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Immunisation against gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) reduces agonistic behaviours in male rangeland goats

Bishop, C., Fleming, P.A., Barnes, A.L., Collins, T. and Miller, D.W. (2016) Immunisation against gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) reduces agonistic behaviours in male rangeland goats. Animal Production Science, 56 (11). pp. 1882-1887.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AN15076
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Abstract

Rangeland goat bucks were used to evaluate the efficacy of a commercially available anti-gonadotrophin-releasing hormone vaccine, Improvac (Zoetis Australia, West Ryde, NSW, Australia). The hypothesis tested was that immunisation would suppress testosterone secretion by the testis and agonistic behaviour between male goats. We also compared intervals of 2 and 4 weeks between primary and booster immunisations and monitored responses over a 2-month period. The 45 goats were split into three groups (n = 15): one group receiving the vaccination booster on Day 14, one group receiving the vaccination booster on Day 28, and the Control group receiving sterile saline injections. Body mass, body condition score and scrotal circumference were measured fortnightly, and blood was collected at 2-week intervals and analysed for testosterone concentration. Behavioural interaction tests of 2-min duration were also conducted fortnightly. There was a significant decrease in paired testicular circumference (P < 0.05) and testosterone concentration (P < 0.01) in both vaccination groups by the end of the experiment at Day 60, compared with the Control group. Agonistic interactions measured at Day 60 were significantly reduced in both vaccination groups (P < 0.05) compared with the Control group. These results support the efficacy of Improvac in reducing agonistic behaviours in rangeland goat bucks and suggest that the use of the vaccine may assist in reducing social stress and possible injury in groups of confined male goats.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/33219
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