In vivo evaluation of body condition in breeding rabbit does
Juan José Pascual
Universitat Politècnica de Valencia, Spain
Genetic selection, reproduction management and nutrition programs developed in recent decades have allowed us to considerably increase the productivity of animals. However, livestock is showing negative side effects associated with the use of only productive criteria, such as a greater sensitivity to diseases, increased stress and a greater dependence of animals on the use of antibiotics. Faced with this situation, society and the livestock sector itself are demanding new productive but also sustainable systems. One of the main traits for evaluating the sustainability of breeders is body condition. The study of the evolution of the body condition allows us to observe the effectiveness of our decisions about reproduction, health and welfare, since the body condition is the guarantor of the reproduction and survival of the breeders. Body condition can be assessed through the comparative slaughter technique but, although accurate, it does not allow for studying individual evolution and requires the sacrifice of the animals. Under the principle of the 3Rs of refinement, several methods have been developed for the in vivo evaluation of the body condition of the breeders. In this work, three techniques developed in breeding rabbits based on ultrasound, bioimpedance and electrical conductivity are shown and compared.
Juan José Pascual is leading a research group in Animal Nutrition in the Institute for Animal Science and Technology of the Universitat Politècnica de Valencia (Spain). He holds a PhD in Animal Feeding at the Universitat Politècnica de Valencia, and is the President of the Spanish National Association of Rabbit Farming (ASESCU) and the President of the World Rabbit Science Association (WRSA). His current research focus is on Precision Animal Feeding, focused on the use of smart tools and precision livestock farming (PLF) technologies for the adequate provision of nutrients and additives in animals housed in groups, aimed to a more environmentally sustainable livestock and less dependent on the use of antimicrobials. He is author of 70+ SCI publications, 160+ conference proceedings, 10+ book chapters. He has given 22 invited presentations on his research. He has participated in 48 projects of public competition and in 20 contracts with companies. Currently, he is coordinator of courses on Biotechnology in PLF, Feed Manufacturing Technology, Challenges and Projects in PLF and Scientific Communication, and has supervised 12 PhD students. He also acts as Editor-in-Chief at the World Rabbit Science (SCI journal) since 2005.