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Animals 2018, 8(10), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100165

Main Factors Affecting Animal Welfare and Meat Quality in Lambs for Slaughter in Chile

1
Animal Science Institute, Faculty of Veterinary Science, OIE Collaborating Centre for Animal Welfare and Livestock Production Systems—Chile, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia 5090000, Chile
2
Faculty of Veterinary Science, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia 5090000, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 August 2018 / Revised: 23 September 2018 / Accepted: 24 September 2018 / Published: 27 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animals)
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Simple Summary

Consumers have become increasingly demanding about the quality of the meat they eat; they want healthy, natural, and palatable products, but are also concerned about animal welfare during production, transport, and slaughter. The way we handle animals does not only affect animal welfare, but also the quality of the meat produced. In this study the main factors affecting the welfare of lambs for slaughter in Chile are reviewed and the implications on meat quality shown. Factors like long distance transport due to difficult geographical reasons, bad roads, and lack of adequate local slaughterhouses appear to have a major impact on the welfare of lambs and also in reducing the quantity and quality of meat produced. Some deficiencies in terms of the handling of the lambs by untrained stockmen and drivers appear, and also inadequate infrastructure for transport in terms of vehicles and loading/unloading ramps. The problems observed are common for other South American countries and should be addressed firstly by educating and training all people involved in the lamb meat chain regarding animal welfare. In Chile there is legislation, ongoing since 2013, regarding the protection of animals during production, transport, and slaughter, including compulsory training of the people involved, which should improve animal welfare and meat quality.

Abstract

Consumers have become increasingly demanding about the quality of products of animal origin, particularly regarding animal welfare during production, transport, and slaughter. The aim of the present study was to review the factors affecting the welfare of lambs for slaughter in Chile and show the implications on meat quality. Rounding up and driving the lambs from the fields in large extensive production systems and long distance transport through difficult geographical routes affect the blood variable indicators of stress and reduces muscle glycogen reserves, increasing the risk of high pH of meat. In small farmer sheep production conditions there is a lack of appropriate installations for loading/unloading and deficiencies in vehicle structure specific for lambs; this together with the work of untrained handlers results in a high percentage of mortality and bruised carcasses, compared to European studies. These problems are common for other South American countries and should be addressed firstly by educating and training all the people involved in the lamb meat chain regarding animal welfare. In Chile there is legislation, ongoing since 2013, regarding the protection of animals during production, transport, and slaughter, including compulsory training of animal handlers and livestock transporters, which should improve animal welfare and meat quality. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal welfare; meat quality; lambs; transport; preslaughter operations animal welfare; meat quality; lambs; transport; preslaughter operations
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Gallo, C.; Tarumán, J.; Larrondo, C. Main Factors Affecting Animal Welfare and Meat Quality in Lambs for Slaughter in Chile. Animals 2018, 8, 165.

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