Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2016 Feb;10(2):357-64.
doi: 10.1017/S1751731115001597. Epub 2015 Aug 7.

Main Animal Welfare Problems in Ruminant Livestock During Preslaughter Operations: A South American View


Main Animal Welfare Problems in Ruminant Livestock During Preslaughter Operations: A South American View

C B Gallo et al. Animal. .


Animals destined for meat production are usually exposed to many stressful conditions during production and particularly during preslaughter operations. Handling animals on farm, loading into and unloading from vehicles, transportation, passing through livestock markets, fasting, lairage and stunning can all affect their welfare. How badly welfare can be affected will depend on both the intrinsic factors of the specific type of animal involved and the extrinsic factors of the environment where those animals live or are being handled, including the animal handlers. In South America (SA), it has been part of a strategy for improving animal welfare (AW) to address not only ethical aspects, but to emphasize the close relationship existing between handling ruminants preslaughter and the quantity and quality of the meat they produce. This has resulted not only in improvements in AW, but has also brought economic rewards to producers which in turn can lead to higher incomes for them and hence better human welfare. For producers with a high number of animals, considering AW during production and preslaughter operations can determine the possibility of exporting and/or getting better prices for their products. At smallfarmer level, particularly in some less developed countries, where human welfare is impaired, using this strategy together with education has also been relevant. It is important that education and training in AW are done not only considering global knowledge, but also including specific geographical and climatic characteristics of each country and the cultural, religious and socio-economical characteristics of its people; therefore, research within the context of each country or region becomes relevant. The aim of this review was to show the results of research dealing with AW of ruminant livestock in Chile and some other SA countries. Some of the main problems encountered are related to lack of proper infrastructure to handle animals; long distance transport with high stocking densities in the larger countries; long fasting times due to animals passing through livestock markets and dealers; bad handling of animals by untrained personnel in these and other premises; and finally the lack of knowledge and skills by operators in charge of stunning procedures. Interventions at these stages have considered training animal handlers and transporters by showing them the consequences of bad handling with audiovisual material prepared on site. Research results have helped to improve AW and support the development of new legislation or to make changes in the existent legislation related to AW.

Keywords: South America; handling; livestock; welfare.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 4 articles

LinkOut - more resources