Author(s): Dobson H, Tebble JE, Smith RF, Ward WR
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Abstract There is growing concern in many parts of the world that fertility of dairy cattle is reducing as milk yields increase. Stress could be one important cause. As an example, fertility is lower after caesarian operations. Delayed uterine involution after dystocia is associated with abnormal ovarian cyclicity and prolonged intervals to the next pregnancy. There is a greater reduction in fertility as the clinical conditions of lameness, milk fever or mastitis worsen. Changes in social groupings greatly increase the number of inseminations required per pregnancy. Transport reduces the number of CL after superovulation, and can interfere with pregnancy rates after estrous synchronization. Embryos collected from heat-stressed donors are less viable and have delayed trophoblast function. Human-animal interactions influence stress-responses in cattle--the behavior of stockman and embryo transfer personnel could affect success. Putting aside financial aspects, exposure of an animal to avoidable stress compromises welfare, whether application of biotechnology is involved or not. The fact that stressors can be deleterious to such an important function as reproduction, emphasizes that stress is very important and should be minimized whenever possible.
This article was published in Theriogenology
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