Thursday, June 15, 2017

They are making giant holes in cow stomach

Agroscope, in Grangeneuve, Switzerland uses the cannulated cows to test the digestion of various experimental mixtures of oats to create a more balanced feed for the animals.
The cannula acts like a bullauge and gives direct access to the cow rumen.

Farmers have a wealth of technology and data at their fingertips to get the best out of cattle, but an old-fashioned technique still remains.
Researchers in Switzerland have fitted 14 cows with cannulae in their sides, which are cut directly into the digestive tract of the animal.
The 8-inch (20cm) holes allow farmers to directly see how the food is processed and are plugged with rubber stoppers when not in use.
  • Researchers in Switzerland fitted 14 cows with cannulas in their side
  • Cannulas are holes that are cut directly into a cow’s digestive tract
  • The 8-inch (20cm) holes allow farmers to see how food is being processed
  • Monitoring the energy efficiency of cows can help improve farming methods and the environment
  • But animal rights campaigners have criticised the activity, branding it cruel

Once the cannula is surgically placed in the cow, the animals stride for a fixed period of time before being examined.
Farmers remove the plug and pull the grass and oat mixture from the rumen.
This material is collected and tested, and this analysis shows farmers and researches which feeds get the best results from livestock based on how much is digested.
The practice was to become a common place in the 1920s, but reports of cows used in this way for scientific research date to 1833.
Cows with cannulas are also known as fistulous cows.

Farmers and researchers claim that the process of the environment can help by improving the energy efficiency of cows, which in turn reduces the amount of methane they produce.
The cows are anesthetized during the surgical procedure and should not experience any pain during the examination.

But animal rights fighters argue that it is abuse and has branded the practice as cruel.

An episode of Ripley's Believe it or not interviewed Dr. Edward DePeters of the University of California Davis.
The report claimed that illuminated cows have a longer lifespan due to the care they are given.
The practice is not unique to Agroscope and is also carried out in the USA and across Europe.

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