Silsoe Livestock Systems Ltd.

Silsoe, United Kingdom

Silsoe Livestock Systems Ltd.

Silsoe, United Kingdom
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Ellis T.,Cefas Weymouth Laboratory | Berrill I.,University of Stirling | Lines J.,Silsoe Livestock Systems Ltd | Turnbull J.F.,University of Stirling | Knowles T.G.,University of Bristol
Fish Physiology and Biochemistry | Year: 2012

Mortality has received insufficient attention as a fish welfare topic. Here, we aim to prompt fish farming stakeholders to discuss fish mortalities in relation to welfare. Mortality in farmed fish populations is due to a variety of biotic and abiotic causes, although it is often difficult to differentiate between underlying and immediate causes of mortality. Most mortality appears to occur during episodes associated with disease outbreaks and critical periods (in development or production). Most causes of mortality can be assumed to be associated with suffering prior to death. As mortality rates in farmed fish populations are suspected to rank amongst the highest in commonly farmed vertebrate species, mortality should be a principal fish welfare issue. Long-term mortality rates can be used as a retrospective welfare performance indicator and short-term mortality rates as an operational welfare indicator. Scrutiny of mortality records and determining causes of death will enable action to be taken to avoid further preventable mortality. The welfare performance of fish farms should only be judged on levels of predictable and preventable mortality. Fish farmers will already be monitoring mortality due to commercial and legal requirements. As profitability in fish farming is directly linked to survival, confronting mortality should ultimately benefit both fish and farmers. © 2011 Her Majesty the Queen in Rights of the United Kingdom.

Banhazi T.M.,University of Southern Queensland | Lehr H.,Syntesa sp f Ltd. | Black J.L.,John L Black Consulting | Crabtree H.,Farmex Ltd | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Agricultural and Biological Engineering | Year: 2012

Abstract: Precision Livestock Farming (PLF) is potentially one of the most powerful developments amongst a number of interesting new and upcoming technologies that have the potential to revolutionise the livestock farming industry. If properly implemented, PLF or Smart Farming could (1) improve or at least objectively document animal welfare on farms; (2) reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and improve environmental performance of farms; (3) facilitate product segmentation and better marketing of livestock products; (4) reduce illegal trading of livestock products; and (5) improve the economic stability of rural areas. However, there are only a few examples of successful commercialisation of PLF technologies introduced by a small number of commercial companies which are actively involved in the PLF commercialisation process. To ensure that the potential of PLF is taken to the industry, we need to: (1) establish a new service industry; (2) verify, demonstrate and publicise the benefits of PLF; (3) better coordinate the efforts of different industry and academic organisations interested in the development and implementation of PLF technologies on farms; and (4) encourage commercial sector to assist with professionally managed product development.

Ellis T.,CEFAS - Center for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science | Turnbull J.F.,University of Stirling | Knowles T.G.,University of Bristol | Lines J.A.,Silsoe Livestock Systems Ltd | Auchterlonie N.A.,CEFAS - Center for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science
Aquaculture | Year: 2016

Commercial farming of Atlantic salmon in Scotland started in 1969 and has since expanded to produce >179,000 t year-1. A government department has published annual statistics and information on the seawater and freshwater sub-sectors of the Scottish salmon farming industry since 1979, and this review collates and discusses metrics covering aspects of production, farm sites and systems, fish performance, socio-economics and environmental pressures. Trends illustrated in this case study of aquaculture development include: initial increases in numbers of farms and companies, followed by decreases due to industry consolidation; increases in average farm size, and productivity of systems and employees; increases in survival, size at age and productivity of fish (yield per smolt, ova per broodstock); reduced dependence on wild stocks for ova. This case study also illustrates the importance of disease management, control of biological processes to overcome natural seasonality (i.e. production of out-of-season smolt), and the international nature of aquaculture. Improvements in fish survival, growth and productivity are attributed to progress in vaccination and health management (including fallowing), husbandry, system design, feed formulation and provision, and introduction of technology and mechanisation. Salmon farming is discussed in relation to the challenging strategy of "sustainable intensification". Improved growth and survival over a period of increasing rearing unit size, farm size and output and decreasing relative staff input counters the common assumption that intensification compromises animal welfare. The value of capturing time series data on industry wide metrics is illustrated as it enables identification of trends, underperformance and bench-marking, as well as assessment of resource use efficiency, environmental pressures, and ultimately sustainability. Statement of relevance: This review is an original collation of a comprehensive set of time series of official statistics on an entire, discrete and regionally important sector of commercial aquaculture. © 2016.

Orford F.,University of Bristol | Ford E.A.,AHDB Beef and Lamb | Brown S.N.,University of Bristol | McKinstry J.,University of Bristol | And 4 more authors.
Animal Welfare | Year: 2016

The maintenance of head-only minimum stunning currents for sheep to ≥ 1.0 Amp as per current legislation was examined in two trials in a commercial abattoir. In the first trial, a Jetco MS100 stunner failed to maintain the current to > 1.0 Amp in 118 of the 228 sheep. In a second trial, a Jetco MS105 delivered sufficient current in all sheep (n = 275) to meet the legislative requirement, apart from a single animal. Recorded electrocardiograms showed a regular heartbeat, with no evidence of ventricular fibrillation, in all animals in both trials following stunning and neck-cut. Only one of the two stun units may therefore be considered to meet the statutory requirements but both may meet the requirements for halal slaughter where pre-stun is considered acceptable. © 2016 Universities Federation for Animal Welfare.

Fuseini A.,University of Bristol | Knowles T.G.,University of Bristol | Lines J.A.,Silsoe Livestock Systems Ltd. | Hadley P.J.,AHDB Beef and Lamb | Wotton S.B.,University of Bristol
Animal Welfare | Year: 2016

The slaughter of animals for the halal market is both ethically and economically significant. There are animal welfare and spiritual requirements that must be met for meat to be considered fit for Muslim consumption. These requirements are enshrined in Islamic law, known commonly as the Shariah law, derived from commandments in the Holy Quran and the Hadith (teachings or traditions of the Prophet of Islam, Mohammed, Peace Be Upon Him). Islamic jurists widely interpret the Shariah law differently, and this has led to debate as to whether pre-slaughter stunning is acceptable for halal slaughter. This paper reviews how these laws are interpreted and implemented and reviews the methods of stunning accepted by proponents of halal stunning. It also describes why some proponents of halal stunning do not accept irreversible stunning methods for producing halal beef within the EU, a situation which has meant that thousands of halal cattle are slaughtered without any form of stunning. © 2016 Universities Federation for Animal Welfare.

Sandblom E.,Gothenburg University | Djordjevic B.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Sundh H.,Gothenburg University | Seth H.,Gothenburg University | And 4 more authors.
Aquaculture | Year: 2012

Electric field exposure is used to stun or immobilize fish prior to slaughter in the aquaculture industry and for field sampling purposes (i.e. electrofishing), but the physiological response of fish to this exposure is incompletely understood. In this paper we report on changes in blood pressure, heart and ventilation rates, and hematological variables in chronically cannulated Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) in response to exposure to an electric field of 4. V/cm (125. Hz) for 5 and 30. s. Both durations of exposure resulted in a brief (total duration: 5.2 to 6.0. s, respectively) four-fold blood pressure increase above resting levels. The 5. s exposure was followed by a period of cardiac and ventilatory arrest (for 35 and 176. s on average, respectively), but cardioventilatory activity recovered in ten out of eleven fish. Nevertheless, signs of systemic stress responses were evident after the exposure. These included moderate hypertension, increased ventilation amplitude, increased plasma cortisol levels and altered hydromineral balance. After the 30. s exposure, cardiac activity initially appeared to recover, but subsequently declined. Ventilation did not recover. It is suggested that circulatory failure due to cardiac ischemia resulting from ventilatory failure; rather than instantaneous and irrecoverable cardiac arrest from the electric field exposure per se, is the ultimate cause of death in fish that fail to recover from exposure to an electric field in water. The brief dramatic hypertension observed in char may partly explain the haemorrhages that are frequently observed in electrically stunned fish of some species. © 2012 Elsevier B.V..

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