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Animals 2018, 8(7), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070124

Welfare Problems in Cattle, Pigs, and Sheep that Persist Even Though Scientific Research Clearly Shows How to Prevent Them

Department of Animal Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
Received: 27 June 2018 / Revised: 12 July 2018 / Accepted: 13 July 2018 / Published: 20 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Animal Transport)
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Simple Summary

Great strides have been made to improve animal welfare. Unfortunately, there are certain problems that continue to persist. The causes of these problems range from a lack of financial accountability for losses, failure to measure them, or repeating old mistakes. Some examples of persistent problems are bruises, failure to vaccinate cattle, and high percentages of lame livestock. Both good management practices and providing the right financial incentives will improve welfare.

Abstract

Poor production and handling practices continue to persist that are both detrimental to animal welfare and financially burdensome. These practices continue to persist for three reasons: (1) a segmented marketing chain where a producer is not held financially accountable for losses; (2) failure to measure and assess chronic painful problems such as lame livestock; and (3) repeating old mistakes, such as housing fattening cattle for long periods of time on bare concrete. Two examples of the first type of losses are bruises caused by poor handling and sick cattle at feedlots caused by failure to vaccinate and precondition weaned calves at the farm of origin. In some segmented marketing systems, there is no economic incentive to vaccinate. When the animals get sick, the responsibility gets passed to the next person. Buyers of meat products can reduce these “passed on” losses by source verification. The first step to reducing problems, such as lame livestock, is to measure the percentage of lame animals and work with the producers to reduce them. Also, transportation payments should be changed and contracts should be based on the condition of the animals at delivery. View Full-Text
Keywords: welfare; cattle; swine; lameness; at risk cattle; bovine respiratory disease welfare; cattle; swine; lameness; at risk cattle; bovine respiratory disease
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Grandin, T. Welfare Problems in Cattle, Pigs, and Sheep that Persist Even Though Scientific Research Clearly Shows How to Prevent Them. Animals 2018, 8, 124.

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