Animal welfare during transport and slaughter of beef cattle


Jair Castro de Jesús
María E. Ortega-Cerrilla
José G. Herrera-Haro
Aleida S. Hernández-Cazares
Julio M. Ayala-Rodríguez


Beef cattle, loading density, stress, animal welfare, stunning


Objective: To review how transport and stunning of cattle affect animal welfare.

Approach: During the transport of beef cattle to slaughter plants, several factors affect animal welfare, such as travel time, stress, and load density. Additionally, the correct stunning of cattle helps comply with the animal welfare guidelines established by different protocols such as Welfare Quality®.

Study limitations/Implications: Meat quality is affected by several factors, being of utmost importance the way animals are transported to the slaughterhouse, and they are stunned. Therefore, it is critical to perform these stages properly to obtain good quality meat; besides, it is a welfare issue.

Conclusions: It is critical to comply with transport and slaughter procedures that guarantee good beef meat quality and ensure animal welfare to avoid stress in cattle as possible.

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