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Friday, July 8, 2016

branding ! - painting faces behind cows will stop predatory attacks !?!?

Do you wear your  attitude !  –  often the way one dresses can influence one’s attitude and self-confidence…  whether you believe in the dictum or not, it makes sense to dress well….it need not be – Armani, Versace, Gucci, Prada,  Dolce & Gabbana, Moschino, Fiorucci, Etro, Missoni, .. .. .. yet brands do stand out !

Roger Federer speaks four languages fluently, still, perhaps the word ‘panic’ isn’t in his vocabulary. The 34-year-old seven-time Wimbledon champion erased a two-set deficit, fought off three match points, and won the decisive fifth set on Wimbledon’s Centre Court to defeat Marin Cilic to advance to the semifinals.  A couple of years earlier, he wore Fred Perry, a brand of yesteryear British tennis star, who endorsed products at that era itself.  Fred Perry shirt was  the garment-of-choice for diverse groups of teenagers throughout the 1960s and 70s, ranging from the skinheads to the Northern soul scene.  The brand's logo is a laurel wreath. It was based on the original symbol for Wimbledon. The logo, which appears on the left breast of a garment, is stitched into the fabric of the shirt. 

Men may wear brand on his chest but .. they cruelly brand their animals, calling it easier to identify.  This practice has been on for centuries – the longevity alone would not make it right.   In English lexicon, the word "brand", common to most Germanic languages (from which root also comes "burn", "burning, fire"), originally meant anything hot or burning, such as a "firebrand", a burning stick. By the European Middle Ages, it commonly identified the process of burning a mark into stock animals with thick hides, such as cattle, so as to identify ownership.  The practice became particularly widespread in nations with large cattle grazing regions.
branding animal – photo credit

Originally, livestock branding only referred to a hot brand for large stock, though the term is now also used to refer to other alternative techniques such as freeze branding. Other forms of livestock identification include inner lip or ear tattoos, earmarking, ear tagging, and RFID tagging with a type of microchip. The semi-permanent paint markings used to identify sheep are called a paint or colour brand. In the American West, branding evolved into a complex marking system still in use today.  Here is what the American Veterinary Medical Association has to say:

Branding of livestock is accomplished by thermal injury of the skin. Most commonly, a hot iron is placed on the unanesthetized skin for the amount of time needed to remove all hair and burn the skin sufficiently to leave a permanent scar in the shape of a symbol. The hot-iron induced scar results in permanent alopecia (hair loss). Freeze branding causes the death of pigment-producing cells in the hair follicles. This results in an area of depigmented hair upon regrowth. Both hot-iron and freeze branding are considered to be painful for ruminants ~ does sound inhuman, yet, it need not always be – is what this interesting post in MailOnline tells us.

British scientist stops lions hunting cattle in Botswana by painting faces on their behinds so the predators think they've been spotted  .. .. he believes lions are less likely to attack if they think they've been 'seen' - Dr Neil Jordan is trying to stop farmers killing lions in retaliation attacks.

Dr Neil Jordan believes if he can stop African lions killing farmers' cattle, then farmers will stop killing the endangered lions. So he has begun painting intimidating eye-patterns onto cows' behinds in a creative bid to stop lions from hunting them. 'Farmers currently have very few effective tools to prevent this devastating lion-livestock conflict. Unfortunately shooting or poisoning predators is not only used as a last resort, farmers often feel it is their only resort,' Dr Jordan said.  The conservation biologist, who works with the University of New South Wales and Taronga Zoo in Sydney, is trialling his theory in the Okavango Delta in Botswana.

The idea is to trick the big cats into thinking they have been seen by drawing eyes on the back of the cows, so that they do not attack. He has labelled the ingenious idea 'i-cow' and hopes it will provide local farmers with a low-cost and non-lethal tool to reduce livestock losses without having to kill lions. In a video posted online, Dr Jordan explained that he is 'testing the hypothesis that painting intimidating eye patches on to cows reduces predation'.

Local farmers have been known to kill lions in retaliation attacks after their cows have been killed.  Dr Jordan hopes the method will provide local farmers with a low-cost and non-lethal tool to reduce livestock losses without having to kill lions.  'Lions are supreme ambush predators, they rely on stealth. When seen they lose this element of surprise and abandon their hunt,' he said. The scientist has already carried out a small 3-month sample test of his theory, which gave promising results. 'While 3 out of 39 unpainted cows were killed by lions, none of the 23 painted cows from the same herd were killed,' he said.

Dr Jordan is now fundraising to be able to buy more of the equipment needed to carry out further tests. African lion populations are in decline throughout most of the continent. 'In 1975 there was an estimated 250,000 lions in Africa, yet today the continent wide population stands at a mere 25 – 30,000 individuals.  'This staggering 80-90 per cent decline combines with the fragmentation and isolation of those remaining sub-populations with little long-term viability,' World Lion Day reports. Dr Jordan ultimately wants to stop the decline of the  African lion population. The conservation biologist works with the University of New South Wales and Taronga Zoo in Sydney.

If his theory works, it would benefit, the farmers (mankind), cows and the lions (animals) too .. .. hope, it does !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

8th July 2016.


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