Welfare management standards for slaughter plants
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) approached the Centre to assess the suitability of its welfare management standards for the age, nutrition and health of these calves.
We worked with a major slaughter plant to investigate how calves coped with early weaning, transport and fasting. Most could cope with transport for 12 hours and fasting for 30 hours without distress.
In another study, the majority of 7000 calves that arrived at a slaughter plant in Whanganui coped well with transport and lairage (animal handling facilities), provided these met MAF and industry standards. This work was repeated with similar results in Australia.
Our studies show that industry standards are sufficient to guarantee the welfare of calves destined for slaughter.