Assessing cattle welfare at slaughter – Why is it important and what challenges are faced?

Ellie Wigham, Andrew Butterworth, Stephen Wotton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
262 Downloads (Pure)


The welfare of animals in the meat industry, especially at the time of slaughter, has become an area of increasing public scrutiny and has prompted research on its assessment, and enhancement. Fundamental factors such as the effects of transport, reactions of the animals to novel environments and underlying commercial pressures which impose ‘speed’ and ‘robustness of action’ in the way animals are handled, can pose a challenge when establishing a valid, reliable and feasible welfare assessment protocol for use at slaughter. The purpose of this review is to assess published work on animal welfare at slaughter, with a focus on the current methods used to assess cattle welfare in the slaughterhouse, which are outlined in the scientific and trade literature, and how these relate to the interaction between the environment, the animal, and slaughterhouse personnel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-177
Number of pages7
JournalMeat Science
Early online date12 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Abattoir
  • Assurance schemes
  • Cattle welfare assessment
  • Meat quality
  • Pre-slaughter stress

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing cattle welfare at slaughter – Why is it important and what challenges are faced?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this