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Welfare of cattle during killing for purposes other than slaughter on-farm killing of cattle

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DOI

  • EFSA Panel on Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW)
  • ,
  • Søren Saxmose Nielsen
  • ,
  • Julio Alvarez
  • ,
  • Dominique Joseph Bicout
  • ,
  • Paolo Calistri
  • ,
  • Klaus Depner
  • ,
  • Julian Ashley Drewe
  • ,
  • Bruno Garin-Bastuji
  • ,
  • Jose Luis Gonzales Rojas
  • ,
  • Christian Gortázar Schmidt
  • ,
  • Mette S Herskin
  • Virginie Michel
  • ,
  • Miguel Ángel Miranda Chueca
  • ,
  • Helen Clare Roberts
  • ,
  • Liisa Helena Sihvonen
  • ,
  • Hans Spoolder, Netherlands
  • Karl Stahl
  • ,
  • Antonio Velarde
  • ,
  • Arvo Viltrop
  • ,
  • Denise Candiani
  • ,
  • Yves Van der Stede
  • ,
  • Christoph Winckler
Cattle of different ages may have to be killed on farm for purposes other than slaughter (the latter being defined as killing for human consumption) either individually or on a large scale, e.g. for economic reasons or for disease control. The purpose of this scientific opinion is to assess the risks associated with the on-farm killing of cattle. The processes during on-farm killing that were assessed included handling and moving, stunning and/or killing methods (including restraint). The killing methods were grouped into mechanical and electrical methods as well as lethal injection. In total, 21 hazards compromising animal welfare were identified and characterised, most of these related to
stunning and/or killing. Staff was identified as an origin for all hazards, either due to lack of appropriate skills needed to perform tasks or due to fatigue. Possible preventive and corrective measures were assessed: measures to correct hazards were identified for 19 hazards, and the staff was shown to have a crucial role in prevention. Three welfare consequences of hazards to which cattle can be exposed during on-farm killing were identified: impeded movement, pain and fear. The welfare consequences and relevant animal-based measures related to these were described. Outcome tables linking hazards, welfare consequences, animal-based measures, origins of the hazards, preventive and corrective measures were developed for each process. Mitigation measures to minimise the welfare consequences are proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere06312
JournalEFSA Journal
Volume18
Issue11
Number of pages61
ISSN1831-4732
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

    Research areas

  • cattle, bison, buffalo, on-farm killing, hazards, animal welfare consequences, animal-based measures, preventive and corrective measures

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