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13 news posts in Animal welfare


13 Feb 2023

European big cat population threatened with extinction as genetics show the population is near collapse

by Angharad Brewer Gillham, Frontiers science writer Image/ Eurasian lynxes dispersed across the Swiss border with France in the late 1970s, but the population remains small and fragile. Scientists took genetic samples from lynxes in France and determined that the population’s genetic health is so dangerously tenuous it could be extinct in a generation. Scientists warn that if action isn’t taken soon, the Eurasian lynx will vanish from France. This elusive wild cat, which was reintroduced to Switzerland in the 1970s, moved across the French border by the end of the decade. But a genetic study published in Frontiers in Conservation Science showed that the lynx population in France is in desperate need of help to survive. “Given the rapid loss of genetic diversity, we estimate that this population will go extinct in less than 30 years,” said Nathan Huvier of the Centre Athenas, corresponding author. “This population urgently needs new genetic material to become sustainable.” The missing lynx This population of lynxes, hidden deep within the Jura Mountains, is not well known. Observations by scientists estimate its size at a maximum of 150 adults and suggest that it is poorly connected to larger, healthier populations in Germany and Switzerland, […]

Featured news

19 Nov 2021

Common household sounds are stressing out our pets, but little research has been put into giving them a happier life

By Dr Emma K Grigg, University of California, Davis Dr Emma K Grigg, University of California, Davis. Image: Sherri Rieck We may not realize it, but many household appliances are causing our pets significant stress, according to a new study published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science. Now, one of its authors, Dr Emma K Grigg of University of California, Davis, writes about another less-discussed issue: how little effort is being put into better understanding our pets. Grigg is a certified applied animal behaviorist and a staff research associate and lecturer at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine. She is also a lecturer in canine behavior at Bergin University of Canine Studies in northern California and has authored a number of scientific publications on canine, feline, and marine mammal behavior. Her first book, The Science Behind a Happy Dog, was published in June 2017. As an animal behavior researcher who specializes in dogs and cats, I have been trained to carefully observe and interpret their body language to better understand and predict their behavior, to study the ways in which they interact with their worlds, and to continually consider the impacts of human activities on their wellbeing. My […]

Life sciences

07 Apr 2021

Study demonstrates the need to monitor the bit area of event horses

University of Helsinki A new study published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science found that event horses that wear thin or thick bits in events had a greater risk of moderate or severe oral lesions compared to horses wearing medium-sized bits, while straight bits were associated with lesions in the bars of the horse’s mouth. “Our recommendation is to use a jointed bit of moderate thickness, that is 14 to 17 millimetres, if the size of the mouth is not known, paying particular attention to the handling of mares and both warmblood and coldblood event horses. They were seen to have a greater risk of mouth lesions compared to geldings and ponies,” says doctoral student and veterinarian Kati Tuomola from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki. “Since most mouth lesions are not evidenced as bleeding outside the mouth, the bit area should be monitored, and event organisers should carry out systematic oral inspections,” Tuomola adds. Read original article Download original article (pdf) The research group has previously investigated oral lesions in trotters. The object of the current study was event horses, that is horses which compete in events composed of three phases: show jumping, dressage and a cross-country test. […]