MEASUREMENT OF STRESS LEVEL IN BUFFALOES BY THE EFFECT OF REPEATED RECTAL PALPATION IN TEACHING ENVIRONMENT
Livestock contributed 60.1 percent to the agriculture value added and 11.5 % in overall GDP during 2020-21 (Economic Survey 2020-21). Livestock plays a major and vital role in socio economic development of rural region of country. According to economic survey of Pakistan, 42.4 million buffalo population is present in Pakistan. Small holding buffalo farming system is present in rural areas of Pakistan. Rectal palpation is the most useful method for conducting pregnancy diagnosis, artificial inseminations and detection of various reproductive anomalies in large domestic animals like cows and buffaloes. This procedure, however, can prove to be stressful and painful for these animals which raise an animal health and welfare issue. Blood picture in terms of changed levels of cortisol, glucose, cholesterol and blood cells may occur in animals subjected to this procedure. Similarly, behavioral symptoms of elevated heart rate and respiratory rates may also occur. The aim of the current project, therefore, was to study the effects of repeated rectal palpation-related stress response in blood constituents in buffaloes so that the appropriate counter measures could be adapted to save the animals from impending pain and stress. The study was conducted on ten buffaloes divided into two groups each i.e. experimental and control. Buffaloes were subjected to rectal palpation procedure. Blood samples were collected before and after rectal palpation for serum cortisol and complete blood cells count. Blood samples were also collected from buffaloes of control group without rectal palpation. Physical parameters were also noted. No statistically significant difference found in cortisol levels, CBC or physical parameters i.e. TPR that demonstrates that rectal palpation procedure inflicts no harm to buffaloes and can be used for the training of students.
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