Why do cows make holes in their sidesBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/why-do-cows-make-holes-in-their-sides
Surely you have seen shocking photo and video footage of cows with a rubber-framed and plugged hole in their side. Usually such animals are filmed in one of the European countries, or rather in Sweden or the Netherlands. From the outside, this hole looks strange and even scary, while the cows do not pay the slightest attention to such "tuning" and look perfectly healthy. But why do we need these holes?
Everyone who studied well at school knows how complex and effective the stomach nature has endowed cows with. And it is on how well it works that milk yields and the amount of meat that the animal brings depend. In modern animal husbandry, many types of feed and additives are used, millions of dollars are invested annually in the development and production of which. Of course, a person wants to know how well what he offers the animal is absorbed.
To find the optimal combination of feeds, you need to study the process of their digestion, and this is not so easy. An animal cannot share its impressions, and sending cows for gastroscopy using a special probe is expensive, long and not always productive. It is much easier to look inside a cow's stomach through a special port called a fistula, or cannula.
This device is inserted into a hole made by a veterinarian in the side of the cow and leading into her stomach. Its diameter allows you to push an adult's hand inside, and the design ensures minimal negative impact on the animal, of course, if it is appropriate to talk about a fist-sized hole in a living organism.
Zoologists, animal technicians and veterinarians can not only look through the fistula into the stomach of a cow, but also extract the contents from it for a detailed study. Animal food at different stages of digestion is studied for the presence of enzymes, vitamins and trace elements. In the event that a cow has eaten something that is not very useful for her, serious consequences can be avoided by timely removing the harmful contents of the stomach through the fistula.
The opinion of the cow when installing the fistula, of course, is not taken into account, but animals with a hole in their side live quietly for years, not paying attention to the creepy revision. Scientists say that the behavior of cows after the appearance of a hole in the side does not change at all — they also graze carelessly and have an excellent appetite. To avoid accidental objects getting inside and food mass falling out, the cannula is plugged with a stopper, which is removed if necessary.
On some farms in Sweden, cannulas have another purpose — educational. Schoolchildren are brought to the farms so that they can consolidate the biology material they have passed by observing the work of the cow's stomach through the fistula. The least squeamish and the most curious can even put their hand inside under the strict guidance of a veterinarian.
Such familiar treatment of animals could not go unnoticed by animal advocates. The "greens" from Uppsala, Sweden, once started protesting against the installation of fistulas and demanded that the method of studying animal digestion be replaced with a more humane one. But their speeches were simply ignored, since this method is so convenient and has proven itself well from a scientific point of view that there simply cannot be other options.
The head of the department of animal experiments at the Swedish agricultural department, Jon Brautigam, considers such demands to be nonsense. The scientist argues his point of view as follows:
He is not the only one who thinks so, but animal rights activists do not intend to give up. They announced the collection of signatures on the website thepetitionsite.com and they demand a ban on such experiments at the highest level.
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