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Study of the stress reaction
related to artificial insemination in hispano-breton mares
M.A. Alonso, J.A. Perez, C. Diez, D. Bartolomé and V.R. Gaudioso
University of Leon, Spain
The great change undergone over the last few years in the concept and mentality of livestock exploitation systems has given rise to the intensification of animal production, going from “traditional” methods to “industrial” ones, with the aim of achieving higher profits and productivity. This has caused marked changes in a few years, demanding from the animal an effort in adapting to these new conditions, which sometimes overcomes their capacity to adapt and gives rise to a stress reaction.
In this work we aim to
evaluate the stress reaction and the level of injury caused by artificial
insemination (A.I.) in the Hispano-Breton horse breed, and to determinate
their capacity to adapt to these manipulations.
Fifteen Hispano-Breton adult females, between 3 and 8 years of age, were subjected to A.I. and nine females of the same breed and similar ages were subjected to natural mounting. Modifications in the following haematic parameters were measured in all animals: cortisol, glucose, lactate dehydrogenase, triglycerides and total protein. We also measured the Species Specific Experimental Response to Stress (SSERTS) index.
We found a slight increase in blood cortisol levels after A.I. that was not statistically significant. Moreover, the SSERTS index did not show any significant difference between treatments. Given that this parameter shows the metabolic state of the animal, this result implies that the elevation in glucocorticoids is not sufficient to modify other plasmatic metabolites, which means a very scarce repercussion on the metabolic state of the animal. The efforts that the animal has to carry out to adapt to this manipulation, are minimal and produce a low stress reaction. From this we can deduce that carrying out artificial insemination on the animals we studied was not stressful. However, we have to consider that these mares were used for farm work in cultivated fields, such as hops and beet, and had become accustomed to human presence.
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