Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

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Social media hypes about agro-food issues : Activism, scandals and conflicts
Stevens, T.M. ; Aarts, N. ; Termeer, C.J.A.M. ; Dewulf, A. - \ 2018
Food Policy 79 (2018). - ISSN 0306-9192 - p. 23 - 34.
Activism - Conflict - Hype - Livestock - Scandal - Social media

Events and controversies in the agro-food domain frequently generate peak selective activity on social media. These social media hypes are a concern to stakeholders because they can affect public opinion and policy, and are almost impossible to predict. This study develops a model for analysing social media hypes and builds a typology to provide insights into the dynamics of social media hypes in the context of agro-food governance. Five cases of peak social media activity in the Dutch livestock sector are analysed along four dimensions: (1) peak patterns of activity, (2) issues and frames, (3) interaction of actors, and (4) media interplay. An analysis of the dimensions and the interrelations across cases shows that social media hypes revolve around activism, scandals, and conflicts – each with characteristic patterns of activity, framing, interaction and media interplay. Hypes do not just result from important events in the sector, but are generated through the use of organizing concepts with a hashtag to evaluate and establish occasions. Peak activity thus revolves around a few themes and is recurrent and judgmental. Moreover, stakeholders play an active role in instigating and framing social media hypes. Our results show the need to adopt a proactive and interactive approach that transcends the view of social media as a mere communication channel to respond in crisis situations.

Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in wildlife, food-producing, and companion animals : a systematic review
Köck, R. ; Daniels-Haardt, I. ; Becker, K. ; Mellmann, A. ; Friedrich, A.W. ; Mevius, D. ; Schwarz, S. ; Jurke, A. - \ 2018
Clinical Microbiology and Infection 24 (2018)12. - ISSN 1198-743X - p. 1241 - 1250.
Antibiotic resistance - Carbapenemase - Enterobacteriales - Epidemiology - Livestock - Zoonosis
Objectives: The spread of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) in healthcare settings challenges clinicians worldwide. However, little is known about dissemination of CRE in livestock, food, and companion animals and potential transmission to humans. Methods: We performed a systematic review of all studies published in the PubMed database between 1980 and 2017 and included those reporting the occurrence of CRE in samples from food-producing and companion animals, wildlife, and exposed humans. The primary outcome was the occurrence of CRE in samples from these animals; secondary outcomes included the prevalence of CRE, carbapenemase types, CRE genotypes, and antimicrobial susceptibilities. Results: We identified 68 articles describing CRE among pigs, poultry, cattle, seafood, dogs, cats, horses, pet birds, swallows, wild boars, wild stork, gulls, and black kites in Africa, America, Asia, Australia, and Europe. The following carbapenemases have been detected (predominantly affecting the genera Escherichia and Klebsiella): VIM, KPC, NDM, OXA, and IMP. Two studies found that 33–67% of exposed humans on poultry farms carried carbapenemase-producing CRE closely related to isolates from the farm environment. Twenty-seven studies selectively screened samples for CRE and found a prevalence of <1% among livestock and companion animals in Europe, 2–26% in Africa, and 1–15% in Asia. Wildlife (gulls) in Australia and Europe carried CRE in 16–19%. Conclusions: The occurrence of CRE in livestock, seafood, wildlife, pets, and directly exposed humans poses a risk for public health. Prospective prevalence studies using molecular and cultural microbiological methods are needed to better define the scope and transmission of CRE.
Identification of beef production farms in the Pampas and Campos area that stand out in economic and environmental performance
Modernel, P. ; Dogliotti, S. ; Alvarez, S. ; Corbeels, M. ; Picasso, V. ; Tittonell, P. ; Rossing, W.A.H. - \ 2018
Ecological Indicators 89 (2018). - ISSN 1470-160X - p. 755 - 770.
Carbon footprint - Grazing - Livestock - Multivariate analysis - Nutrient balance - South America - Sustainability
Worldwide, native grasslands are being converted to non-native pastures and cropland. This process threatens local grassland biomes as well as the livelihoods of farm families that utilize these grasslands. In the Río de la Plata grasslands region meat production and multispecies native grasslands have coexisted for more than 400 years. Low levels of meat productivity and farm income, however, trigger replacement of native grasslands by crops and leys and threaten the survival of local beef farming systems. We studied the economic and environmental performance of beef farming in the region based on interviews and field measurements on 280 case study farms with the following aims: (a) to identify the multi-functional economic and environmental performance of beef farms across the Rio de la Plata grasslands biome; (b) to identify farms with ‘outstanding’ multi-functional performance; (c) to compare performance levels with those found in other regions; and (d) to discuss the implications of the outstanding farms for the development of new systems of meat production. The representativeness of the case study farms was ascertained by comparing them with a farm typology constructed from survey data of 15,448 beef farms situated predominantly on native grasslands in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. We identified seven farm types on the basis of farm size, labour, farm specialization, land use and stocking rate. We identified positive deviant farms based on Pareto-ranking and compared these with a classification based on threshold values provided by experts. Out of the 280 farms, 41 were ranked as Pareto-optimal, i.e. outperformed other farms in one or more indicators without being outperformed in other indicators. Out of these, 5 were positive deviants, achieving on average 192 kg LW ha−1 yr−1 of livestock productivity and 201 US$ ha−1 year−1 farm income, having most favourable values for fossil energy consumption, phosphorus balance, carbon footprint and having over 95% of their land under native grassland as a proxy for biodiversity conservation value. Four of these farms belonged to farm types that together represented 55% of the population, suggesting scope for widescale improvement. Compared to the values reported for the OECD countries the beef farming systems of the Río de la Plata grasslands region consume less energy and positive deviant farms demonstrated approximately average livestock productivity and carbon footprint. Increasing livestock productivity in the Rio de la Plata grasslands region resulted in a stronger decline of the carbon footprint without compromising the current negligible levels of fossil fuel energy use. Further elucidation of management practices that lead to positive deviant performance will require modelling of the interaction of pasture and herd dynamics at farm level and is needed to support targeted policy support for sustainable natural grassland-based beef production in the region.
Surveying selected European feed and livestock production chains for features enabling the case-specific post-market monitoring of livestock for intake and potential health impacts of animal feeds derived from genetically modified crops
Kleter, Gijs ; McFarland, Sarah ; Bach, Alex ; Bernabucci, Umberto ; Bikker, Paul ; Busani, Luca ; Kok, Esther ; Kostov, Kaloyan ; Nadal, Anna ; Pla, Maria ; Ronchi, Bruno ; Terre, Marta ; Einspanier, Ralf - \ 2018
Food and Chemical Toxicology 117 (2018). - ISSN 0278-6915 - p. 66 - 78.
Feed production chain - Genetically modified crops - Livestock - Post-market monitoring - Regulation - Traceability
This review, which has been prepared within the frame of the European Union (EU)-funded project MARLON, surveys the organisation and characteristics of specific livestock and feed production chains (conventional, organic, GM-free) within the EU, with an emphasis on controls, regulations, traceability, and common production practices. Furthermore, an overview of the origin of animal feed used in the EU as well as an examination of the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in feed is provided. From the data, it shows that livestock is traceable at the herd or individual level, depending on the species. Husbandry practices can vary widely according to geography and animal species, whilst controls and checks are in place for notifiable diseases and general health symptoms (such as mortality, disease, productive performance). For feeds, it would be possible only to make coarse estimates, at best, for the amount of GM feed ingredients that an animal is exposed to. Labeling requirements are apparently correctly followed. Provided that confounding factors are taken into account, practices such as organic agriculture that explicitly involve the use of non-GM feeds could be used for comparison to those involving the use of GM feed.
Exposure of livestock to GM feeds : Detectability and measurement
Nadal, Anna ; Giacomo, Marzia De; Einspanier, Ralf ; Kleter, Gijs ; Kok, Esther ; McFarland, Sarah ; Onori, Roberta ; Paris, Alain ; Toldrà, Mònica ; Dijk, Jeroen van; Wal, Jean Michel ; Pla, Maria - \ 2018
Food and Chemical Toxicology 117 (2018). - ISSN 0278-6915 - p. 13 - 35.
Animal tissue - DNA and protein transfer - Exposure assessment - Genetically modified organism (GMO) - Livestock - Traceability

This review explores the possibilities to determine livestock consumption of genetically modified (GM) feeds/ingredients including detection of genetically modified organism (GMO)-related DNA or proteins in animal samples, and the documentary system that is in place for GM feeds under EU legislation. The presence and level of GMO-related DNA and proteins can generally be readily measured in feeds, using established analytical methods such as polymerase chain reaction and immuno-assays, respectively. Various technical challenges remain, such as the simultaneous detection of multiple GMOs and the identification of unauthorized GMOs for which incomplete data on the inserted DNA may exist. Given that transfer of specific GMO-related DNA or protein from consumed feed to the animal had seldom been observed, this cannot serve as an indicator of the individual animal's prior exposure to GM feeds. To explore whether common practices, information exchange and the specific GM feed traceability system in the EU would allow to record GM feed consumption, the dairy chain in Catalonia, where GM maize is widely grown, was taken as an example. It was thus found that this system would neither enable determination of an animal's consumption of specific GM crops, nor would it allow for quantitation of the exposure.

Report of the joint workshop "Smart Mitigation of GHG in livestock production", 29th and 30th November 2016, in Potsdam, Germany
Bunthof, C.J. - \ 2017
FACCE ERA-GAS - Mitigation - Greenhouse gases - GHG - Livestock - Livestock production - GHG emissions - Animal production systems - production technology
FACCE ERA-GAS (ERA-NET Cofund for Monitoring & Mitigation of Greenhouse gases from Agri- and Silvi-culture), together with the ERA-NET SusAn, (Sustainable Animal Production Systems) and ERA-NET ICT-AGRI 2 (Information and Communication Technologies and Robotics for Sustainable Agriculture) organized a joint workshop on 29-30 November in Potsdam to identify promising approaches to reduce GHG emissions in livestock production. The joint workshop, the first of its kind involving three ERA-NETs, had close to 70 participants from 22 different countries. The three ERA-NETs have already identified a number of potential areas of synergy. This workshop explored one of those areas in detail: Comparison of animal production systems with respect to GHGs. Particular attention was paid to the following two sub-topics: (1) Production technology and management (e.g. housing systems; optimal field and grazing management), and (2) Breeding, physiology, feed & nutrition.The outputs of the workshop will help to set the research priorities for future joint calls and other activities between the three ERA-NETs.
Comparing environmental impact of air scrubbers for ammonia abatement at pig houses : A life cycle assessment
Vries, Jerke W. De; Melse, Roland W. - \ 2017
Biosystems Engineering 161 (2017). - ISSN 1537-5110 - p. 53 - 61.
Air scrubber - Ammonia - Animal houses - LCA - Livestock - Nitrous oxide

Intensive livestock production involves environmental emissions and impacts, including emission of greenhouse gases and ammonia leading to climate change and terrestrial acidification. Ammonia emission from animal housing systems can be reduced by introducing air scrubbers for cleaning the exhaust air, but insight into the environmental impact throughout the entire system is lacking. This study aimed to assess and compare the environmental impact of three types of air scrubbers: an acid scrubber and two biotrickling filters, one with nitrification only and one with nitrification and denitrification. Air scrubbers were compared by using life cycle assessment and assessing five environmental impacts: climate change, terrestrial acidification, marine eutrophication, particulate matter formation and fossil fuel depletion. The acid scrubber showed reductions in all environmental impact categories (up to >2000%), whereas the biotrickling filter with combined nitrification and denitrification had highest climate change and fossil fuel depletion. The biotrickling filter with nitrification only had highest terrestrial acidification and marine eutrophication.

Trees improve forage quality and abundance in South American subtropical grasslands
Bernardi de Leon, Rafael ; Jonge, Inger K. de; Holmgren, Milena - \ 2016
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 232 (2016). - ISSN 0167-8809 - p. 227 - 231.
Facilitation - Grassy biomes - Livestock - Savannas - Uruguay - Woody plant encroachment

Woody plant expansion into rangelands has raised widespread concerns about the potential impacts on livestock production. However, the way in which trees influence the structure, composition and dynamics of herbaceous communities may vary widely depending on local conditions. We studied the effects of trees on the sub-humid grasslands of Uruguay, in southeastern South America, comparing the abundance, diversity and nutrient composition of the herbaceous plants growing under the canopy of isolated trees with those growing at adjacent open places. We analyzed the vegetation patterns at increasing distances from the edge of riparian forests, where tree cover is highest, into the open grasslands. We did not find significant differences between the total biomass of the herbaceous layer growing under and outside tree canopies, but the relative abundance of C3 grasses doubled under trees. Nitrogen content of grasses growing under tree canopies was significantly higher than in adjacent open grasslands, whereas no significant differences were found in P or fiber content. Our results suggest that scattered trees in subtropical grasslands can increase the abundance of high quality forage and contribute to improve the provisioning services of these rangelands.

Incidence and economic impact of rabies in the cattle population of Ethiopia
Jibat, Tariku ; Mourits, Monique C.M. ; Hogeveen, Henk - \ 2016
Preventive Veterinary Medicine 130 (2016). - ISSN 0167-5877 - p. 67 - 76.
Cattle - Economic impact - Ethiopia - Livestock - Rabies - Subsistence

Rabies is a viral disease that can cause fatal encephalomyelitis both in animals and humans. Although incidences of the disease in cattle have been reported, insight in the economic impact of the disease in livestock remains limited. By affecting cattle in subsistence systems, rabies may have extensive economic impacts at household and country levels, in addition to the effects on human health. This study presents estimates of the direct economic impact of rabies at herd level in two representative subsistence cattle-farming systems in Ethiopia, the mixed crop-livestock and pastoral production systems. The economic impacts were assessed by a structured questionnaire administered to 532 cattle-owning households. These households were selected from four districts within two administrative zones; each zone representing a cattle production system. Rabies incidence rates of 21% and 11% at herd level were calculated for the mixed crop-livestock and pastoral production systems, respectively. The incidence rate at cattle level was the same in both systems., i.e. 2%. Herd-level incidence rates were higher in the mixed crop-livestock system than in the pastoral system (P

Assessing sustainability at farm-level : Lessons learned from a comparison of tools in practice
Olde, Evelien M. De; Oudshoorn, Frank W. ; Sørensen, Claus A.G. ; Bokkers, A.M. ; Boer, Imke J.M. De - \ 2016
Ecological Indicators 66 (2016). - ISSN 1470-160X - p. 391 - 404.
Agricultural production - Farm level - Livestock - Relevance - Sustainability assessment tools

In the past decades a wide variety of tools have been developed to assess the sustainability performance of farms. Although multiple studies have compared tools on a theoretical basis, little attention has been paid to the comparing tools in practice. This research compared indicator-based sustainability assessment tools to gain insight in practical requirements, procedures and complexity involved in applying sustainability assessment tools. In addition, the relevance of the tools, as perceived by farmers, was evaluated. An overview of 48 indicator-based sustainability assessment tools was developed to, subsequently, select tools that address the environmental, social and economic dimension of sustainability, are issued in a scientific publication and suitable for assessing the sustainability performance of livestock and arable farms in Denmark. Only four tools (RISE, SAFA, PG and IDEA) complied with the selection criteria and were used to assess the sustainability performance of five Danish farms. The tools vary widely in their scoring and aggregation method, time requirement and data input. The farmers perceived RISE as the most relevant tool to gain insight in the sustainability performance of their farm. The findings emphasize the importance of context specificity, user-friendliness, complexity of the tool, language use, and a match between value judgements of tool developers and farmers. Even though RISE was considered as the most relevant tool, the farmers expressed a hesitation to apply the outcomes of the four tools in their decision making and management. Furthermore, they identified limitations in their options to improve their sustainability performance. Additional efforts are needed to support farmers in using the outcomes in their decision making. The outcomes of sustainability assessment tools should therefore be considered as a starting point for discussion, reflection and learning.

New foci of Haemaphysalis punctata and Dermacentor reticulatus in the Netherlands
Hofmeester, Tim R. ; Lei, Pieter Bas van der; Docters Van Leeuwen, Arieke ; Sprong, Hein ; Wieren, Sipke E. van - \ 2016
Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases 7 (2016)2. - ISSN 1877-959X - p. 367 - 370.
Babesia spp. - Dunes - Grazing - Livestock - Rickettsia raoultii

In 2014 Haemaphysalis punctata was found in several locations on the mainland of the Netherlands for the first time since 1897. In the same areas Dermacentor reticulatus and Ixodes ricinus were found. Haemaphysalis punctata and D. reticulatus were tested for presence of Babesia spp. and Rickettsia spp. by PCR. Babesia spp. and spotted fever Rickettsiae were not detected in any of the collected H. punctata, while several D. reticulatus (6%) collected from the same areas were found to be positive for R. raoultii, a causative agent of tick-borne lymphadenopathy. We discuss the role of free-ranging domestic animals in maintaining H. punctata and D. reticulatus populations in dune areas in the Netherlands.

Assessment of uncertainties in greenhouse gas emission profiles of livestock sectors in Africa, Latin America and Europe
Zhu, Biqing ; Kros, Hans ; Lesschen, Jan Peter ; Staritsky, Igor Georgy ; Vries, Wim de - \ 2016
Regional Environmental Change 16 (2016)6. - ISSN 1436-3798 - p. 1571 - 1582.
CH - Global assessment modelling - Livestock - Monte Carlo simulation - NO - Uncertainty analysis

The global animal food chain has a large contribution to the global anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but its share and sources vary highly across the world. However, the assessment of GHG emissions from livestock production is subject to various uncertainties, which have not yet been well quantified at large spatial scale. We assessed the uncertainties in the relations between animal production (milk, meat, egg) and the CO2, CH4, and N2O emissions in Africa, Latin America and the European Union, using the MITERRA-Global model. The uncertainties in model inputs were derived from time series of statistical data, literature review or expert knowledge. These model inputs and parameters were further divided into nine groups based on type of data and affected greenhouse gas. The final model output uncertainty and the uncertainty contribution of each group of model inputs to the uncertainty were quantified using a Monte Carlo approach, taking into account their spatial and cross-correlation. GHG emissions and their uncertainties were determined per livestock sector, per product and per emission source category. Results show large variation in the GHG emissions and their uncertainties for different continents, livestock sectors products or source categories. The uncertainty of total GHG emissions from livestock sectors is higher in Africa and Latin America than in the European Union. The uncertainty of CH4 emission is lower than that for N2O and CO2. Livestock parameters, CH4 emission factors and N emission factors contribute most to the uncertainty in the total model output. The reliability of GHG emissions from livestock sectors is relatively high (low uncertainty) at continental level, but could be lower at country level.

Determinants associated with veterinary antimicrobial prescribing in farm animals in the Netherlands : A qualitative study
Speksnijder, D.C. ; Jaarsma, A.D.C. ; Gugten, A.C. van der; Verheij, T.J.M. ; Wagenaar, J.A. - \ 2015
Zoonoses and Public Health 62 (2015)s1. - ISSN 1863-1959 - p. 39 - 51.
Antimicrobial resistance - Livestock - Public health - Qualitative methods - Veterinary medicine

Antimicrobial use in farm animals might contribute to the development of antimicrobial resistance in humans and animals, and there is an urgent need to reduce antimicrobial use in farm animals. Veterinarians are typically responsible for prescribing and overseeing antimicrobial use in animals. A thorough understanding of veterinarians' current prescribing practices and their reasons to prescribe antimicrobials might offer leads for interventions to reduce antimicrobial use in farm animals. This paper presents the results of a qualitative study of factors that influence prescribing behaviour of farm animal veterinarians. Semi-structured interviews with eleven farm animal veterinarians were conducted, which were taped, transcribed and iteratively analysed. This preliminary analysis was further discussed and refined in an expert meeting. A final conceptual model was derived from the analysis and sent to all the respondents for validation. Many conflicting interests are identifiable when it comes to antimicrobial prescribing by farm animal veterinarians. Belief in the professional obligation to alleviate animal suffering, financial dependency on clients, risk avoidance, shortcomings in advisory skills, financial barriers for structural veterinary herd health advisory services, lack of farmers' compliance to veterinary recommendations, public health interests, personal beliefs regarding the veterinary contribution to antimicrobial resistance and major economic powers are all influential determinants in antimicrobial prescribing behaviour of farm animal veterinarians. Interventions to change prescribing behaviour of farm animal veterinarians could address attitudes and advisory skills of veterinarians, as well as provide tools to deal with (perceived) pressure from farmers and advisors to prescribe antimicrobials. Additional (policy) measures could probably support farm animal veterinarians in acting as a more independent animal health consultant.

Influence of applying different units of measurement on reporting antimicrobial consumption data for pig farms
Taverne, F.J. ; Jacobs, J.H. ; Heederik, D.J.J. ; Mouton, J.W. ; Wagenaar, J.A. ; Geijlswijk, I.M. van - \ 2015
BMC Veterinary Research 11 (2015). - ISSN 1746-6148 - 9 p.
Antimicrobial consumption monitoring - Daily dosages - International - Livestock - Methodology - Veterinary medicine

Background: Antimicrobial use in livestock is one of the factors contributing to selection and spread of resistant microorganisms in the environment. National veterinary antimicrobial consumption monitoring programs are therefore in place in a number of countries in the European Union. However, due to differences in methodology, results on veterinary antimicrobial consumption from these national monitoring programs cannot be compared internationally. International comparison is highly needed to establish regulations on veterinary antimicrobial use and reducing antimicrobial resistance. The aim of this study was to assess differences in the outcomes on veterinary antimicrobial consumption by applying three different sets of nationally established animal defined daily dosages to the same antimicrobial drug delivery dataset of Dutch pigs in 2012. Methods: Delivery information for the complete Dutch pig sector for the year 2012 reported to the Netherlands Veterinary Medicines Authority (SDa) was analysed with three differently and nationally established animal defined daily dosages from the Netherlands and Denmark: the Defined Daily Dosage AnimalNL (DDDANL), the Animal Daily DosageDK (ADDDK) and Defined Animal Daily DosageDK (DADDDK). For each applied Dutch product equivalent, Danish products were identified based on authorization for pigs, active substance (including form), administration route, concentration and dosage regimen. Results: Consumption in number of ADDDK/Y was lower than in number of DDDANL/Y for sows/piglets and finisher pigs, with proportions of 83.3 % and 98.3 %. Use in number of DADDDK/Y was even lower, 79.7 % for sows/piglets and 88.1 % for finisher pigs compared to number of DDDANL/Y. At therapeutic group level proportions of number of DADDDK/Y to number of DDDANL/Y were 63.6-150.4 % (sows/piglets) and 55.6-171.0 % (finisher pigs). Proportions were > 100 % for the polymyxines (sows/piglets 150.4 % and finisher pigs 149.9 %) and the macrolides/lincosamides (finisher pigs 171.0 %). Conclusions: Differences between nationally established animal defined daily dosages caused by different correction factors for long-acting products and national differences in authorized dosages, have a substantial influence on the results of antimicrobial consumption in pigs. To enable international comparison of veterinary antimicrobial consumption data, harmonized units of measurement, animal weights and animal (sub) categories are needed.

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