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Readers' letters - Courrier des lecteurs - Cartas de los lectores

Dear Sir,

Thank you for my copy of World Animal Review No. 79.1 would like to point out a slight error that was made in my article "Causes of hide damage in eastern Ethiopia" [World Animal Review, 79(2): 55-57]. Fourteen is the total number of slaughterhouses found in eastern Ethiopia; it is not the national total as was suggested in the article.

A. Mersie
Laboratory Head
Dire Dawa Zonal Laboratory
PO Box 46, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia

Dear Dr Chupin,

I gratefully acknowledge receipt of World Animal Review No. 79. In the article "Frieswal project: present status and expectations for the future" by Drs V.D. Mudgal and C.L. Arora [World Animal Review, 79(2): 46-50], Tables 2 and 3 present the averages relating to service period and calving interval (in days) for different genetic groups and also in different lactations. In Table 3, in the case of Frieswal cows, the first service period is given as 200 days and calving interval as 462 days. Similarly, in the second and third lactations, the differences between calving interval and service period are much shorter than the expected gestation lengths. These figures appear to me to be biologically erroneous as such a reduction in gestation length does not seem possible. I would appreciate clarification from the authors and hope that future papers are examined more critically before being published in your reputable journal.

S.C. Chopra
Project Directorate on Cattle
PH-7, Pallavpuram, Phase-11 Modipuram
Meerut-250 110, Uttar Pradesh, India

Dear Dr Chopra,

Thank you for your letter. My interpretation of the discrepancy that you noticed in "Frieswal project: present status and expectations for the future" regarding service period and intercalving interval figures is that it is the result of different numbers of animals having been included in the calculations. Your comment would have been correct if the same animals had been used to calculate the two parameters, which obviously was not the case. I agree that this point should have been noticed by our referees and that the authors should have been asked to correct the figures accordingly or to explain the reasons why the number of animals varied. I will forward your comment along with mine to the authors.

Daniel Chupin
Editor, World Animal Review
FAO Animal Production and Health Division

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