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Goats ‘can detect emotions’ in calls from other goats
This provides the first strong evidence that goats can distinguish between calls based on emotion.
Study sheds light on social communication of emotions 

Goats may be able to distinguish between positive and negative calls from other goats, scientists say.

An international study led by the Queen Mary University of London measured behavioural and physiological changes to find out if they can tell the difference between calls linked to positive emotions.

Scientists recorded goat calls associated with positive and negative emotions, then played them to other goats through a loud speaker, followed by a randomly selected final call.

According to the findings, when the emotion of the call changed, so did the likelihood of goats looking towards the source of the sound. The goats’ heart rate variability was also greater when they heard positive sounds, compared to negative.

This provides the first strong evidence that goats can distinguish between calls based on emotion, and that their own emotions may be affected. Such an ability could offer an evolutionary advantage among groups of animals that are not always in contact with each other, facilitating better coordination and cohesion in the group.

Lead author Dr Alan McElligott said: “Perceiving the emotional state of another individual through its vocalisations and being affected by those vocalisations has important implications for how we care for domestic animals, and in particular livestock species.”

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Pair of endangered Amur leopard cubs born at Colchester Zoo

News Story 1
 Keepers at Colchester Zoo are hailing the arrival of a pair of critically endangered Amur leopard cubs.

The cubs were born to first-time parents Esra and Crispin on the 9 September. This is the first time the Zoo has bred Amur leopard cubs on-site.

Amur leopards originate from the Russian Far East and north-east China. In the wild they are threatened by climate change, habitat loss, deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade.

The cubs are said to be “looking well” and are expected to emerge from their den in a few weeks.  

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News Shorts
BEVA survey seeks views about antibiotic use in horses

Equine vets are being invited to participate in a BEVA survey that aims to find out more about antimicrobial resistance in equine veterinary practice.

Designed by researchers at the University of Liverpool and incoming BEVA president Tim Mair, the survey aims to fill gaps in knowledge about how antimicrobials are being used in equine practice and the landscape of resistant infections encountered in equine practice.

Researchers hope the results will lead to a greater understanding of the role of antimicrobial treatment and antimicrobial resistance in horses and protect antibiotics for the future of equine and human health.