Revista de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 0124-0064
ROMERO, Marlyn H; SANCHEZ, Jorge A and GUTIERREZ, Carolina. Evaluating animal welfare practice when transporting cattle to slaughter. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2011, vol.13, n.4, pp.684-690. ISSN 0124-0064. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0124-00642011000400013.
Objective Evaluating animal welfare practices during land transport of cattle to slaughter. Methods A cross-sectional analytical study was carried out regarding 194 livestock transporters from two cattle-producing areas in western Colombia. Demographic variables, drivers' attitudes towards the animals and trucking conditions were analyzed according to sanitary legislation guidelines. Results The livestock are transported by people aged 31 to 60 (69 %) having little animal management training (4.1 %). The drivers do not supervise the cattle's physical conditions when they are being transported and handled by methods such as electric prodding (46.8 %), twisting their tails or other pain-inducing methods (24.2 %), using sticks (16.1 %) and ropes (12.9 %) which do not guarantee appropriate animal welfare. Transportation is not specialised (79.4 %) and the conditions of the vehicles only partially meet sanitary requirements. Conclusions Cattle transport infrastructure must be improved in the area being studied, as must driver training; animal welfare practice must be promoted in all users of the meat chain and research developed in this particular area.
Keywords : Livestock; cattle; animal well-being.