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Study of animal welfare status and heat stress measures applied in dairy cow herds in Hungary
Published October 5, 2010
79-82

The following material focuses on dairy production and climate related issues in Hungary. All the data was gathered during PhD
project: Study of animal welfare status in dairy cow herds in Hungary. Relations between animal welfare and climate changes expressed by
increase in temperature are described. Extremely hot weather creates hard co...nditions for milking cows when animal welfare is highly
compromised. From the preliminary results obtained one might formulate hypothesis that there are still areas on the farms where immediate
actions should be taken to give a relief to cows in hot seasons. There was found significant number of farms with too many animals per one
water trough, dirty water troughs, limited access to water troughs and hazardous surface for cows in critical places where many animals are
gathered. Calves with not sufficient amount of water in hot days and other parts of the year were reported. Silage exposure to the sun and
mouldy food in a silage clump was also found to be an important factor in monitoring impact of warm weather. Half of the farms letting
animals to spend time on the pasture or paddock did not provide shade for animals. Low conception rate of first insemination was predicted
to be influenced by heat stress, what is proved by lack of heat decreasing measures taken on the farms.

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Economic impacts of applying EU animal protection regulations in hog breeding farms
Published May 27, 2001
76-80

Hungary’s intention to join the EU makes it necessary to adopt, introduce and use the EU system of law. In Hungary, the legal control of animal welfare has improved (XXVIIIth law in 1998); however, most of our pig farms do not meet the EU animal welfare law requirements for some reason. We examined 9 pig farms in Hajdú-Bihar, Borsod-Abaúj-Z...emplén and Heves counties. We chose those farms which use the combined breeding
technology most frequently used in Hungary. The most important part of the welfare directive is the definition of the minimum space per animal. We analysed the data in comparison with EU laws. On the basis of the analysis, it can be said that there is a narrow cross-section: the breeding of piglets. During the cost analysis, we analysed cost and highlighted the permanent cost. We studied how these costs would change if EU animal welfare laws were observed. We also examined the specific data per 1 sow and per 1 kilogram of slaughter pig. We compared the present data (1999) with those we get if EU animal welfare laws concerning minimal space per pig were now followed. It can be stated that after decreasing the sow live-stock in accordance with EU directives, the permanent cost would increase by 17,7% per sow. If the required space per sow were provided, the total cost per sow would increase by 1,9% from 421,1 thousand forints to 429 thousand forints, on average. This would mean a decrease of 7,9
thousand forints profit per sow. As with the decrease of the number of sows, the number of slaughter pigs also decreases. Total cost per 1 kg of slaughter pig would increase from 214,7 forints to 218,2 on average. 

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‘Kindergarten’ keeping-system in farrowing house: effect the socialization of piglets on weight performances, fecal cortisol metabolite level and post-weaning behavior
Published June 1, 2021
167-174

This study aimed to examine whether litters’ let-together system before weaning (‘kindergarten-system’) has any stress effect and effect on post-weaning behavior, respectively. One week before weaning piglets were socialized by removing four adjacent farrowing crate walls. After weaning, piglets from the same experimental groups were ...housed in the same rearing crates. The piglet’s body weight was measured at birth than weekly till the 7th life-week. Fecal cortisol metabolites were measured for evaluation of the adrenocortical activity. Personal observation and evaluation were carried out for behavioral analyses after weaning. There were no significant differences in weight development and cortisol metabolite levels between the control and experimental groups. Behavioral analysis showed that pigs grow up in a socialized system, rapidly evolve ranking in the rearing crates, and the self-maintenance and social behavior were more pronounced. In control groups, the activity involving movement (exploring, walking, and running) was much more decisive. Recent work suggested the beneficial effect of the ‘kindergarten’ system in the farrowing house in animal welfare aspects.

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Study of changes in the strength of connection between grey cattle cows and their offspring after weaning
Published June 1, 2021
129-136

It is important to minimize stress for cattle because of animal welfare and profitability. This study aims to reveal how long after abrupt weaning the cow and her offspring show a need to rebuild the connection if physical barriers are removed and distances disappear. The research was carried out on Szamárhát Farm owned by the Tiszatáj F...oundation, Hungary. In the autumn of 2019, thirty-one calves were weaned, randomly selected from 81 grey cattle cows’ offspring. The oldest calf was 10 months old, while the youngest one was 6 months old on the day of weaning. They were divided into three groups and reunited with the cows during the first, third, and fifth weeks after weaning. Each reunion happened in the early afternoon and the cow and her offspring spent 24 hours together again. The formation and the strength of the connection were recorded for an hour three times during this period, first in the afternoon, then in the morning, and the next afternoon. It can be seen that both parties showed the need to form the connection during the first week after weaning because the bond made between them was obvious in a short time. The connections proved to be strong. However, neither the cows nor their offsprings showed any intention to form strong connections in the third and fifth weeks. In the majority of the cases, no connection was formed. 

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Studies on Ostrich (Struthio Camelus) - Review
Published May 20, 2020
15-22

Ostrich has been reared in Hungary for decades, but we have limited information on this species. The aim of this review was to provide a concise description of the ostrich (Struthio camelus) based on international studies. We were to investigate some of the most relevant parameters, such as egg, meat and skin production. In this critical re...view we managed to sum up the most significant features and productivity parameters of ostrich and effecting factors. So as to make an accurate description of the species we have to know its morphological, behavioural and physiological characteristics. Ostrich is a very special bird with special nutritional and environmental requirements. Ostrich products, regarding egg, meat and skin are considered luxury products not only in Hungary but also abroad. Though egg has a significant nutritional value, it is mainly used for hatching chicks. In Europe we can expect roughly 40–50 eggs from a hen yearly. Ostrich has a lean meat with high protein and low fat and sodium content, moreover it is rich in minerals and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Having these advantageous qualities, ostrich meat should be part of our healthy diet. Skin production is not important in our country, but there is a special demand for high quality ostrich leather globally. In the future our aim is to conduct a research on some of the parameters. As low production rate and embryo mortality is a great deal of problem in ostrich industry, we need to investigate the incubation environment. There is an apparent disagreement among researchers on optimal slaughter age. This is also an area for further investigation. The value of skin and effecting factors on our climate as well as adaptability of the species are also worth for further investigation together with the nutrition what differs from other ostrich breeding countries. Nowadays, there is a great emphasis placed on animal welfare too.

 

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Study of animal welfare status in dairy cow herds in Hungary – looking for causes of lameness
Published November 20, 2011
25-29

In the last 20-30 years, lameness in cattle was found to be third the most influential disease next to mastitis and reproduction disorders. Studies have been established to explore reasons for lameness and prevention. The problem with more robust prevention plans is that knowledge and research evidence is not strong enough to run an effective p...revention plan. The aim of the research is to look for reasons of lameness by observing number of cows on 6 farms during 2 lactations. Performance data will be put together to body condition score (BCS) and lameness scores. Other examination is focused on monitoring of 40 farms. This part of the project is more related to extension, collecting and sharing solutions for decreasing lameness. Producers are advised what kind of measures are possible to reduce occurrence of lameness. Effectiveness of those actions will be measured at the end of the study. The first preliminary results show lack in almost all preventive measures needed to be taken in minimizing lameness. Those areas are related to poor facilities, lack of straw, problems with labor and basic management.

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Study of animal welfare status in dairy cow herds in Hungary – looking for causes of lameness
Published December 16, 2012
47-50

In the last 20–30 years lameness in cattle was found to be third the most influential disease next to mastitis and reproduction disorders. Studies have been established to explore reasons for lameness and prevention. The problem with more robust prevention plans is that knowledge and research evidence is not strong enough to run an effective ...prevention plan. The aim of the research is to look for reasons of lameness by observing number of cows on 6 farms during 2 lactations. Performance data will be put together to body condition score (BCS) and lameness scores. Other examination is focused on monitoring of 40 farms. This part of the project is more related to extension, collecting and sharing solutions for decreasing lameness. Producers are advised what kind of measures are possible to reduce occurrence of lameness. Effectiveness of those actions will be measured at the end of the study. The first preliminary results show lack in almost all preventive measures needed to be taken in minimising lameness. Those areas are related to poor facilities, lack of straw, problems with labour and basic management.

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Changes in the relationship between Hungarian Grey cows (Bos primigenius taurus hungaricus) and their calves in the period from calving to four months of age
Published May 26, 2022
85-90

The ability of cows to care for their offsprings is a very important trait concerning beef cattle. Maternal instincts are highly influenced by breed, specific cow, and social and rearing environment. In 2020, at the Szamárháti farm of the Tiszatáj Public Foundation, we selected 15 dam-calf pairs and studied them for four months from the ...birth of the calves. We grouped calf-rearing behaviors according to strength and analyzed the related changes during the program. At the beginning of the relationship, "standing close to each other" (53%) and "suckling" (24%) characterized the pairs. After the first month, "standing or lying separated" grew by 69%, and "vocalization" by both animals fell by 66%. Even though the daily frequency of suckling decreased by 34% as the calves grew older, it remained a typical element of the relationship. Over time, the bond between the animals gradually weakened. This natural process of separation takes a month to complete.

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Global and national economic importance of pig meat production
Published August 29, 2017
13-20

The pork production has changed significant in recent decades. Pig production fell significantly due to the need to adapt to new animal welfare rules in the sector. Furthermore, change in the meat consumption habit had also a negative effect on pig meat production. Hungarian pig sector and meat industry are in a difficult situation. Due to the ...high feed prices, the average production cost of pig farming has often exceeded the  producer prices in recent years, therefore an increase of pig population could not be realised yet. Pig market is characterised by cyclical fluctuations of supply and prices, furthermore the decreasing producer price occurred parallel with increasing feed prices.
Technology is also a critical fact in the Hungarian pig sector because there is a huge gap in the level of technology compared to that of competitive member states. With the development of production methods the efficiency of pork meat production can be improved in an environmentally friendly way.

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Coherence and connection between the good pond culture practice and the environment conscious management
Published April 11, 2007
60-73

According to the data indicating the decline and restructuring during the past decade, as well as the trend in the European Union member states, it can be expected that the role of traditional agriculture and fish production in direct rural employment decrease further. This also values those strategic directions for restructuring that will lead... fishculture from quantity driven to quality production along with sustainable development (i.e. environmental conscious production) and multifunctional farming. This way the economic and social tensions caused by the concentration of the production and labour output can be mitigated.
It is laid in the 1257/1999 Act on rural Development that farmers that enrol the agri-environmental scheme should follow the “Good Agricultural Practice” on the whole managed area. In case of agri-environmental schemes this is a precondition for which no grants are given.
The adaptation of “Good Agricultural Practice” in fishproduction,where it is called: “Good Pond Culture Practice” is considered important on the basis of the above mentioned. This programme is undertaken in co-operation with the Research Institute for Aquaculture, Fisheries and Irrigation, University of Debrecen, Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development and the Association of Hungarian Fish Farmers and Product Council.
The European Commission proposed the formulation of the European Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EFAF) for the period 2007-20013, which will replace the Financial Instruments for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG), but it also consists of several new elements and will be working differently, too. According to the proposal the budget for the Fund will be nearly 5 billion EUR (4963 million EUR). The development level of aquaculture and fisheries and the social and economic significance in the given member state will be considered when distributing the Fund between the Member States.
According to the plan the Fund is organised along five priority axes, of which the most important for the Hungarian fisheries sector is No. II: Aquaculture and the processing and marketing of aquaculture and fisheries products. The main measure areas are the followings:
1. investment support for aquaculture;
2. support for aquatic-environmental schemes;
3. environmental- and animal health issues;
4. investments in processing and marketing
In case of accessing support under measure area No. 2 farms are obliged to meet the requirements of the scheme beyond the “good management practice” for 5 years, which is to be supervised by the approved body of the Member State. For this reason our work is considered to be substantial.
Approval of the application of “Good Pond Culture Practice” is based on two elements: first the prevailing environmental and nature conservation regulations, as well as the list of controllable conditions in the new agri-environmental agreements are to be met. “Good Pond Culture Practice” are to be conducted on the whole farm area. Its main elements are:
- nutrition management,
- feeding,
- pond maintenance,
- stocking,
- harvesting,
- animal welfare (storage and over-wintering).

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The strengthen of the second pillar in the European Union and Hungary
Published May 23, 2006
88-94

The Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) took shape in the early 1960s. At that time the first action was to stop food shortages. Among the objectives of the Treaties of Rome appeared the subvention of rural development had not yet.
Rural development appeared, in 1992, in connection with accompanying measures, and by end of decade, the European A...gricultural Model had taken shape. Agenda 2000 pointed out the direction of rural development and introduced the first and second pillars in the CAP. The regulations of rural development were simplified by 1257/1999/EC, which stressed the importance of rural development to and it has to continue the principle of subsidiarity and has to be decentralized.
The last enlargement raised new problems, the mid-term review of Agenda 2000 occurred and resulted in a new CAP-reform in 2003. The 1783/2003/EC rural development regulation modified the previous regulation. According to the new regulation it is necessary to strengthen the new rural development policy, enlarge the circles of accompanying measures, place greater emphasis on requirements of environment, human resource, animal welfare and plant health. Digression and modulation take part in the new CAP-reform in order to increase the role of rural development in the common budget.
In the next budget from 2007-2013, the European Union wants to create a single rural development fund and simplify programming, financing, monitoring. The EU wants to enlarge the instruments of rural development with a four axis model.

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Examination the stresseffect of litter’s let-together system (“kindergarten”) by measuring faecal cortisol metabolites of sows and piglets
Published March 23, 2016
87-90

Piglets in commercial intensive pig husbandry are often abruptly weaned between 3 and 4 weeks for economic reasons. The process of weaning is a multifactorial stressor, in which nutritional, social, physical and psychologic stressors are combined. Piglets are often exposed to unfamiliar piglets around weaning which results in a period of vigoro...us fighting. Stress plays an important part in welfare research. Traditionally glucocorticoids are measured in blood samples but their use is often limited as the act of sample collection may stress an animal. Measurement of faecal cortisol/corticosterone metabolites is a non-invasive method for evaluation adrenocortical activity. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of litter’s let-together system (“kindergarten”) in the farrowing house by measuring faecal cortisol metabolites. According to our results the “kindergarten” system has no stress effect on sows and piglets, respectively.

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