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Interactions between the neurophysiological and immune systems as objective measures of animal welfare

Objective measures are essential to provide a scientific basis for assessing the welfare of sheep and cattle in Australian production systems. The aim of the research described herein was to develop methodologies to examine the link between neurophysiological changes associated with stress responses and the function of peripheral blood leukocytes and to apply these methodologies to investigate responses to chronic stressors in order to provide information on pre-pathological states indicative of an animal's failure to adapt and cope.

​The results represent the utilisation of leukocytes as target tissues to measure cellular stress responses in sheep and cattle. A panel of leukocyte markers has been identified that will be suitable for application to a range of studies to underpin animal welfare research. Selected measures have been applied to three experimental models of stress in sheep and cattle. These experimental models included animal welfare outcomes of livestock road transport practices (sheep), the development of a fear model of chronic stress in cattle, and the amelioration of heat stress in feedlot cattle by dietary means.


Title Size Date published
2.4MB 01/06/2008


Contract No. Title Start date End date Funding type
Post Doc Fellowship Linda Agnew - Interactions between the neurophysiolo gical and immune systems as objective measures of animal welfare
08/01/2007 30/03/2009

This page was last updated on 06/07/2018

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