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Farkas R.,Szent Istvan University | Jaenson T.G.T.,Uppsala University | Koenen F.,Coda Research | Madder M.,Institute of Tropical Medicine | And 6 more authors.
Experimental and Applied Acarology | Year: 2013

We compiled information on the distribution of ticks in the western Palearctic (11°W, 45°E; 29°N, 71°N), published during 1970-2010. The literature search was filtered by the tick's species name and an unambiguous reference to the point of capture. Records from some curated collections were included. We focused on tick species of importance to human and animal health, in particular: Ixodes ricinus, Dermacentor marginatus, D. reticulatus, Haemaphysalis punctata, H. sulcata, Hyalomma marginatum, Hy. lusitanicum, Rhipicephalus annulatus, R. bursa, and the R. sanguineus group. A few records of other species (I. canisuga, I. hexagonus, Hy. impeltatum, Hy. anatolicum, Hy. excavatum, Hy. scupense) were also included. A total of 10,280 records was included in the data set. Almost 42 % of published references are not adequately referenced (and not included in the data set), host is reported for only 61 % of records and a reference to time of collection is missed for 84 % of published records. Ixodes ricinus accounted for 44. 3 % of total records, with H. marginatum and D. marginatus accounting for 7. 1 and 8. 1 % of records, respectively. The lack of homogeneity of the references and potential pitfalls in the compilation were addressed to create a digital data set of the records of the ticks. We attached to every record a coherent set of quantitative descriptors for the site of reporting, namely gridded interpolated monthly climate and remotely sensed data on vegetation (NDVI). We also attached categorical descriptors of the habitat: a standard classification of land biomes and an ad hoc classification of the target territory from remotely sensed temperature and NDVI data. A descriptive analysis of the data revealed that a principal components reduction of the environmental (temperature and NDVI) variables described the distribution of the species in the target territory. However, categorical descriptors of the habitat were less effective. We stressed the importance of building reliable collections of ticks with specific references as to collection point, host and date of capture. The data set is freely downloadable. © 2012 The Author(s). Source

Messori S.,Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dellAbruzzo e Del Molise porale | Sossidou E.,Veterinary Research Institute | Buonanno M.,Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dellAbruzzo e Del Molise porale | Mounaix B.,Institute Of Lelevage | And 5 more authors.
Animal Welfare | Year: 2015

Sheep transport within Europe involves 9.5 million animals yearly, 63% of which travel over longjourneys (> 8 h). Livestock transport, particularly over long journeys, gives rise to concern about the welfare of transported animals. The European Commission stimulates the development of market-oriented animal welfare standards for all phases of livestock production, providing an alternative to the 'regulatory approach'. This study aimed to develop and test a new sheep welfare assessment protocol to be used following transport, irrespective of the journey purpose. The protocol included outcome (animal-based measures) and input variables (resource-based and management-based measures), being welfare-relevant aspects of both transport and unloading procedures. Weighted Cohen's Kappa and Heiss' Kappa index of agreement were calculated to evaluate the raters accuracy and the inter-observer reliability.Overall, good agreement levels were found. The protocol was tested on 40 commercial transports arriving at previously selected assembly centres and slaughterhouses in Italy and Greece. The protocol was found to be feasible when applied to commercial transports, allowing for a comprehensive and quick sheep welfare assessment during unloading, without impairing stockman work. Univariate analysis was carried out to evaluate associations between outcome and input variables. In this study, significant association between outcome measures and risk factors were identified when associated to unloading procedures but not to travel conditions. In collaboration with the relevant stakeholders, this protocol might be developed into a tool for routine checks for certification purposes and could provide direct feedback to all professionals involved in animal transportation on the weaknesses and strengths of their work. © 2015 Universities Federation for Animal Welfare. Source

Dalla Villa P.,Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dellAbruzzo e Del Molise porale | Messori S.,Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dellAbruzzo e Del Molise porale | Possenti L.,Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dellAbruzzo e Del Molise porale | Barnard S.,Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dellAbruzzo e Del Molise porale | And 2 more authors.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2013

The risks associated with zoonotic infections transmitted by companion animals are a serious public health concern: the control of zoonoses incidence in domestic dogs, both owned and stray, is hence important to protect human health. Integrated dog population management (DPM) programs, based on the availability of information systems providing reliable data on the structure and composition of the existing dog population in a given area, are fundamental for making realistic plans for any disease surveillance and action system. Traceability systems, based on the compulsory electronic identification of dogs and their registration in a computerised database, are one of the most effective ways to ensure the usefulness of DPM programs. Even if this approach provides many advantages, several areas of improvement have emerged in countries where it has been applied. In Italy, every region hosts its own dog register but these are not compatible with one another. This paper shows the advantages of a web-based-application to improve data management of dog regional registers. The approach used for building this system was inspired by farm animal traceability schemes and it relies on a network of services that allows multi-channel access by different devices and data exchange via the web with other existing applications, without changing the pre-existing platforms. Today the system manages a database for over 300,000 dogs registered in three different Italian regions. By integrating multiple Web Services, this approach could be the solution to gather data at national and international levels at reasonable cost and creating a traceability system on a large scale and across borders that can be used for disease surveillance and development of population management plans. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

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