A plea to implement robustness into a breeding goal: poultry as an example

  • L. Star
  • E. D. Ellen
  • K. Uitdehaag
  • F. W. A. Brom
Article

Abstract

The combination of breeding for increased production and the intensification of housing conditions have resulted in increased occurrence of behavioral, physiological, and immunological disorders. These disorders affect health and welfare of production animals negatively. For future livestock systems, it is important to consider how to manage and breed production animals. In this paper, we will focus on selective breeding of laying hens. Selective breeding should not only be defined in terms of production, but should also include traits related to animal health and welfare. For this we like to introduce the concept of robustness. The concept of robustness includes individual traits of an animal that are relevant for health and welfare. Improving robustness by selective breeding will increase (or restore) the ability of animals to interact successfully with the environment and thereby to make them more able to adapt to an appropriate husbandry system. Application of robustness into a breeding goal will result in animals with improved health and welfare without affecting their integrity. Therefore, in order to be ethically acceptable, selective breeding in animal production should accept robustness as a breeding goal.

Keywords

health integrity laying hen robustness as a breeding goal welfare 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ali A., K. M. Cheng (1985). Early Egg Production in Genetically Blind (rc/rc) Chickens in Comparison with Sighted (Rc+/rc) Controls. Poultry Science, 64, 789–794Google Scholar
  2. Appleby M. C., P. Sandøe (2002). Philosophical Debate on the Nature of Well-Being: Implications for Animal Welfare. Animal Welfare, 11, 283–294Google Scholar
  3. Appleby M. C., J. A. Mench, B. O. Hughes (2004). Poultry Behaviour and Welfare. Oxfordshire, UK: CAB InternationalGoogle Scholar
  4. Bishop S. C., R. H. Fleming, H. A. McCormack, D. K. Flock, C. C. Whitehead (2000). Inheritance of Bone Characteristics Affecting Osteoporosis in Laying Hens. British Poultry Science, 41, 33–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boorse C. (1997). A Rebuttal on Health. In J. M. Humber, R. F. Almeder (eds.), What is Disease? (pp. 1–134). Totowa, New Jersey: Biomedical Ethics Reviews, Humana PressGoogle Scholar
  6. Bovenhuis H., H. Bralten, M. G. B. Nieuwland, H. Parmentier (2002). Genetic Parameters for Antibody Response of Chickens to Sheep Red Blood Cells Based on a Selection Experiment. Poultry Science, 81, 309–315Google Scholar
  7. Bovenkerk B., W. A. Brom, B. J. Van den Bergh (2002). Brave New Birds: The Use of ‹animal integrity’ in Animal Ethics. Hastings Center Report, 32, 16–22Google Scholar
  8. Brom F. W. A. (1997). Onherstelbaar Verbeterd: Biotechnologie Bij Dieren Als Moreel Probleem. Assen, the Netherlands: Van Gorcum & Comp. B.VGoogle Scholar
  9. Broom D. M. (1993). Assessing the Welfare of Modified or Treated Animals. Livestock Production Science, 36, 39–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bumstead N. (2003). Genetic Resistance and Transmission of Avian Bacteria and Viruses. In W. M. Muir, S. E. Aggrey (eds.), Poultry Genetics, Breeding and Biotechnology (pp. 311–328). Oxon, UK: CAB InternationalGoogle Scholar
  11. Cameron N. D. (1997). Selection Indices and Production of Genetic Merit in Animal Breeding. Oxon, UK: CAB InternationalGoogle Scholar
  12. Christiansen S. B., P. Sandøe (2000). Bioethics: Limits to the Interference With Life. Animal Reproduction Science, 60–61, 15–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dalgaard T. S., S. Højsgaard, K. Skjødt, H. R. Juul-Madsen (2003). Differences in Chicken Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) Class Iα Gene Expression Between Marek’s Disease-Resistant and -Susceptible MHC Haplotypes. Scandinavian Journal of Immunology, 57, 135–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. De Vries, R. (2006). Genetic Engineering and the Integrity of Animals. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 19, 469–493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Duncan I. J. H., D. Fraser (1997). Understanding Animal Welfare. In M. C. Appleby, B. O. Hughes (eds.), Animal Welfare (pp. 19–31). Oxon, United Kingdom: CAB InternationalGoogle Scholar
  16. Ellen E. D., W. M. Muir, F. Teuscher, P. Bijma (2007). Genetic Improvement of Traits Affected by Interactions Among Individuals: Sib Selection Schemes. Genetics, 176, 489–499CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Falconer D. S., T. F. C. Mackay (1996). Introduction to Quantitative Genetics; fourth edition. Harlow, England: Pearson EducationGoogle Scholar
  18. Fraser D., D. M. Weary, E. A. Pajor, B. N. Milligan (1997). A Scientific Conception of Animal Welfare that Reflects Ethical Concerns. Animal Welfare, 6, 187–205Google Scholar
  19. Gentle M. J. (1986). Beak Trimming in Poultry. World’s Poultry Science Journal, 42, 268–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Grommers F. J., L. J. E. Rutgers, J. M. Wijsmuller (1995). Welzijn – Intrinsieke Waarde – Integriteit: Ontwikkeling in de Herwaardering van het Gedomesticeerde Dier (With a Summary in English). Tijdschrift voor Diergeneeskunde, 120, 490–494Google Scholar
  21. Gunnarsson S. (2006). The Conceptualisation of Health and Disease in Veterinary Medicine. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, 48, 1–6Google Scholar
  22. Hester P. Y. (2005). Impact of Science and Management on the Welfare of Egg Laying Strains of Hens. Poultry Science, 84, 687–696Google Scholar
  23. Hughes B. O., P. E. Curtis (1997). Health and Disease. In M. C. Appleby, B. O. Hughes (eds.), Animal Welfare (pp. 109–125). Oxon, UK: CAB InternationalGoogle Scholar
  24. Johnson A. L. (2000). Reproduction in the Female. In G. C. Whittow (ed.), Sturkie’s Avian Physiology (pp. 569–596). San Diego, California, USA: Academic PressGoogle Scholar
  25. Jones R. B., H. J. Blokhuis, G. Beuving (1995). Open-Field and Tonic Immobility Responses in Domestic Chicks of Two Genetic Lines Differing in Their Propensity to Feather Peck. British Poultry Science, 36, 525–530CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Jones R. B., P. M. Hocking, (1999). Genetic Selection for Poultry Behaviour: Big Bad Wolf or Friend in Need? Animal Welfare, 8, 343–359Google Scholar
  27. Kanis E., H. Van den Belt, A. Groen, J. Schakel, K. H. De Greef (2004). Breeding for Improved Welfare in Pigs: A Conceptual Framework and its Use in Practice. Animal Science, 78, 315–329Google Scholar
  28. King L. A. (2004). Ethics and Welfare of Animals Used in Education: An Overview. Animal Welfare, 13, S221–227Google Scholar
  29. Kitano H. (2004). Biological Robustness. Nature Reviews Genetics, 5, 826–837CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Knap P. W. (2005). Breeding Robust Pigs. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 45, 763–773CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lamont S. J. (1998). Impact of Genetics on Disease Resistance. Poultry Science, 77, 1111–1118Google Scholar
  32. Manser C. E. (1996). Effects of Lighting on the Welfare of Domestic Poultry: A Review. Animal Welfare, 5, 341–360Google Scholar
  33. Muir W. M. (2003). Indirect Selection for Improvement of Animal Well-being. In W. M. Muir, S. E. Aggrey (eds.), Poultry Genetics, Breeding and Biotechnology (pp. 247–255). Oxon, UK: CAB InternationalGoogle Scholar
  34. Newberry R. C. (2004). Cannibalism. In G. C. Perry (ed.), Welfare of the Laying Hen (pp. 239–258). Oxfordshire, UK: CAB InternationalGoogle Scholar
  35. Nordenfelt L. (1987). On the Nature of Health: An Action-Theoretic Approach. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer/ReidelGoogle Scholar
  36. Nordenfelt L. (2007). The Concept of Health and Illness Revisited. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, 10, 5–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Preisinger R. and D. K. Flock (2000). “Genetic Changes in Layer Breeding: Historical Trends and Future Prospects.” The challenge of genetic change in animal production, Proceedings of an Occasional Meeting organised by the British Society of Animal Science, Edinburgh, UK Google Scholar
  38. Price E. O. (1999). Behavioral Development in Animals Undergoing Domestication. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 65, 245–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rauw W. M., E. Kanis, E. E. Noordhuizen-Stassen, F. J. Grommers (1998). Undesirable Side Effects of Selection for High Production Efficiency in Farm Animals: A Review. Livestock Production Science, 56, 15–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rodenburg T. B., A. J. Buitenhuis, B. Ask, K. A. Uitdehaag, P. Koene, J. J. van der Poel, J. van Arendonk, H. Bovenhuis 2004). Genetic and Phenotypic Correlations Between Feather Pecking and Open-field Response in Laying Hens at Two Different Ages. Behavior Genetics, 34, 407–415CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Rollin B. E. (1989). The Unheeded Cry: Animal Consciousness, Animal Pain and Science. Oxford, UK: Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  42. Rollin B. E. (1995). The Frankenstein Syndrome: Ethical and Social Issues in the Genetic Engineering of Animals. Cambridge, NY, USA: Press syndicateGoogle Scholar
  43. Rowan A. N. (1997). The Concept of Animal Welfare and Animal Suffering. In L. M. F. van Zutphen, M. Balls (eds.), Animal Alternatives, Welfare and Ethics (pp. 157–168). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: ElsevierGoogle Scholar
  44. Rutgers B., R. Heeger (1999). Inherent Worth and Respect for Animal Integrity. In M. Dol, M. Fentener van Vlissingen, S. Kasanmoentalib, T. Visser, H. Zwart (eds.), Recognizing the Intrinsic Value of Animals (pp. 41–51). Assen, The Netherlands: Van GorcumGoogle Scholar
  45. Rutgers L. J. E. (1993). The Weal and Woe of Animals: Ethics of Veterinary Practice. Utrecht, The Netherlands: University UtrechtGoogle Scholar
  46. Sandøe P., B. L. Nielsen, L. G. Christensen, P. Sorensen (1999). Staying Good While Playing God – The Ethics of Breeding Farm Animals. Animal Welfare, 8, 313–328Google Scholar
  47. Sandøe P., S. B. Christiansen, M. C. Appleby (2003). Farm Animal Welfare: The Interaction of Ethical Questions and Animal Welfare Science. Animal Welfare, 12, 469–478Google Scholar
  48. Savory C. J. (1995). Feather Pecking and Cannibalism. World’s Poultry Science Journal, 51, 215–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Siegel H. S. (1995). Stress, Strain and Resistance. British Poultry Science, 36, 3–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Siwek M., B. Buitenhuis, S. Cornelissen, M. Nieuwland, E. F. Knol, R. Crooijmans, M. Groenen, H. Parmentier, J. van der Poel (2006). Detection of QTL for Innate: Non-specific Antibody Levels Binding LPS and LTA in Two Independent Populations of Laying Hens. Developmental and Comparative Immunology, 30, 659–666CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Sørensen J. T., P. Sandøe, N. Halberg (2001). Animal Welfare As One Among Several Values to be Considered at Farm Level: The Idea of an Ethical Account for Livestock Farming. Acta Agriculturæ Scandinavica, 30, 11–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Stafleu, F. R., F. Grommers, and J. M. G. Vorstenbosch “Animal welfare: a hierarchy of concepts.” Proceedings of the 1st congress of the European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics: preprints, Wageningen, the Netherlands (1999)Google Scholar
  53. Star L., K. Frankena, B. Kemp, M. G. B. Nieuwland, H. J. Parmentier (2007a). Natural Humoral Immune Competence and Survival in Layers. Poultry Science, 86, 1090–1099Google Scholar
  54. Star, L., M. G. B. Nieuwland, B. Kemp, and H. K. Parmentier (2007b), “Effect of single or combined climatic and hygienic stress on natural and specific immune competence in four layer lines.” Poultry Science, 86, pp. 1894–1903Google Scholar
  55. Ten Napel J., F. B. Bianchi, M. Bestman (2006). Utilising Intrinsic Robustness in Agricultural Production Systems. Zoetermeer, The Netherlands: TransforumGoogle Scholar
  56. Tuyttens F. A. M. (2003). Measures of Developmental Instability as Integrated, a␣posteriori Indicators of Farm Animal Welfare: A Review. Animal Welfare, 12, 535–540Google Scholar
  57. Uitdehaag, K., H. Komen, T. B. Rodenburg, B. Kemp, and J. van Arendonk (2007), “The novel object test as predictor of feather damage in cage-housed Rhode Island Red and White Leghorn laying hens.” Applied Animal Behaviour Science, (in press)Google Scholar
  58. Verhoog H. (1992). The Concept of Intrinsic Value and Transgenic Animals. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 5, 147–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Vorstenbosch J. M. G. (1993). The Concept of Integrity. Its Significance For the Ethical Discussion on Biotechnology and Animals. Livestock Production Science, 36, 109–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Whitehead C. C., R. H. Fleming, R. J. Julian, P. Sørensen (2003). Skeletal Problems Associated with Selection for Increased Production. In W. M. Muir amd S. E. Aggrey (eds.), Poultry Genetics, Breeding and Biotechnology (pp. 29–52). Oxon, UK: CAB InternationalGoogle Scholar
  61. Yngvesson J., L. J. Keeling 2001). Body Size and Fluctuating Asymmetry in Relation to Cannibalistic Behaviour in Laying Hens. Animal Behaviour, 61, 609–615CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Star
    • 1
  • E. D. Ellen
    • 1
  • K. Uitdehaag
    • 1
  • F. W. A. Brom
    • 1
  1. 1.Animal Breeding and Genomics CentreWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations