Rural Center

Newbridge, United Kingdom

Rural Center

Newbridge, United Kingdom
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Elliott G.N.,James Hutton Institute | Hough R.L.,James Hutton Institute | Avery L.M.,James Hutton Institute | Maltin C.A.,Rural Center | Campbell C.D.,James Hutton Institute
Critical Reviews in Microbiology | Year: 2015

This review addresses the survival and persistence of Mycobacterium avium subsp. Paratuberculosis (MAP), the causative pathogen of Johnes disease (JD), once it has left its ruminant host. JD has significant economic impact on dairy, beef and sheep industries and is difficult to control due to the long-term sub-clinical nature of the infection, intermittent or persistent MAP shedding during and after this period, inadequate test effectiveness, and the potential for MAP to exist for extended periods outside the host. The role that environmental factors play in the persistence and spread of MAP and consequent disease is assessed. Published risk factor analysis, organism survival across various environmental media and conditions, presence and spread in ruminant and non-ruminant wildlife, and the general potential for survival and multiplication of MAP ex-host both on and off-farm are discussed and knowledge gaps highlighted. An inclusive approach to disease management that takes into account the persistence and transport of the causative organism in on-farm soils and waters, land use and management, dispersal by domestic and non-domestic host species, as well as general animal husbandry is required on those farms where more traditional approaches to disease management have failed to reduce disease prevalence. © 2014 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.


Donaldson C.L.,Scotland’s Rural College | Lambe N.R.,Scotland’s Rural College | Maltin C.A.,Rural Center | Knott S.,University of Edinburgh | Bunger L.,Scotland’s Rural College
Journal of Animal Science | Year: 2013

Implementing the use of spine traits in a commercial breeding program has been seen to improve meat production from the carcass of larger-bodied pigs. The aim of this study was to assess the extent of variation in spine characteristics within and between breeds of sheep and to investigate the association with body length and tissues traits to deliberate if a similar approach could be applicable in the sheep sector. Spine traits (vertebrae number, VN; spine region length, SPL; individual vertebra length, VL) of the thoracic (THOR) lumbar (LUM) and thoracolumbar (T+L) spine regions were measured using x-ray computed tomography (CT) on 254 Texel (TEX), 1100 Scottish Blackface (SBF), 326 Texel cross Mule (TEX × MULE), and 178 Poll Dorset cross Mule (PD × MULE) lambs. Simple descriptive statistics inform that variation in thoracolumbar VN exists within all breeds and crosses; TEX animals showed the largest range of variation in thoracolumbar VN (17 to 21) and the TEX × MULE the smallest (18 to 20). Significant differences were not observed between sexes, but did occur between breeds (P < 0.05), which is indicative of a genetic basis for these traits. Least-squares means identified that TEX had the least thoracolumbar VN (19.24) and SBF possessed the most (19.63); similarly the lowest measures for SPL and VL for each spine region were observed in TEX, but the greatest values for these traits were expressed predominantly in the crosses (TEX × MULE and PD × MULE). Correlation coefficients (r) within each breed or cross support the interpretation of additional vertebrae contributing to a longer length of the spine region in which they occur (P < 0.001; e.g., for PD × MULE lambs), r between traits VNTHOR and SPLTHOR (r = 0.59), VNLUM and SPLLUM (r = 0.94) and VNT+L and SPLT+L (r = 0.65) all reach moderate to very high values. In all breeds and crosses, this relationship is particularly strong for the lumbar region. The few significant (P < 0.05) correlations observed between spine and tissue traits [CT-predicted quantities of carcass fat and muscle (kg) and area of the LM (mm2)] indicated no substantial relationships, r was small (ranging from -0.25 to 0.19) in each case. To conclude, significant vertebral variation exists within and between sheep breeds and crosses, which can contribute to an increase in body (and carcass) length. Including measurements taken for other primal cuts will further aid in assessing any potential increase in meat production from these longer-bodied sheep. © 2013 American Society of Animal Science.


Clelland N.,Scotland’s Rural College | Bunger L.,Scotland’s Rural College | McLean K.A.,Scotland’s Rural College | Conington J.,Scotland’s Rural College | And 3 more authors.
Meat Science | Year: 2014

For the consumer, tenderness, juiciness and flavour are often described as the most important factors for meat eating quality, all of which have a close association with intramuscular fat (IMF).X-ray computed tomography (CT) can measure fat, muscle and bone volumes and weights, in vivo in sheep and CT predictions of carcass composition have been used in UK sheep breeding programmes over the last few decades. This study aimed to determine the most accurate combination of CT variables to predict IMF percentage of M. longissimus lumborum in Texel lambs. As expected, predicted carcass fat alone accounted for a moderate amount of the variation (R2=0.51) in IMF. Prediction accuracies were significantly improved (Adj R2>0.65) using information on fat and muscle densities measured from three CT reference scans, showing that CT can provide an accurate prediction of IMF in the loin of purebred Texel sheep. © 2014.


Bunger L.,Scotland’s Rural College | Lambe N.R.,Scotland’s Rural College | McLean K.,Scotland’s Rural College | Cesaro G.,University of Padua | And 5 more authors.
Animal Production Science | Year: 2015

The aim of the work was to assess the effects of three dietary protein regimes on pig performance and nitrogen (N) excretion, in particular, whether performance can be maintained in lean, fast growing pigs when protein levels are reduced to limit N excretion. Entire male pigs of a lean genotype (Pietrain × Large White × Landrace), 192 in total in four batches, were grown from 40 to 115 kg in pens with four pigs per pen. The diets were: (i) a high-protein control regime; (ii) a low-protein regime in which protein was reduced by ∼2 percentage units in each growth stage, but with levels of five essential amino acids the same as in the control (LP1); (iii) an even lower protein regime in which levels of essential amino acids were not maintained beyond 60 kg (LP2). The LP2 regime was designed to promote intramuscular fat deposition rather than efficient growth. Excretion of N was reduced by 17% and 19% in LP1 and LP2, respectively, compared with the control. Average daily gain was lower and feed conversion ratio higher in LP2 than the other regimes, as expected. The control and LP1, which differed in protein but not essential amino acid levels, produced broadly similar results for performance, but pigs in LP1 had poorer feed conversion than control pigs, which could be due to slightly greater fat deposition. The results show the difficulty in maintaining consistently high levels of performance in fast-growing, lean pigs when dietary protein levels are reduced. © 2015 CSIRO.


PubMed | Scotland’s Rural College, University of Edinburgh and Rural Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Meat science | Year: 2014

For the consumer, tenderness, juiciness and flavour are often described as the most important factors for meat eating quality, all of which have a close association with intramuscular fat (IMF). X-ray computed tomography (CT) can measure fat, muscle and bone volumes and weights, in vivo in sheep and CT predictions of carcass composition have been used in UK sheep breeding programmes over the last few decades. This study aimed to determine the most accurate combination of CT variables to predict IMF percentage of M. longissimus lumborum in Texel lambs. As expected, predicted carcass fat alone accounted for a moderate amount of the variation (R(2)=0.51) in IMF. Prediction accuracies were significantly improved (Adj R(2)>0.65) using information on fat and muscle densities measured from three CT reference scans, showing that CT can provide an accurate prediction of IMF in the loin of purebred Texel sheep.


PubMed | Scotland’s Rural College, University of Edinburgh and Rural Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Small ruminant research : the journal of the International Goat Association | Year: 2015

Previous work showed that the Texel muscling QTL (TM-QTL) results in pronounced hypertrophy in the loin muscle, with the largest phenotypic effects observed in lambs inheriting a single copy of the allele from the sire. As the loin runs parallel to the spinal vertebrae, and the development of muscle and bone are closely linked, the primary aim of this study was to investigate if there were any subsequent associations between TM-QTL inheritance and underlying spine characteristics (vertebrae number, VN; spine region length, SPL; average length of individual vertebrae, VL) of the thoracic, lumbar, and thoracolumbar spine regions. Spine characteristics were measured from X-ray computed tomography (CT) scans for 142 purebred Texel lambs which had been previously genotyped. Least-squares means were significantly different between genotype groups for lumbar and thoracic VN and lumbar SPL. Similarly for these traits, contrasts were shown to be significant for particular modes of gene action but overall were inconclusive. In general, the results showed little evidence that spine trait phenotypes were associated with differences in loin muscling associated with the different TM-QTL genotypes.


Hough R.L.,Macaulay Institute | Crews C.,UK Environment Agency | White D.,Macaulay Institute | Driffield M.,UK Environment Agency | And 2 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2010

Recent concerns have been raised that plants such as ragwort (Senecio jacobaea), yew (Taxus baccata) and rhododendron (Rhododendron ponticum) that are toxic to livestock may be included in compost windrows but may not be fully detoxified by the composting process. This study investigates the decomposition during composting of toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids present in ragwort, taxines (A and B) present in yew, and grayanotoxins (GTX I, II, and III) present in rhododendron during composting. Plant samples were contained within microporous bags either towards the edge or within the centre of a pilot-scale compost heap. They were destructively harvested at regular intervals over 1200°C cumulative temperature (about three months). Samples were analysed for levels of toxins by liquid chromatography time of flight mass spectrometry (LC-TOF-MS). Pyrrolizidine alkaloids and taxines were shown to degrade completely during the composting process. While GTX I showed significant reductions, concentrations of GTX III remained unchanged after 1200°C cumulative temperature. However, estimates of exposure to grazing livestock coming into contact with source-segregated green waste compost containing up to 7% rhododendron suggest that GTX III poses no appreciable risk. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Crossan C.,Glasgow Caledonian University | Grierson S.,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency | Thomson J.,Scottish Agricultural College Consulting Veterinary Services | Ward A.,Rural Center | And 3 more authors.
Epidemiology and Infection | Year: 2015

The prevalence of anti-HEV isotype-specific antibodies and viraemia were investigated in serum samples collected from slaughter-age pigs (aged 22-24 weeks) from 23 farms in Scotland. Of 176 serum samples tested, 29·0% (n = 51) were anti-HEV IgG positive, 36·9% (n = 65) anti-HEV IgA positive and 29·0% (n = 51) anti-HEV IgM positive. Overall seroprevalence (anti-HEV IgG+ and/or IgA+ and/or IgM+) was 61·4% (n = 108). HEV RNA was detected in 72/162 serum samples (44·4%). Partial sequence of ORF2 (98 nt) was obtained from eight HEV RNA-positive samples and phylogenetic analysis confirmed that they were all of genotype 3. This is the first report on the prevalence of HEV in pigs in Scotland. Given the increasing incidence of locally acquired HEV infection in the UK, evidence that HEV is a foodborne zoonosis emphasizes the need for surveillance in pigs. © 2014 Cambridge University Press.


PubMed | Scottish Agricultural College Consulting Veterinary Services, Rural Center, Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency and Glasgow Caledonian University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Epidemiology and infection | Year: 2015

The prevalence of anti-HEV isotype-specific antibodies and viraemia were investigated in serum samples collected from slaughter-age pigs (aged 22-24 weeks) from 23 farms in Scotland. Of 176 serum samples tested, 290% (n=51) were anti-HEV IgG positive, 369% (n=65) anti-HEV IgA positive and 290% (n=51) anti-HEV IgM positive. Overall seroprevalence (anti-HEV IgG+ and/or IgA+ and/or IgM+) was 614% (n=108). HEV RNA was detected in 72/162 serum samples (444%). Partial sequence of ORF2 (98 nt) was obtained from eight HEV RNA-positive samples and phylogenetic analysis confirmed that they were all of genotype 3. This is the first report on the prevalence of HEV in pigs in Scotland. Given the increasing incidence of locally acquired HEV infection in the UK, evidence that HEV is a foodborne zoonosis emphasizes the need for surveillance in pigs.


Craigie C.R.,King's College | Craigie C.R.,Massey University | Lambe N.R.,King's College | Richardson R.I.,University of Bristol | And 6 more authors.
Animal Production Science | Year: 2012

Much of the past research into gender effects on lamb meat quality has focussed on comparing ram lambs with castrated males, but more recent comparisons between ram and ewe lambs have yielded variable results. The objective of the current research was to compare meat quality parameters of M. longissimus lumborum (LL), and M. semimembranosus (SM) from pasture-fed Texel ram (n = 94) and ewe (n = 114) lambs slaughtered at an average age of 144 days in a commercial abattoir. After aging carcasses for between 7 and 9 days, LL and SM were significantly tougher (higher shear values) for ram compared with ewe lambs (P<0.001). LL from rams had significantly lower intramuscular fat percentage, and higher moisture content than LL from ewes. Differences in LL intramuscular fat percentage or ultimate pH did not explain the sex effect on LL shear force when tested individually or together as additional covariates in the model. Ram SM was lighter in colour (higher L*) and had a higher cooking loss than that of ewes (P<0.001). The correlations between some of the traits within and between muscles clearly differed between the sexes. Finishing ram lambs to the specifications used in this experiment resulted in meat with relatively minor, but statistically significant differences in quality relative to that from ewe lambs. © 2012 CSIRO.

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