This study investigated the effect of human-animal interaction (HAI) and the stress response on the quality of embryo production in superovulated Nelore (Bos indicus) cattle, under tropical conditions. Thirty-two females underwent a superovulation protocol for 5 days. Cortisol concentrations were determined in blood plasma collected on days 0, 4, and 5. Artificial insemination was performed on days 4 and 5, and nonsurgical embryo flushing on day 11. Embryo production and viability were determined. Human stimulation, animal behaviors, accidents, and handling time were recorded to assess HAI. Cattle age was negatively correlated with accidents, frequency of aversive behaviors, and negative stimuli by stockperson during transit through corral compartments to receive superovulation treatments. The factor analysis revealed two distinct groups. The first group was called stressed and had higher cortisol concentration than the nonstressed group, 16.0+or-2.1 and 12.5+or-1.0 ng/mL, respectively. Comparisons between these groups showed that the frequency of voice emissions by the stockperson and the number of accidents were higher in the stressed group, and also, the mean handling time was longer in the stressed group than for the nonstressed. As a result, viability rate of the embryos was 19% lower in the stressed group (P<0.05). This indicates that intensive negative HAI is likely related to stress, which affects embryo production in a superovulation program.
|Publication Title||Tropical Animal Health and Production|
|Author Address||Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul, Campo Grande, 79070-900 Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. email@example.com|
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