Publication:
Physiological Stress Responses in Cattle Used in the Spanish Rodeo

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2023-08-17
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Certain events can cause distress in cattle. In Spain, there is a sport similar to rodeo called persecution and takedown, in which calves are harassed and knocked down by riders. In this study, the physiological stress response of calves (n = 260) is assessed by measuring hormonal physiological parameters. Salivary samples were collected from Salers (n = 110) and Lidia (n = 150) calves before, during, and after the persecution and takedown event. The hormones epinephrine, cortisol, serotonin, and dopamine were determined in saliva samples using enzyme-immunoassay techniques. The results obtained revealed that epinephrine and cortisol levels increased during the event in Salers calves, with a significant increase (p < 0.05) in the case of epinephrine, although after the event, these values returned to their initial state. Therefore, this sport supposes an assumable punctual stressor stimulus for the animal. In contrast, in Lidia calves, cortisol and epinephrine levels decreased, with a significant decrease (p < 0.05) in the case of cortisol, which may be related to the temperament of this breed and facing a stressful situation in a different manner. This is confirmed by serotonin and dopamine levels that were altered in Lidia calves with respect to the other group studied. In conclusion, the sport of persecution and takedown produces a physiological response of adaptive stress assumable for the animals
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Caceres, S.; Moreno, J.; Crespo, B.; Silvan, G.; Illera, J.C. Physiological Stress Responses in Cattle Used in the Spanish Rodeo. Animals 2023, 13, 2654.
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