech, Lima, Kampala, Beijing and San Francisco. [1] Full list of participating institutions is: Centre Virchow-Villermé; European Centre for Environment and Human Health; Imperial College London; International Livestock Research Institute; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Sustainable Development Unit; The Centre for Climate & Security; The Grantham Institute; Tsinghua University; Umea University's Centre for Global Health Research; United Nations University; University College London (the Energy Institute; and the Institutes of Global Health, for Sustainable Resources, for Human Health and Performance, and for Environmental Design and Engineering; the Departments of Geography, and of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy; the Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research); University of Exeter; University of York; The Lancet Countdown and its partners work in special collaboration with the World Health Organization and the World Meteorological Organisation [3] In 2014, WHO estimated an additional 250000 potential deaths annually between 2030 and 2050 for well understood impacts of climate change http://apps. [5] Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Climate Change and Health, live once the embargo lifts: http://www. For more information on the Lancet Countdown, or for interviews with the authors, please contact Jack Fisher, Communications Officer, Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change E) jack.fisher@ucl.ac.uk M) +447432742880 NOTE: THE ABOVE LINK IS FOR JOURNALISTS ONLY; IF YOU WISH TO PROVIDE A LINK FOR YOUR READERS, PLEASE USE THE FOLLOWING, WHICH WILL GO LIVE AT THE TIME THE EMBARGO LIFTS: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)32124-9/fulltext


Smajgl A.,CSIRO | Brown D.G.,University of Michigan | Valbuena D.,Wageningen University | Valbuena D.,International Livestock Research Institute | Huigen M.G.A.,University of Hohenheim
Environmental Modelling and Software | Year: 2011

Agent-based modelling has become an important tool to investigate socio-ecological processes. Its use is partially driven by increasing demand from decision makers to provide support for understanding the potential implications of decisions in complex situations. While one of the advantages of agent-based modelling is the ability to simulate the implications of human decision-making processes explicitly, methods for providing empirical support for the representation of the behaviour of human agents have not been structured systematically. This paper develops a framework for the parameterisation of human behaviour in agent-based models and develops twelve distinct sequences for the characterisation and parameterisation of human behaviours. Examples are provided to illustrate the most important sequences. This framework is a first step towards a guide for parameterisation of human behaviour in ABM. A structured discussion within the agent-based community is needed to achieve a more definitive guideline. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Havlik P.,Kenya International Livestock Research Institute | Valin H.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis | Mosnier A.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis | Obersteiner M.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis | And 4 more authors.
American Journal of Agricultural Economics | Year: 2013

The livestock sector accounts for 30% of global land area and is a major driver of land use change. The price reductions generated by crop yield increases should, ceteris paribus, encourage farmers to replace some of the grass in ruminant rations with crops. This would lead to land sparing and related carbon dioxide emission reductions in regions where the feed productivity per unit of area is higher for cropland than for grassland. Six land cover types are distinguished in GLOBIOM: cropland, grassland, short rotation tree plantations, managed forest, unmanaged forest and other natural vegetation. Depending on the relative profitability of the individual activities, and on the inertia constraints, the model can switch from one land cover type to another. Comprehensive greenhouse gas accounting for agriculture and land use change is implemented in the model. Crop yield development will play a critical role in future land use dynamics. Indeed, it will determine the requirements for additional cropland, and also have a strong impact on grassland expansion.


News Article | June 1, 2016
Site: www.techtimes.com

Amid their struggle to survive extreme weather conditions, food crops are producing more of chemical compounds that can prove toxic to humans and livestock consuming them, a new U.N. report has warned. Drought and high temperatures trigger the accumulation of potentially toxic components in crops – similar to how humans respond to stress, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Frontiers report. The report identified and proposed solutions to six emerging issues in the face of climate change, including crop toxicity, zoonotic diseases and plastic pollution. Wheat, barley, maize and millet emerged as crops that are most prone to nitrate accumulation, which results from prolonged drought. In animals, acute nitrate poisoning can cause miscarriage, asphyxiation and even death. It can also ruin the lives and livelihood of small farmers and herders. Heavy rains after an extended drought, too, can lead to a harmful accumulation of hydrogen cyanide or prussic acid in flax, maize, arrow grass, sorghum, apples, cherries and other crops. Aflatoxins are another cause for concern. These fungal toxins, which can lead to cancer and hamper fetal growth, are a worry in maize. The contamination is expected to rise in higher latitudes because of rising temperature levels. Jacqueline McGlade, UNEP chief scientist and early warning and assessment director, said that around 4.5 billion people in developing nations are exposed to aflatoxins every year, although the numbers could rise even more with improved monitoring. “As warmer climate zones expand toward the poles, countries in more temperate regions are facing new threats,” the report states. Kenya suffered severe aflatoxin outbreaks back in 2004, which struck more than 300 people and killed more than a hundred after a long period of drought, the International Livestock Research Institute reported. According to a recent study, aflatoxins will also surface as a food safety threat to Europe, particularly in the likely scenario of a 2 degree Celsius increase in global temperatures. The increased toxicity in crops is expected to take a heavy toll on the global health system, which is already reeling from the impacts of food insecurity, said Dorota Jarosinska of the World Health Organization’s European Center for Environment and Health. The UNEP report put forward eight ideas that farmers and agriculture specialists can use to limit damage from increased crop toxins, including outlining contamination hotspots as well as building better proof of how toxins are acting in their location. Crop rotation designed for coping with the changing climate, too, is encouraged in to help slash the amounts of toxic chemicals present in food. Climate change is bringing about other drastic occurrences worldwide, including longer and more frequently occurring toxic algal blooms. © 2016 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | August 30, 2016
Site: news.yahoo.com

NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Kenya is on its way to breaking the devastating cycle of drought, poverty and hunger over the next decade, a leading scientist said as he was named winner of a prestigious award. Kenyan scientist Andrew Mude won the 2016 Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application on Tuesday for developing livestock insurance, using state-of-the-art technologies, for herders in East Africa's drylands. "I am confident that with insurance and the related complementary services, the boom and bust cycle will come to an end," said Mude, principal economist at the Nairobi-based International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). "The boom and bust cycle and particularly its consequence of famine ... is reducing and will reduce relatively rapidly in the course of the coming decade," the 39-year-old told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a phone interview. Droughts regularly decimate herds across Africa, forcing destitute families to abandon their nomadic lifestyle and settle in remote, dusty towns where they fall deeper into poverty. Over 16,000 Kenyan households have already benefitted from ILRI's index-based insurance scheme, which provides herders with a payout when rains fail, rather than waiting for animals to die, Mude said. Compensation is calculated using satellite images to compare current forage levels with historical data. "When a drought hits, you minimise the impact," Mude said, likening the scheme to health insurance. "Households can use the indemnities to try and protect livestock from dying." There are more than 50 million herders across Africa and many of them could benefit from the technology, according to a statement by the World Food Prize, which was created by Borlaug - famous for developing wheat varieties that drove the Green Revolution in the last half of the 20th century. Eliminating hunger by 2030 is one of 17 ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed last year by U.N. member states to tackle the world's most troubling problems. Since its launch in Kenya in 2010, livestock insurance has also been rolled out in Ethiopia, with plans to test similar schemes in west and southern Africa, the statement said. Kenya's government lent its support to the project in October, following up on a 2013 election pledge to provide national livestock insurance. From thinking pastoralism was a "dying and inefficient" production system, government now sees it as well suited to the challenges of the arid lands, Mude said. The government is paying premiums of eight percent to 12 percent for 5,000 households in northern Kenya, each with livestock worth around $700, Mude said. Some 1.2 million Kenyans need food aid due to poor spring rains associated with the El Nino weather phenomenon, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) said. The situation is likely to worsen as La Nina is predicted to bring poor October to December rains, it said. El Nino occurs when water in the Pacific Ocean becomes abnormally warm, while La Nina involves unusually cold waters. Almost 300 herders in the drought-hit north received some $120 each in insurance payouts last Wednesday, Mude said. "We're now planning to replicate this novel insurance scheme across all of northern Kenya, where some four million pastoralists depend primarily on livestock," Kenya's cabinet secretary for agriculture, livestock and fisheries, Willy Bett, said in the statement. Households using insurance are less likely to sell off their livestock in distress when prices are low during droughts, or to reduce the nutritional intake of children aged below five, and report a greater sense of wellbeing, Mude said. With improved access to roads, mobile phone networks and banking services, herders are starting to develop businesses to "build themselves out of poverty", he said. The award, named after the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize winner, recognises science-based achievements in the fight to end global hunger and poverty.


Nigam S.N.,Indian International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics | Blummel M.,International Livestock Research Institute
Animal Nutrition and Feed Technology | Year: 2010

A total of 860 cultivars and breeding lines of groundnut grown in the off (Rabi) season of 2001/02 post rainy season at ICRISAT centre head quarter in India were investigated for haulm fodder quality traits and relationships between haulm traits and pod yields. Haulm fodder quality traits chosen were nitrogen (N x 6.25 equals crude protein), in vitro digestibility and in vitro metabolisable energy content. The haulm fodder quality traits were analyzed by a combination of conventional laboratory techniques and Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy (NIRS). Significant (P<0.0001) and livestock nutritionally important cultivars differences were found for all three traits. Thus haulm nitrogen content ranged from 1.2 to 2.3%, in vitro digestibility ranged from 51.7 to 61.1%, and in vitro metabolisable energy content ranged from 6.9 to 8.8 MJ/kg. No inverse relationships were observed between any of the haulm fodder quality traits and pod and haulm yields. Haulm fodder quality analysis was repeated for 12 check cultivars in 2002 and over the two years broad sense heritabilities (h2) for nitrogen, in vitro digestibility and in vitro metabolisable energy content were 0.72., 0.72 and 0.67, respectively. The findings of the present study suggest that pod yield, haulm yield and haulm fodder quality traits can be simultaneously improved to develop better dual purpose groundnut varieties.


Twine E.E.,International Livestock Research Institute | Unterschultz J.,University of Alberta | Rude J.,University of Alberta
Agricultural Finance Review | Year: 2016

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to evaluate Alberta’s cattle loan guarantee program. It measures the risk premiums on lending that would accrue to banks participating in the program, estimates the value (price) of the loan guarantee, and estimates the interest subsidy provided by the program. Design/methodology/approach – A cash flow model of cattle feeding is used. The model estimates a measure of risk that is applied to option pricing models to estimate the value of the guarantee. Findings – Insurance premiums for the credit risk to lenders are 0.20 percent of the value of the loan for the entire feeding period, and 0.41 percent for backgrounding but negligible for finishing. The price of the loan guarantee estimated by the Black-Scholes model is 4.43 percent of the value of the loan and is comparable to prices estimated by the binomial model. The program provides a subsidy rate of 4.58 percent. Research limitations/implications – Charging a guarantee fee can potentially eliminate the interest subsidy inherent in the program. But this would necessitate determining the impact of the guarantee fee on the additional access to credit that has been achieved through the program. Practical implications – Different levels of risk for backgrounding and finishing imply different risk premiums on cattle loans. Therefore interest on cattle loans should reflect not only the individual farmer’s risk profile but also the nature of the feeding operation. Originality/value – This is the first paper to simultaneously estimate risk premiums on cattle feeding loans, the value of the loan guarantee provided by the Alberta Feeder Association Loan Guarantee Program, and the inherent interest subsidy. © 2016, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


Ravi D.,International Livestock Research Institute | Khan A.A.,International Livestock Research Institute | Saibutcharao M.,International Livestock Research Institute | Blummel M.,International Livestock Research Institute
Field Crops Research | Year: 2013

A total of 10 maize stovers from two open pollinated varieties (OPV's), four hybrids (one grown in two different seasons, Kharif and summer) and at two different locations and two parental lines were tested for a range of laboratory fodder quality traits and for in vivo digestibility and voluntary feed intake in sheep. Laboratory stover fodder quality traits measured were nitrogen (N), neutral (NDF) and acid detergent (ADF) fiber, acid detergent lignin (ADL), in vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD) and metabolisable energy (ME) content. Highly significant (P<0.0001) differences among the stovers were observed for all laboratory fodder quality traits and for dry matter digestibility (DMD), dry matter intake (DMI) and digestible dry matter intake (DDMI) with DMD (%) DMI (g/d) and DDMI (g/d) ranging from 53 to 65, 325 to 635 and 194 to 382, respectively. The total amount of stover refused (DMR) by the sheep did not differ significantly (P=0.67) among the stovers, however when DMR was expressed relative to DMI significant differences (P=0.0007) were observed. Laboratory fodder quality traits most closely correlated to the in vivo measurements were ADF with r=-0.83, r=-0.92 and r=-0.93 for DMD, DMI and DDMI, respectively, and ME with r=0.77, r=0.94 and r=0.94 for DMD, DMI and DDMI, respectively. Applying statistical cross-validation procedures where the predicted values were not used for the development of the regression equations ("blind-predictions"), DMD, DMI and DDMI could be predicted by ADF with resulting R2 for good-of-fitness between observed and predicted values of 0.46, 0.76 and 0.79, respectively. Similarly DMD, DMI and DDMI could be predicted by ME with resulting R2 for good-of-fitness between observed and predicted values of 0.40, 0.83 and 0.83, respectively. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

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