Abstract

When free-ranging animals encounter traffic on roads or railways, it may have fatal outcome. In Europe, collisions between vehicles and animals have increased the last 40 years, causing eco-nomic losses and serious welfare concerns. Today there is no technological solution to prevent such collisions in the rough, arctic climate that represents most parts of Norway. By using small and energy-efficient radio transmitters moulded into headcollars, researchers have now devel-oped and tested a system for warning traffic when semi-domestic reindeer are nearby the road. Tests on more than 700 reindeer over three consecutive winter seasons are promising.

Abstract

Several non-invasive methods for assessing stress responses have been developed and validated for many animal species. Due to species-specific differences in metabolism and excretion of stress hormones, methods should be validated for each species. The aim of this study was to conduct a physiological validation of an 11-oxoaetiocholanolone enzyme immunoassay (EIA) for measuring faecal cortisol metabolites (FCMs) in male reindeer by administration of adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH; intramuscular, 0.25 mg per animal). A total of 317 samples were collected from eight male reindeer over a 44 h period at Tverrvatnet in Norway in mid-winter. In addition, 114 samples were collected from a group of reindeer during normal handling and calf marking at Stjernevatn in Norway. Following ACTH injection, FCM levels (median and range) were 568 (268–2415) ng/g after two hours, 2718 (414–8550) ng/g after seven hours and 918 (500–6931) ng/g after 24 h. Levels were significantly higher from seven hours onwards compared to earlier hours (p < 0.001). The FCM levels at Stjernevatn were significantly (p < 0.001) different before (samples collected zero to two hours; median: 479 ng/g) and after calf marking (eight to ten hours; median: 1469 ng/g). Identification of the faecal samples belonging to individual animals was conducted using DNA analysis across time. This study reports a successful validation of a non-invasive technique for measuring stress in reindeer, which can be applied in future studies in the fields of biology, ethology, ecology, animal conservation and welfare.

Abstract

In this study, a technique based on wireless sensor networks (WSN) for matching mother reindeer to their calves in order to identify the ownership of the calves is presented. This task is currently performed using manual techniques which are stressful on the animals and herders alike. Various potential WSN technologies are considered. RFID technology was given greater interest as it is widely used in animal identification. A method based on Wi-Fi enabled active RFID tags is proposed in this work. This technique entails the temporary attachment of Wi-Fi enabled RFID tags to the necks of the calf and mother reindeers and to monitor the location of those tags using the Wi-Fi network. A detailed discussion of localization algorithms to monitor the location of the tags and to determine the correlation between any pairs of tags which indicate mother and her calf is presented. This work aims to pave the way for the use of wireless sensor networks for the purpose of matching mother reindeer to their calves and for other matching purposes in animal welfare and industry.

Abstract

In this study, a technique based on wireless sensor networks (WSN) for matching mother reindeer to their calves in order to identify the ownership of the calves is presented. This task is currently performed using manual techniques which are stressful on the animals and herders alike. Various potential WSN technologies are considered. RFID technology was given greater interest as it is widely used in animal identification. A method based on Wi-Fi enabled active RFID tags is proposed in this work. This technique entails the temporary attachment of Wi-Fi enabled RFID tags to the necks of the calf and mother reindeers and to monitor the location of those tags using the Wi-Fi network. A detailed discussion of localization algorithms to monitor the location of the tags and to determine the correlation between any pairs of tags which indicate mother and her calf is presented. This work aims to pave the way for the use of wireless sensor networks for the purpose of matching mother reindeer to their calves and for other matching purposes in animal welfare and industry.

To document

Abstract

In Norway, most lambs are slaughtered at the end of the grazing season in September. An increased demand for fresh meat during the off-season may change this pattern. Castration of male lambs is not permitted, and off-season slaughtering may affect the acceptability of the meat. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of gender and the interaction between gender and diet on meat quality from Norwegian White Sheep lambs slaughtered in September. In two different experiments, 22 and 29 males compared with 22 and 46 female lambs, respectively, were used. Loin samples of M. Longissimus dorsi were analysed for sensory profile and fatty acid composition. Meat from male lambs in Experiment 2 had higher scores for cloying and rancid flavour, and lower scores for sour and sweet taste compared to meat from female lambs. It is concluded that even at the normal slaughtering time in September, significant differences between genders may occur.

To document

Abstract

With the objective of studying the effects of production systems on meat quality, 75 Norwegian White Sheep lambs were subjected to one of the following treatments: continuous grazing on a semi-natural lowland pasture until slaughtering (Control); continuous grazing followed by either stall-feeding on concentrate and grass silage or grazing ryegrass pasture for 44 or 24 days before slaughtering (Conc44, Conc24, Rye44, Rye24). Loin samples of M. longissimus dorsi including the subcutaneous fat were analysed for sensory attributes and fatty acid composition. Compared with the control group, a lower intensity of acid taste (P<0.05) and a lower content of C18:3n-6 fatty acids (P<0.001) were observed in the Conc44 group. The n-6/n-3 ratio was higher (P<0.001) in meat tested from the concentrate treatments compared to the ryegrass treatments. These findings indicate that the fattening of lambs on improved pastures or a concentrate-based diet prior to slaughter may alter meat characteristics.