Congratulations once again to Sándor Kukovics and the entire team!
The book he edited, Goat Science, remains very popular. Chapters within the book were downloaded more than 30,000 times impacting researchers worldwide.
View the Performance Metrics for this book from IntechOpen.
Written by S.Y. Landau, F.D. Provenza
Much circumstantial evidence has accumulated for ape culture, based on observations of the transfer of adult expertise to novices, typically juveniles. Controlled experiments have ruled out environmental or genetic explanations for these social learning propensities. This acumen might not be unique to primates. Here, we identify feeding behaviours susceptible to social transmission, refute possible non-social (genetic, environmental) explanations, and assess if the patterns of social learning are conducive to traditions or even cultures in domesticated goats. We claim that not only has domestication not eroded social intelligence, but that managerial constraints and in particular nutritional constraints imposed after domestication have encouraged the development of goat traditions and cultures. Following domestication, the contribution of browse rich in plant secondary compounds (PSCs) to goat nutrition has increased due to humans providing browse as fodder and restricting goats to habitats dominated by browse. Social learning has been essential for goats to acquire safe and nutritionally wise foraging behaviours in PSC-rich environments. Genetics can contribute to alleviating the deleterious effects of PSCs, but matrilineal traditions are essential for learning to use PSC-rich plants for nutritional and medicinal benefits, including learning feeding sequences that alleviate the deleterious effects of PSCs. In utero conditioning, perinatal microbiome colonization, and milk flavors contribute to passive maternal learning of feeding behaviours. Active learning from the mother is of major importance before weaning, whereas individual learning of food avoidance and preference is important after weaning. We contend that matrilineal learning, both in passive and active forms, is the basis of traditions in goat feeding behaviours. Residual, yet flexible, group-bonding of goats based on matrilineal idiosyncrasies helps to explain how these behaviours persist in different goat cultures. Finally, in stable groups, goats develop affinity and affiliative relationships. They rely on licking, social grooming and body contact to decrease the frequency of agonistic interactions, including social mediation of conflicts. Goats also learn from humans and mother-dependent docility can pre-dispose offspring to learn from humans. In summary, goats have a high level of social intelligence necessary to function within complex and dynamic social and biophysical environments, a condition deemed essential for the existence of cultures. To our knowledge this is the first compilation of evidence showing traditions and cultures in domestic animals.
Genetic Selection for Resistance to Gastrointestinal Parasitism in Meat Goats and Hair Sheep through a Performance Test with Artificial Infection of Haemonchus contortus
by Yoko Tsukahara (IGA Board member), Terry A. Gipson (IGA member), Steven P. Hart (IGA member), Lionel Dawson, Zaisen Wang, Ryszard Puchala, Tilahun Sahlu (IGA Board member), and Arthur L. Goetsch (IGA member)
Internal parasitism has been an important constraint to small ruminant production and anthelmintic resistance has become a worldwide issue. This study evaluated a 3-year genetic selection program through activities on-farm and a centralized performance test and also provided estimates of genetic parameters of growth and response to artificial infection with Haemonchus contortus by goats and sheep in the southcentral USA. Considerable species as well as breed differences were found in average daily gain and response to parasite infection. Average daily gain was greater for Boer than for Kiko and Spanish goats and slightly greater for Dorper than for St. Croix sheep. Infection level (number of eggs found in feces) of Spanish and St. Croix were relatively low each year, whereas that of Kiko and Dorper was lower after selection. An indicator of anemia (packed cell volume) did not always reflect infection level, which is probably reflective of differences among animals in resilience and susceptibility to haemonchosis. Moderate to high heritabilities were found for growth performance and response to parasite infection for growing meat goat and hair sheep males under a standardized environment that suggests considerable potential for genetic improvement through selection.
Development of innovative tools for the detection and control of caprine arthritis encephalitis virus
Author(s): Deborah S. Finlaison, Peter D. Kirkland
Special thanks to Sandra Baxendell (IGA member, Australia) for bringing this report to our attention.
Caprine arthritis encephalitis (CAE) is an important disease in goats and can have a profound impact on dairy goat production. It usually presents as a slowly progressing, chronic debilitating disease of adult animals, but in some breeds severe, acute encephalitis may be encountered in kids at a very young age. CAEV infections can have a significant impact on animal welfare due to the chronic nature of the diseases that may develop (arthritis, pneumonia, mastitis), and economically results in decreased animal lifespan and production, premature culling and trade restrictions.
CAE was first recognised in Australia in the 1980s, and while the current prevalence is unknown, it is present in dairy herds in all states. It is considered that the proportion of infected herds may now be much lower than 20 years ago, but with a trend towards larger, more intensively managed herds, the individual animal prevalence could rise quickly. Accreditation programs run in some states, and along with eradication activities, are voluntary in nature and not nationally co-ordinated.
This report evaluates different diagnostic tests and sample types from naturally and experimentally infected animals to identify more cost-effective testing strategies that can be offered to the dairy goat industry in Australia. CAEV is an eradicable disease, and this research aims to support CAEV eradication at the individual herd and potentially national herd level.
Visit the AgriFutures website to purchase a copy
IGA is sad to announce the recent death of Dr. Canagasaby Devendra. He died peacefully on June 17, 2021 after a short illness in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with his wife by his side. He leaves behind his wife, son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons.
Known to everyone by his last name, Devendra or Dev, he played an essential role in IGA’s development. He was one of the founders of IGA, an IGA Vice-President, and a member of the Board of Directors. In addition to his well-respected scientific research on all aspects of goat production, he was an outspoken advocate for environmentally sustainable livestock development that benefitted low-income families worldwide.
In January 1982, during the 3rd International Conference on Goats, Devendra was a member of the International Goat Association planning meeting. This meeting was a select group of internationally recognized leaders in the goat world who developed the foundations of IGA and included Christian Gall, Pierre Morand-Fehr, Jean Boyazoglu, and George Haenlein.
As a member of the first Board of Directors, Devendra helped establish IGA as an international entity and contributed to its development and success. He continued writing, teaching, mentoring, and publishing throughout his life and has over 19 books and approximately 496 mostly peer-reviewed publications and chapters in books. Recent additions are Goats: biology, production and development in Asia (2007), and Small farms in Asia: revitalizing agricultural growth, food security, and rural prosperity (2010).
We are the heirs to Dev’s pioneering work, scientific rigor, and profound compassion that brought attention and respect to the goat sector.
Recently, we received an email from his son, Akash Devendra, who said, “His work and the camaraderie of his colleagues around the world gave him so much satisfaction in life. My mum and I will have had the good fortune to meet many of you over the years and extend our very best wishes and warmest regards.”
We hope you will share your memories (on the IGA Blog) (in the comments below) of his contributions to your professional and personal life as we mourn his passing.
Recognition of IGA’s Most Active CRs and RDs
Every year the International Goat Association officially recognizes the most active Regional Directors (RD) and Country Representatives (CR). RDs and CRs are an essential part of IGA. We are sincerely grateful for all that they do: promoting IGA and our International Conference on Goats, organizing in-country and regional conferences, soliciting new members, preparing country reports for IGA’s Newsletter, etc.
The Regional Director & Country Representative Committee recently selected the individuals who have done an outstanding job representing IGA in their region or country during the past year. We wish to congratulate them on their involvement and successes.
2020 was a stressful year for everyone, but these Country Representatives and Regional Directors went above and beyond. They accomplished so much and set a new standard for excellence.
The 2020 IGA Achievement Award recipients are Clara Viviana Rúa Bustamante (RD for South America) and for our Country Representative:
We also wish to give an honorable mention and special thanks to Mamta Dhawan from India for her contributions to IGA.
Thank you for all that you do.
Meredith Dairy is a family-owned enterprise in southern Australia, milking 10,000 does and manufacturing cheese and yogurt in a purpose-built facility on the farm. The farm and manufacturing enterprise is the venue for some significant goat dairy research under the supervision of Dr. Alexander (Sandy) Cameron and his wife Julie (IGA Country Representative for Australia)
This summer, the Dairy was visited by the Republic of Botswana High Commissioner to Australia and former Member of Botswana Parliament, Dorcas Kobela Makgato along with Counsellor Mr. Kesegofetse Unoda Mazongo and other delegates from Botswana.
Her Excellency, Ms. Dorcas Kobela Makgato was the former Minister for Trade and Industry in Botswana and has strived to make Botswana an attractive place to do business. She was also a Minister for Health and an advocate for the equality and protection of women. The Ambassador spoke of fond memories of farming and said the farm and animals reminded her of Botswana, family, and her childhood. The Commissioner wrote about her visit on social media, which reached wonderful feedback from the people of Botswana who are excited about the possibilities of Dairy goat Farming.
Special thanks to Dr. Stela Zamfirescu, Country Representative for Romania, for sending in this report.
In Romania, goat breeding represents an essential branch of zootechnics and has an old tradition and considerable economic importance. Goat breeding is also an activity with a long tradition of providing milk, meat, and processed products to the population. A third of the country's employed population works in agriculture, which situates Romania well above the 5.9% average of the EU countries. All these elements place Romania among the nations with high agricultural potential (above 30%). In 2019, Romania was third in terms of small ruminants. Currently, the goat sector counts over 2,045,000 heads, of which 1,320,000 are breeding goats, and 200,000 are mated juveniles, which led to an increase of the total number by 5.4% compared to 2018. Goat breeding belongs entirely to the private sector. The animals are reared in rural areas because there are favorable conditions for their breeding. They are also raised because of the higher demand from consumers. Of the total number, 83% of goat farms have up to 10 goats, and they also represent most of the total number, of over 37%.
The strong points of goat breeding in Romania are determined by:
The organizers of the International Sheep Veterinary Conference are holding a Virtual Meeting in November 23-25, 2021. Abstracts are still being accepted with the deadline extended to July 15. This is a great opportunity to present your research, case studies, etc. to an international audience and attend a scientific meeting devoted to sheep health research without leaving your office!
Visit these links for more information on the International Sheep Veterinary Association and the 2023 ISVC to be held in Seville, Spain, March 6-10.
American Institute for Goat Research (AIGR), Langston University, held the Annual Goat and Hair Sheep Field Day in May. The AIGR hoped that Field Day would resume as usual in 2021. however, due to lingering and even spiking COVID 19 infections in Oklahoma and because of the slow pace of vaccinations in early 2021, the 2021 Goat and Hair Sheep Field Day was not held in person but held virtually via Zoom. The theme was “Goat and Lamb Cookery & More” and took place in smaller 2-to-4-hour segments spread over several weeks. Among the sessions, the two most popular workshops entitled “Internal Parasites and FAMACHA training in Small Ruminants” and “Goat Nutrition and LINC” were recorded and uploaded to the Langston University Ag YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/taglu01.
Among those who attended the parasite workshop, more than 20 people worldwide received a FAMACHA certificate and a FAMACHA card. If you are interested in being certified, you can still do it by fulfilling the following requirements.
Among the workshop videos, the “Primer on Parasites” has been highlighted in Sheep & Goat magazine’s (www.ranchmagazine.com) in June 2021 issue (Volume 29, No.5).
The International Goat Association promotes goat research and development for the benefit of humankind, to alleviate poverty, to promote prosperity and to improve the quality of life.