THE CHALLENGE OF ASSESSING WELFARE IN ABATTOIRS

Ellie Wigham, Stephen Wotton, Andrew Grist, Andrew Butterworth

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Abstract

Abstract

Good welfare at slaughter is paramount not only in minimising suffering of animals but also in producing high quality meat and meat products. However assessing what actually constitutes ‘good welfare’ in large commercial abattoirs continues to pose a significant challenge. Fundamental factors such as effects of transportation, reactions to novel environments and underlying commercial pressures make establishing a valid, reliable and feasible welfare assessment protocol difficult. Aspects of currently widely used welfare assessment frameworks, such as the Welfare Quality Assessment are not readily applicable or very difficult to measure in full in an abattoir environment. Accurately determining the welfare status of animals during the short period of time spent at the slaughterhouse has particular importance in evaluating the effect of welfare improvement measures. As part of the preliminary stages of a larger study we present a review of the literature regarding welfare assessment at slaughter and outline the processes involved to develop a novel welfare assessment protocol with a predominant focus on evaluating the human-animal interaction at the abattoir, and human operator attitudes to handling and treatment of the animals during their progress through the lairage and the slaughter process. It is planned that the assessment system developed will subsequently be used to assess and measure lairage and slaughter animal welfare outcomes, before, and after abattoir staff in a number of slaughter plants in the UK, and USA have received specific ‘animal welfare’ training.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2017
EventUFAW International Animal Welfare Science Symposium: Measuring Animal Welfare and Applying Scientific Advances: Why is it still so difficult? - Royal Holloway, University of London, Surrey, UK , London , United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Jun 201729 Jun 2017
https://www.ufaw.org.uk/ufaw-events/measuring-animal-welfare-and-applying-scientific-advances-why-is-it-still-so-difficult

Conference

ConferenceUFAW International Animal Welfare Science Symposium: Measuring Animal Welfare and Applying Scientific Advances: Why is it still so difficult?
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period27/06/1729/06/17
Internet address

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