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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-177
Number of pages7
JournalMeat Science
Early online date12 Jun 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 11 Jun 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jun 2018
DatePublished (current) - 1 Nov 2018


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.

    Research areas

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

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    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Elsevier at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 933 KB, PDF document

    Licence: CC BY-NC-ND


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