Genes largely determine the size of an animal or an organ, while environmental factors such as nutrition or functional load also play a part. During development, for example, both animals deprived of adequate nourishment and muscles deprived of tension end up smaller than normal. Animal growth and development helps understand the similar growth processes which take place in humans. It is a very important aspect of the livestock production and farm animal production. It can be controlled through proper and altering nutrition and other factors.
The study of interactions between stress hormones and immune functions is a budding field and the research is critical for enhancing our knowledge of disease-coping mechanisms in wild animals, especially in light of escalating anthropogenic changes to the biosphere. Climate change, non-native species introductions, pollutant exposure, and habitat alteration, especially urbanization, all have the potential to alter stress responses and cause disease. Molecular changes also have certain visible effects on the animal health and are dependent on several different physical and physiological factors. Animal health is a topic of concern for our society for personal and mutual benefits and provides a wide area for research.
With a wide scope, veterinary medicine deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, disorder and injury in animals covering all animal species, both domesticated and wild. It helps human healththrough the monitoring and control of zoonotic disease, food safety, and indirectly through human applications from basic medical research. It also helps to maintain food supply through livestock health monitoring and treatment, and mental health by keeping pets healthy and long living. Veterinary Medicine provides a great platform for research and industrial applications.
Molecular biology techniques are used to genetically engineer or modify the genome of animals in order to improve their suitability for pharmaceutical, agricultural or industrial applications. This branch of biotechnology works on producing genetically modified animals that synthesize therapeutic proteins, have improved growth rates or are resistant to diseases. This field provides new tools for improving human health, animal health and welfare, and helps in increasing livestock productivity. Biotechnology also helps in improving an animal’s impact on the environment and also enhances ability to detect, treat and prevent diseases.
Being one of the largest and most influential industries, with millions of farms and billions of animalsworldwide, the livestock industry, has its ultimate goal to manage production for optimal yields in order to ensure economic viability and to supply sufficient volumes to feed large populations. Livestock nutrition is an important aspect of a livestock operation. The health of groups of animals directly correlates with the operational stability and overall profitability of a farming operation. Livestock nutrition is primarily concerned with six different food groups, all of which serve a specific purpose in maintaining livestock health, weight, and product viability and include carbohydrates, proteins, fats, water, vitamins and minerals.
Animal Nutrition comprises the full gamut of animal nutritional science, including, but not limited to, fundamental aspects of animal nutrition such as nutritional requirements, metabolic studies, body composition, energetics, immunology, neuroscience, microbiology, genetics and molecular and cell biology related to nutrition and applied aspects of animal nutrition, such as raw material evaluation, feed additives, nutritive value of novel ingredients, and feed safety. Meeting livestock nutritional requirements is extremely important in maintaining acceptable performance of neonatal, growing, finishing and breeding animals.
With a wide variety of applications, the dairy processing industry continues to be at the forefront of innovation in the food industry. The dairy industry is a constantly evolving business. Management practices change with new technology and regulations that move the industry toward increased economic and environmental sustainability. Dairy food production and quality control pertains to the milking operations, management of the herds, nutritional management, reproductive management and also includes animal welfare, market and supply management.
Agricultural animals have played a critical role in meeting human nutritional requirements for food and fiber. They currently provide 18% of the total calories and 39% of protein consumption. In addition to food, animal byproducts have many uses in pharmaceutical, cosmetic, household, and industrial products. While, animal husbandry is responsible for about 20 and 33% of the fresh water usage in the world and livestock, and the production of feed for them, occupy about a third of the earth's ice-free land. Animal agriculture contributes to species extinction, destroying habitats by clearing forests and converting land to grow feed crops and for animal grazing. It is of utmost concern for us to look into the proper management of the animals and agriculture, avoiding any kind of harm caused to the environment.
Intimate knowledge of an animal’s habits are required, whether it is hunting wild animals, keeping domesticated animals, or escaping an attacking predator. Information about animal behaviour is of considerable importance in terms of preventing diseases, avoiding road accidents due to some animals. Respect for animal welfare is usually based on the belief that nonhuman animals are sentient and that consideration should be given to their wellbeing or suffering, especially when they are under the care of humans. These concerns can include how animals are slaughtered for food, how they are used in scientific research, how they are kept as pets, in zoos, farms, circuses, etc., and how human activities affect the welfare and survival of wild species is the well-being of nonhuman animals. Animal welfare science seeks to answer questions raised by the keeping and use of animals, such as whether hens are frustrated when confined in cages, whether the psychological well-being of animals in laboratories can be maintained, and whether zoo animals are stressed by the transport required for international conservation.
During the first week of life, average reported neonatal mortality rates vary, ranging from 9%-26%. Cautious veterinary intervention can increase neonatal survival by controlling or eliminating factors that contribute to animal morbidity and mortality. Poor pre-partum conditions, congenital malformations, genetic defects, injury, environmental exposure, malnutrition etc., contribute to neonatal morbidity and mortality. Optimal husbandry impacts neonatal survival favourably while reducing infectious disease, preventing injury and environmental exposure, and optimizing nutrition of the neonates. Neonatal management is important for increasing the survival rate of the animals and is an important part of veterinary research and practice.