The physiological and productivity effects of heat stress in cattle – a review

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Abstract

A trend of global warming has been observed over the last few years and it has often been discussed whether there is an effect on livestock. Numerous studies have been published about heat stress in cattle and its influence on the physiology and productivity of animals. Preventing the negative effects of heat stress on cattle is essential to ensure animal welfare, health and productivity. Monitoring and analysis of physiological parameters lead to a better understanding of the adaptation processes. This can help to determine the risk of climate change and its effects on performance characteristics, e.g. milk yield and reproduction. This, in turn, makes it possible to develop effective measures to mitigate the impact of heat load on animals. The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the current literature. Studies especially about the physiological and productive changes due to heat stress in cattle have been summarised in this review. The direction of future research into the aspect of heat stress in cattle is also indicated.

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