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The physiological and behavioral responses of steers to gaseous ammonia in simulated long distance transport by ship.

Phillips, C.J.C and Pines, M.K. and Latter, M. and Muller, T. and Petherick, J.C. and Norman, S.T. and Gaughan, J.B. (2010) The physiological and behavioral responses of steers to gaseous ammonia in simulated long distance transport by ship. Journal of Animal Science, 88 (11). pp. 3579-3589.

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.2527/jas.2010-3089

Publisher URL: http://www.asas.org/publications.asp

Abstract

Ammonia (NH3) can accumulate in high density cattle accommodation during live export shipments and could potentially threaten the animals' health and welfare. The effects of 4 NH3 concentrations, control (<8), 15, 30, and 45 ppm, on the physiology and behavior of steers were recorded. The animals were held for 12 d under a micro-climate and stocking density similar to shipboard conditions experienced on voyages from Australia to the Middle East during the northern hemispheric summer. In bronchoalveolar lavage samples, ammonia increased (P < 0.05) macrophage activity in proportion to NH3 concentration and it increased (P < 0.05) neutrophil percentage at 30 and 45 ppm, indicating active pulmonary inflammation. It also increased (P < 0.05) lacrimation, nasal secretions and coughing, particularly at 45 ppm, indicating that the NH3 was irritating the mucous membranes of the eyes, nasal cavity and respiratory tract. Ammonia had no effect (P > 0.05) on hematological parameters or body weight. Twenty-eight days after exposure to NH3, the steers' pulmonary macrophage activity and neutrophil levels had returned to normal. It was concluded that ammonia concentrations of 30 and 45 ppm induced temporary inflammatory responses which indicate an adverse effect on the welfare of steers.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Ammonia; cattle; live export; respiratory toxicology; steer.
Subjects:Animal culture > Cattle
Animal culture > Transportation
Deposited On:07 Dec 2010 07:11
Last Modified:29 Sep 2015 05:52

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